Getting Your Life Back After Rehab
Going through an addiction treatment program is challenging, but it’s one of the earliest steps in the recovery journey. Alcohol and drug treatment programs set the stage for the work required to stay clean and sober. During the treatment process, support from staff and peers encourages addicted individuals and holds them accountable and truthful about the issues they must work to resolve.
Drug rehabilitation programs provide the tools a person experiencing active addiction needs to start fresh. It’s up to the individual to put what they learned into practice once they leave a program.
Many people leave recovery programs with renewed strength and are eager to put drug dependence behind them. They look forward to life after rehab, which includes rebuilding broken relationships and replacing substance use with constructive activities.
Understanding the challenges of life after rehab can help a person in the initial recovery process prepare for the real world and enable them to anticipate where they might run into problems and where to get support before life starts to overwhelm them.
Realize That Recovery is Ongoing
Addiction is a chronic condition without a cure, so recovery is a lifelong process. Addiction to drugs or alcohol is similar to other chronic conditions when practicing healthy habits.
People with chronic health conditions associated with unhealthy eating can control the symptoms by adhering to their health care provider’s recommendations. They must take medications, exercise and eat wholesome foods to remain healthy. Similarly, people recovering from alcohol or drug addiction must apply what they learned in rehab to stay clean or sober throughout their lives
Support Networks Are Essential
Life after rehab means going back into a world where there’s the temptation to return to old habits. During their time in a treatment center, addicted individuals benefit from professional treatment advice and the protective environment of a treatment facility. They work through issues by attending support groups and participating in family therapy as part of their efforts to move toward healthy living and normal life.
Once they leave a treatment facility, ongoing support can help individuals maintain sobriety. However, they must approach the recovery journey as a lifelong process. Support is vital as research shows many people who leave a rehab program experience relapse within six months.
Individuals addicted to alcohol might feel that going out and having one drink with the old gang won’t be a problem, but the desire to revisit old habits can be overwhelming. When an alcoholic joins a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous, they’ll have a confidant or sponsor who can help them look at all the reasons to refrain from drinking and offer suggestions for dealing with the impulse to drink.
Seek a Treatment Provider
It’s vital to have a treatment provider, such as a certified addiction professional, to talk with to help avoid relapse when life becomes overwhelming. Finding a treatment provider who offers service via online chat is convenient for getting individual counseling. Recovering individuals may have problems with transportation, so meeting with a counselor online can remove that barrier. A treatment provider chat is one of the recovery options that can help a recovering person avoid relapse.
Individuals leaving rehab after long-term substance abuse must find constructive activities to help them stay sober. Alcohol-free activities, including going to the gym, developing a walking routine or taking a class, can help a recovering addict meet sober friends and be positive for overall health.
Celebrate Sobriety With Like-minded People
After leaving rehab, it’s common for individuals to seek places to unwind and have fun. It’s essential to find an alcohol-free environment or a place where drug abuse is unacceptable.
Being in an environment where people drink and use drugs can trigger cravings and relapse. Gathering with sober friends for lunch, watching a movie or taking a day trip can become a healthy lifestyle that promotes recovery.
Find a Hobby
Developing a hobby like drawing, painting or learning to play the guitar can be fulfilling. Learning something new and also becoming good at it can be therapeutic and create a feeling of accomplishment. Gardening is another option as it encourages relaxation and also promotes physical health.
Serving others is a way to give back and feel a sense of purpose. After rehab, living a sober life means finding positive and productive ways to fill free time, so volunteering is a solution.
Becoming bored can set individuals up for relapse because they may return to alcohol abuse or drug abuse to fill a void. Becoming a volunteer is another avenue for meeting friends.
Support after rehab is necessary, so who better to have in your corner than family members? However, relatives who’ve experienced disappointment and broken promises may feel doubtful about revisiting a relationship with a loved one who’s gone through a treatment program.
Be Patient With Loved Ones
Convincing a family member that things will be different will take work. Finding a mental health professional who can provide family therapy can be a way to work through unresolved issues that can get in the way of living a healthy lifestyle.
Family members must recognize that alcoholism and drug dependence take time to overcome. Addiction treatment programs are a start, but the real work begins after leaving alcohol rehab or drug rehab.
It’s beneficial to be honest about challenges and fears and help family members understand that completing rehab is an initial step of the recovery process. It’s essential to realize that loved ones may have some doubts. They may worry about relapse and life returning to the chaos that substance use can bring. However, as they begin to experience and understand the positive aspects of the recovery process, they may feel more comfortable accepting a family member back into the fold.
Avoid Toxic People
So-called friends can derail recovery efforts. People who encourage a recovering person to drink or use drugs are human triggers.
Negativity and complaining can be contagious and cause a recovering individual to feel hopeless. Staying on the positive path requires surrounding yourself with positive people.
Continue Healthy Eating Habits
Inpatient treatment programs usually offer nutritious meals and snacks that help individuals in recovery heal and strengthen their bodies. Continuing healthy eating habits throughout recovery helps fight infections and decreases the risk of chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension.
Fruits and vegetables offer fiber and disease-fighting nutrients. Low-fat proteins help build healthy cells and muscles. Iron-rich foods help maintain healthy blood. Water helps flush toxins out of the body and promotes healthy kidney function.
Food Resources for Individuals With Limited Financial Resources
When an individual leaves rehab and has limited or no income, there are community resources that provide healthy food. The SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is available for those who qualify and provides a benefits card that people use to purchase food at grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Local county social services programs usually accept and approve applications for SNAP benefits.
Community food pantries also provide non-perishable foods and fresh fruits and vegetables to individuals with limited income. Many families find that food pantries offer several foods that can fit into a healthy eating plan.
Ease Back Into Work
Going back to work offers a sense of normalcy and routine. However, taking on huge responsibilities too soon can create a risky situation that could trigger a relapse. Being open with supervisors and coworkers and asking for help when needed can reduce the burden of juggling work and recovery. It may be a good idea to work part-time hours initially.
Returning to work may also mean rebuilding relationships with coworkers if dependability and reliability were lacking before rehab. Demonstrating improvement in these areas can build new trust with colleagues.
Be Kind to Yourself
Remember that recovery from substance abuse isn’t easy. It’s a process. Alcohol and drug addiction don’t happen overnight, nor does the urge to stop using go away after leaving the treatment center.
Treatment providers know that individuals struggle as they move through recovery, so there are support groups and other community resources to help along the way. If you feel the urge to start using again and the cravings start to come more often, stay with your recovery journey by seeking help.
Get Help When You Need It
Whether you require counseling to get you back on track or need drug or alcohol treatment, there are numerous people who want you to succeed in your life after rehab. Treatment centers can help you work through issues that can get in the way of your recovery journey.
Call and speak with someone at a specific treatment center who can help you decide if a return to rehab can help. If you need to talk to a particular treatment provider, you can find them by calling the website’s main phone number.