Life After Addiction
What’s Next After Treatment and/or Rehab
So you have done the hard work of halting your excessive substance use in a detox program. You have also gone on to complete a rehab program for your particular form of addiction.
At this point, it is natural to wonder how to move forward from here. In other words, what is next after treatment or rehab?
It would be nice if every aspect of your post-rehab life was easily transformed. However, building the life you want to live is not that simple or straightforward. You will need to stay vigilant in order to maintain your hard-won sobriety.
You may also need to take steps to repair the damage done to your life before you got sober. The following tips and suggestions will help make leaving addiction behind you a realistic goal.
Staying Active for Your Recovery
As a rule, treatment is not a cure for addiction. By its nature, addiction is a chronic condition that can recur over time. In this respect, it bears lots of similarities to other chronic conditions such as:
- High blood pressure
Experts universally recommend viewing addiction as manageable, not curable. This means that you will need to actively commit yourself to long-term recovery. Staying active for your recovery typically includes participating in some form of addiction aftercare.
This term refers to any steps you take to maintain access to helpful resources after completing treatment. You may also hear the same thing referred to as continuing care. Potential options for aftercare include:
- Enrolling in a second, less extensive rehab program
- Checking in with your treatment team at prearranged times
- Becoming an active participant in a self-help group like Alcoholics Anonymous
Sober Living Options
When you first complete rehab, you may not be ready yet to make a full return to your everyday routine. If this is true for you, consider a stay in a sober living home. This term describes housing accommodations designed to help you gradually return to your routine while staying substance-free.
All sober living options have certain key features. These features include:
- A living environment that excludes drugs and alcohol
- Required or suggested participation in a self-help group
- A need to remain substance-free and follow all other house rules
- A requirement to participate actively in the daily life of the home
When not at home, you can go to work, attend school or otherwise fill your day.
Relapse and Recovery for Life After Addiction
Anyone leaving addiction behind must remain aware of the possibility of a substance relapse. Such a possibility is not remote. In fact, depending on the source of your addiction, your relapse risks fall somewhere between 40% and 60%.
This may sound both ominous and discouraging. However, it helps to keep a couple of things in mind. First, people managing addiction actually relapse less often than people with many other chronic conditions.
In addition, addiction experts are well-aware that relapse and recovery often go hand in hand. They do not consider a relapse to be the end of the recovery process. Instead, they view it as an opportunity to start again and do better next time. This kind of perspective will help you keep your long-term sobriety goals in mind at all times.
Repairing Relationships in Recovery
People actively addicted to drugs or alcohol often do tremendous damage to their important relationships. Those affected may include everyone from your spouse, children or parents to your close friends. When you make the effort to get sober, that damage does not simply disappear.
Instead, unless you take steps to address it, it may remain in place for the rest of your life. For this reason, building the life you want to live often includes attempting to repair your relationships.
You can undertake your goal of repairing relationships in recovery while you are still in treatment. Many programs offer some form of family therapy. One possible option is family behavior therapy, or FBT.
In FBT, you and your close family members take steps to address a number of issues, including family conflicts. Quite often, these conflicts are related in some way to living with someone affected by addiction. FBT allows all participants to speak, be heard and change.
In this way, it can go a long way toward helping you heal your relationships.
Chances are that you will still have work to do in this area when you complete treatment. Along with supporting you in other ways, 12-step programs help you make further progress toward this goal.
All such programs ask you to make amends to people you have hurt as part of your recovery process.
The emphasis is not placed on other people accepting or appreciating your attempts.
Instead, emphasis falls on your need to make the effort. Whether or not you succeed, you have taken this crucial step toward repairing your relationships.
Additional Tips and Suggestions
Some additional tips and suggestions may also help you lead a fulfilling life after addiction.
Research shows that certain factors can be especially important for both short- and long-term recovery from addiction. These factors include such things as:
- Building up a strong personal support network
- Becoming an active member of your community
- Joining a secular or non-secular 12-step program
They also include using your past harmful experiences with addiction as motivation to stay sober moving forward. None of these things will guarantee that you successfully remain substance-free.
Still, by taking advantage of them, you may increase your overall chances for achieving lasting sobriety.
Learn More About Life After Addiction at Emerald Isle
It takes tremendous courage and effort to make it all the way through a substance treatment program.
However, when you reach this hard-fought goal, you still have work ahead of you. Knowledge of what is to come can help you keep the big picture in mind and actively maintain substance abstinence.
Need more information on navigating life after addiction? Just talk to the experts at Emerald Isle. We can answer any question you may have about what it takes to stay sober.
We also support your efforts with aftercare programs customized to meet your specific needs. To learn more, contact us today.
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