Successfully completing a treatment program is a great accomplishment, one that should be relished. As great as it is, it is not the end. Addiction does not have a cure. At the end of treatment, an addict is not cured. They must continue to develop and grow without drugs and alcohol. They mean a new start. Many wish that they could just start over, while this is not a ‘start-over’ per se, but it is a new life. Life after rehab can be tough. The structure that helps addicts stop using and grow rescinds and now they are on their own. The treatment center will provide a great map for moving forward, but here are five ways to start over.
The goal of treatment is to get an addict to stop using and abusing drugs and alcohol. After that goal is achieved it works to provide recovering addicts with the tools to remain sober over the long term. Relapse is the term used for the action of returning to substance use and abuse after a period of sobriety. It is often viewed as a failure, but it should not. Is it disappointing? Yes, but it is not the end. More treatment might be necessary. It should be avoided at all costs, but it should never force someone to lose faith in their progress and treatment. Recovering addicts who fear they may relapse should speak to family, friends and/or sponsors from AA or NA meetings. Per Wickstrom, the founder of Behavioral Rehabilitation Services Rehab Center, prides itself on developing a program for the individual. It believes in continued growth after treatment and can provide guidance to ensure long-term sobriety.
Avoid Relapse with the Right Friends
The best way to avoid relapse and continue a sober life is to surround yourself with trustworthy friends and family. Towards the end of treatment, addicts should be encouraged to begin creating a strong support network. A group of loving, trustworthy individuals that can be called upon in a time of need. This includes joining a local support group. During these gatherings, recovering addicts can share their feelings, which provides them with a great opportunity to release tension, depression, and anxiety. The support and knowledge from group meetings with those who have similar problems can be a great way to continue to grow.
Plan for the Future
Recovering addicts must always continue to move forward and strive for more. Outlandish dreams and aspirations should be placed on the backburner, so they can focus on more realistic goals. Little victories can help to build self-confidence and self-efficacy. This includes living arrangements and social circles. Anyone or thing that can trigger a craving or enables substance abuse should be avoided altogether.
The best thing that a recovering addict can do is to find a healthy hobby to which they can fill their time. Healthy activities such as running, yoga, racquetball, surfing, softball, golf, tennis, painting, reading, writing or any number of healthy activities will work. These hobbies can help take away any ‘down’ time that might otherwise have been used to use and abuse drugs or alcohol. They encourage healthy relationships and activity that better the health of a recovering addict both mentally and physically.
Finding some type of spirituality can be unbelievably helpful in recovery. Recovering addicts who learn more about themselves are better equipped to maintain sobriety. Spirituality helps recovering addicts control their emotions during trying times and find good outlets for dangerous feelings.
100% Sober Living
It is critical that a recovering addict returns to a 100% sober living situation. If they are returning to a home or area where substance use and abuse is accepted, then they must move. These are unnecessary temptations, which are of no help to their continued growth.