By Zoey White
Successfully completing a rehabilitation program is an achievement to be proud of. It’s the first step towards starting a whole new life. However, life will continue to be fraught with challenges as maintaining your sobriety will be a lifelong undertaking. A rehabilitation process is not the complete solution to your past drug addiction. Believing so severely undermines the nature of your addiction. Addiction dissociates one from who they were and it takes more than just a few weeks of treatment to return back to normal. However, this does not mean that it is an impossible task. You are still surrounded by people who support you and want the best for you.
Nevertheless, rehab was a time of change— not just for yourself, but for the people around you too. With rehab, people may now see you differently. Patients discharged from rehab will. thus, have to adapt to their new way of life and even possibly find some new friends who will not trigger a relapse.
Whatever it is, patients have to acclimatize and find new, positive ways and habits for life to continue and further their hard-earned sobriety.
Life within a rehabilitation center and outside is vastly different. A recovering addict returning to the outside world may find themselves faced with temptations. Alternatively, situations or people in their lives may serve as triggers for cravings. This is especially so in the first six months post-rehab as research has shown that most relapses occur during this time period. It will, therefore, be important for recovering addicts to truly know and understand what may tempt or trigger them. Knowing that, they will be able to avoid and protect themselves and prevent a relapse from occurring.
It would be best if recovering addicts can plan for this before being discharged. This allows them to reclaim their old lives in a safer and easier manner.
The Need For Avenues of Support
During rehab, patients are surrounded by support and guidance. Leaving such an environment will undeniably be hard on any recovering addict. This is especially so when they face their old lives and possible temptations. Hence, it would be beneficial for recovering addicts to search for avenues of continuous support to help them carry on in their quest for a healthier life. This avenue of support can take on any form. It only needs to be something that is able to encourage the recovering addict. At the end of the day, all recovering addicts need someone to confide in.
Drug addiction is not merely a chemical reliance on drugs. Instead, it is often a result of a negative way of life or past traumas. Therefore, it is important to tackle the root cause. Individual Therapy with the use of cognitive-behavioral theories could hence, help recovering addicts unearth the basis of their problems and comprehensively tackle them. These recovering addicts will also be able to discuss and better understand their agonizing and difficult withdrawal symptoms. Understanding their addictions, emotions or behaviors may help to prevent a relapse. They will no longer feel completely controlled by the drug. Instead, they will understand the rational and logical reasons for their cravings. It will thus be easier for them to ignore such cravings then. Patients can also be trained in exercises like meditation and biofeedback to help them to relax.
In rehab, patients are surrounded by counselors, doctors, and nurses who constantly ensure and prevent them from relapsing. Back in the normal world, however, these recovering addicts are free. They may not be used to such freedom and could instead, benefit from having someone to hold them accountable. Therefore, recovering addicts can arrange to have regular check-ups with a counselor. This would encourage them to continue with their progress. These check-ups can also serve as general health checks. This is especially important as the abusing of drugs may have caused adverse effects in their bodies.
12-Step programs are almost like the bread-and-butter of addiction treatment support. It involves admitting to one’s helplessness and their dependence on a higher power. Users of these programs admit their follies and actively shoulder the responsibilities of the harm that they have inflicted on others. These programs are good as they are widely available to many people and can be adapted specifically to one’s religion or culture.
Alternative Support Groups
Finding some kind of support group can be highly beneficial as it allows one to be surrounded by like-minded people. Members of these groups are usually also recovering or recovered addicts and can hence, relate to and motivate one another. Alternatively, the support group can share common problems or traumas, and hence, better understand and encourage one another.
Coming out of rehab, life can often seem new and varied. For some addicts, their old life is one that they know they can no longer return to. For others, new possibilities and opportunities may have opened up. In other words, these recovering addicts return to a world where they have to rebuild their lives. In this new life, it is not uncommon for recovering addicts to feel alone, bored or powerless. Without the presence of drugs or alcohol, past friends or activities may no longer seem as attractive. In order to avoid relapsing, recovering addicts must find new hobbies, friends or jobs. Essentially, they have to reconstruct their lives. They have to recreate new ways of life to provide themselves with stability and safety.
Furthermore, without drugs or alcohol, they might be more financially capable. These savings can then be used by them for other activities or hobbies. Finding new interests is important because these interests can serve as proof that drugs and alcohol are unnecessary for fun or happiness.
In conclusion, recovering from an addiction is a long and hard route. But, it is not impossible. One needs to commit wholeheartedly to a sober lifestyle during and after their rehab at centers like Desert Hope Treatment to achieve their goals. The best thing that one can do is to begin
planning for life after rehab, while in rehab. If one gets started early, it would greatly increase their chances of recovery.