You’ve traveled the rocky road of addiction and climbed the steep mountain of recovery with the assistance of an excellent drug rehabilitation facility. Now, it’s time to step back into the real world. For many who have battled with substance abuse, this is the most difficult period. You are going to have to face old temptations and deal with everyday challenges in a positive way while continuing recovery.
Getting Prepared to Leave Addiction Behind Forever
It would be all too easy to fall back into old habits once you leave the protective environment of a drug treatment center. You need to be prepared to ensure you will leave addiction behind you forever. There are some ways you can be sure you are continuing recovery.
Consider a Halfway House
Before you return home, examine the advantages of a halfway house. A halfway house is the ideal setting when you need to ease your way back into normal life. Think of it as a place to stay for a transition period as you adjust. You will live in a home with others who are facing similar problems. You’ll continue to have counseling and a structured environment that will distance you from temptation. You can return to work and gradually become accustomed to life after treatment, growing stronger and more independent each day.
Create a Plan of Action for Continuing Recovery
Whether you stay in a halfway house for the first 30 days after you are released from treatment, or you return home, you need to have a plan. Understand that recovery is a long-term process and it will take a lifelong diligence to maintain sobriety. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40 to 60% of former addicts will relapse after treatment. You do not want to be one of those statistics. Recognize the fact that your addiction is a chronic illness and you will need to fight every day to continue abstinence. Only in eliminating the source of your addiction from your life will you be able to allow your brain to recover fully. Be prepared when you go home and arm yourself with steps you will take to continue on the right path.
Surround Yourself with Positive Influences
One study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology stressed how negative peer pressure could be for teens when it comes to addiction. It’s only logical that surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people can help you to remain sober. Become engaged with real friends who only want to see you be well. Whenever you feel yourself starting to slip, have a go-to source of inspiration, someone you can call day or night to help you make it through a rough patch.
Remove Yourself from Negative Surroundings
Take a good look at where you live. If you are near a liquor store or residing in a neighborhood where it is simple to get your next, quick fix, you need to find a new home. You need a place that will help you to look forward to the rest of your life, leaving regrets behind. Think of it as a fresh start.
Continue Therapy Sessions to Make Sure You are Continuing Recovery
If your rehabilitation facility has not recommended that you continue outpatient counseling, take it upon yourself to find a good therapist. Talk with your primary physician or contact the local community health center. You need to someplace where you can go on a weekly basis to discuss your experiences and concerns. You’ll find that a good counselor will help you to avoid a relapse. You can think of your therapist as a safety net, someone you can hotline in times of duress.
Find New Ways to Keep Yourself Occupied
Once you’ve left a treatment facility, beware of idle time. You need to keep yourself involved and avoid periods when you become bored and lured by your addiction. Take up new hobbies, travel, and get a fitness plan as a way of continuing recovery. Exercise is an excellent way to deal with stress, and it will keep you busy as well. Consider the benefits of yoga and meditation to find your center.
Find a Support Group
Get yourself into a support group. Meet weekly with others who are facing the same struggle of continuing recovery. You’ll learn new ways to cope and stay motivated.