Your drug addiction treatment program is complete. Now, you are ready to start your new life in recovery after drug rehabilitation. But how do you do this? Completing rehab does not guarantee that you will remain in recovery. Recovery is an ongoing process with many challenges and obstacles. You need a plan to stay sober long-term.
Find Sober Friends After Drug Rehabilitation
You now have to start a new life with sober friends. You can no longer associate with your old friends who are still drinking alcohol or using drugs. Don’t think that you can handle it. You can’t! Attending support groups and meetings will help you make new friendships with others who are learning to live in recovery from addiction.
Some groups have “sponsors” who have been in recovery longer and can help you along the way when you have cravings or are facing temptation. You can call them at any time, day or night, to help you through the hard times. A sponsor is especially beneficial if you don’t have a close family member or friend who can support you as you are putting your life back together.
Repair Relationships With Loved Ones
It is highly likely that during your addiction, you hurt loved ones in many ways. Other than disappointing them, you probably manipulated, lied, and even stole from them. Go to them and take responsibility for your actions. You can’t change the past, but you can apologize and promise to show them that you are living a better life today.
If you have broken promises to them in the past, it may take a while. However, with time they will learn to trust you again. The betrayal may be fresh in their mind, so give them space and time that they need while you work on your new life.
Employment After Drug Rehabilitation
The chances are that while you were struggling with your addiction, you may have lost your job and were out of the workforce for an extended period. If you are having difficulty finding a job after drug rehabilitation, don’t panic. Consider going back to school or taking some refresher courses in your field of work.
Take this time and do some community volunteer work. Speak at local high schools and community colleges about your journey through addiction and into recovery. You could prevent some community kids from making the mistakes you made. There are all sorts of needs in communities that can make you feel better about yourself as you take this time out.
Take Care of Your Physical and Emotional Self
As you were spending all of your time in addiction either high or looking for ways to get drugs, you had little time for self-care. Now you have time and energy to take care of you. Set a daily routine to keep from getting bored. Boredom can lead to a relapse.
Some of the things in your daily routine can include:
- Healthy diet
- Get enough rest
- Attend group meetings
- Meditate or do yoga
- Work on finances
- Do job searches
- Try to manage stress
- Tend to daily chores at home
You can look your best and feel your best every day for yourself. Once you create a daily routine, you will be closer to sustaining your life in recovery without having to fear a relapse back into addiction.
Living in Recovery After Drug Rehabilitation
It is not always easy living in recovery after drug rehabilitation. You will have days when you feel on top of the world. Then again, there will be days when you feel like nothing in the world is right. As with anything we attempt in life that is worthwhile, it takes work.
Take one day at a time as you start your new life of sobriety. Don’t put too much stress on yourself. Your life won’t be perfect overnight, but it will get better each day you live a sober and healthy life. Remember always to do activities which don’t involve drugs or alcohol. There are many rewarding and fun things to do and places to see.
What if I Relapse?
If a relapse does occur, remember it is not the end of the world or your sobriety. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply rooted behaviors, and relapse doesn’t mean treatment has failed.” Often, relapse to drug use is a part of the addict’s process of recovery.
A relapse can mean that you need to have more outpatient counseling or attend more meetings. It does not mean that you have to start over from where you were in your addiction. If you feel that you may have left rehab too soon, you can return for more treatment until you feel more confident in returning to your day-to-day life.
We don’t always succeed the first time we try something. It is the same with recovery from addiction. You may succeed in recovery the first time you try. But if you do relapse, don’t consider yourself a failure. Attend your group meetings and take your new life one day at a time.
If you would like more information about life after drug rehabilitation, contact us today. One of our representatives will be happy to answer your questions. Also, if you are seeking a treatment program for yourself or a loved one, we can help with that, too.
- huffpost.com – How To Start A New Life After Addiction Recovery