I’m Done with Rehab, Now What?
So, you just got out of rehab and you’re not sure what to do next. There are a variety of different options available to you. This is the continued recovery part of recovery. Recovering from addiction is a process. A process that teaches you to sustain abstinence, while you practice awareness and other skills. These skills are necessary for you to live a whole, healthy, and healed life. We are always here to help you in your journey through and continuing recovery. Please contact us at (385)-327-7418 if you have any other questions or concerns for yourself or a loved one.
Now that you have completed rehab you may be asking yourself…now what? Well, we are here to answer any and all questions you may have. Click a link below to continue on to that section. Contact our experts today if you require additional assistance.
Abstinence and Recovery
Being in recovery from addiction is a process. You are trying to sustain abstinence and learn new skills. As well as practicing these new skills outside of rehab. Those two things reinforce each other. Keeping sustained abstinence creates opportunities for you to build the skills that you were taught. The skills that produce growth and healing, which is not always possible when you are actively addicted. Learning and practicing these skills is vital to staying abstinent in addiction. Recovery involves actively participating in life activities. That is healthy and have meaning, based on your own specific needs, interest, and values.
Making changes in how you react to your thoughts and emotions is also important, especially making changes for uncomfortable or painful situations. You will also discover and develop parts of yourself that maybe you had been unaware of. Or you will rediscover parts of yourself that you may have buried underneath the mountain of active addiction. Developing new patterns of living your life with conscious awareness is an excellent tool in the recovery toolbox. Moving toward emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual balance for yourself. With recovery, of course, there is some assembly required. But the tools you learned while in rehab will help you rediscover who you are and who you want to be—without an addiction looming over your head.
Have I Failed if I Relapse
If you relapse, no, you have not failed. Relapsing can be part of the recovery process. Addiction is defined as a chronic relapsing disorder. Because it is a chronic disorder, that means that for some, returning to drug use can be part of the process. However, there are newer treatment plans that are actually designed to help with relapse prevention. Relapse rates for drug addiction are very similar to the rates of other people with different chronic diseases. Basically, if you don’t follow the treatment plan given to you, you are likely to relapse. But, again it can be part of the process. Quitting something, especially an addiction can be very difficult to do.
Because the rates of relapse for addiction and other illnesses are similar, substance use disorders should be treated the same. They should be treated like any other chronic illness. If you do relapse, it is only a sign that you may need a new or modified treatment plan. Or that you were not ready to leave the treatment program just yes. That you were not completely, 100% prepared for practicing the tools into the real world. Relapse can be a normal part of recovery, although dangerous. If you use again and say you use the same dose you used right before you quit- this could have adverse consequences. This is because your body is no longer used to the previous amount of drugs you had been taking. Your body can only take low doses, like maybe when you first started using the drug.
Steps to Success
There are a lot of different things you can do to make transitioning easier. Just coming out of rehab and going into the real world to use the tools you were given is a change. You are no longer in a supervised environment without any temptation to use drugs. Instead, you are going back to your regular life and trying to make the changes necessary to stay on the journey of recovery. The challenges of daily life after rehab are vital, and it is your next step. Certain things are bound to rear their ugly head to make it difficult for you. Things such as cravings, but here are some tips to make the process a bit easier for you.
Making New Friends
Finding sober friends can be helpful. You want to stay away from friends that you did drugs with to decrease your temptation. But, finding people that are sober or recovering like you can be helpful to do. Focusing on your work can be beneficial as well. Think about your workplace setting- not much temptation for you there. Or maybe you have to look for a new job because perhaps you are an alcoholic and worked at a brewery. Staying in a position that made it easier for you to access drugs can be too much of a trigger for you.
Looking for answers or talking about your struggles can be vital to your recovery. Talking about your problems can help uncover what caused you to turn to drugs in the first place. And help find the root of your addiction. Building a support network is a good option too. Joining groups like AA or Narcotics Anonymous. Or even finding a sponsor can help you when you are struggling to stay abstinent. And help you avoid any relapses. Also, helping other or helping somebody else recover also makes it less likely that you would have a relapse.
Steps to Success Continued
Being in a support group is an essential part of recovery. It allows you to share your story with others that are going through something similar. This makes you feel less lonely, as a common thought maybe that you are alone in this. But you’re not. You can relate to others and get help whenever you need them, whether you get a sponsor or go to a meeting multiple times a week. It is all to help you stay on the road to recovery after rehab. Even years after going to a treatment program, you may still get cravings. So even after you have settled into a healthy way of life, you may always have weak moments. But thankfully, there are several other things you can do to keep your recovery alive. You may want to try the following:
- Meditation produces essential changes in both the structure and function of the brain. One important finding is that meditation increases gray matter in the brain’s areas involved with learning and decision-making, good for overall health and preventing relapse. Meditation also helps with other problems, such as depression and anxiety.
- There is significant evidence to show that yoga, mainly focusing on yogic breathwork, decreases stress and diminishes symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. It will also loosen up the joints and muscles, improving flexibility, balance, and circulation. Those who practice yoga express having an improved quality of life.
- Research is beginning to indicate that regular, moderate exercise can help break compulsive behaviors. Of course, we all know that being fit is good for our health, but if it also helps prevent relapse, there is an added benefit to addicts.
- We can all benefit from delving into the issues that led us to abuse substances in the first place, and those issues change over time. If you weren’t a parent when you were using but are now, for example, regular psychotherapy can help you process your emotions so you don’t fall back into patterns that could lead to relapse.
- It sounds like a no-brainer, right? But most addicts enter recovery with abysmal personal care habits, particularly around food. Learning how to feed yourself healthfully will not only make your body stronger but will also improve your self-esteem.”
Of course, all of these approaches are helpful tools in the toolbox. But, there are always more methods to try if they don’t seem to be working for you. One of the newer approaches is behavior activation therapy. This type of treatment wants you to rediscover life’s rewards. This strategy can be useful because it fights the temptation of drugs at their source. It hits the root of the problem. Because using drugs or alcohol releases dopamine in your brain- the happy chemical. You have to find other activities that will do the same. This stops you from wanting the drug a bit.
Activities that you used to do that don’t involve drugs can bring you pleasure and happiness. Which helps to release that happy chemical that the drugs did for you before. Continue doing activities that you did before, or find new ones that you will enjoy. Try out new things, find a new hobby. Cook something new, plan a celebration or part, exercise. You could even go to a museum, or pick up a sport. Any activity that brings you joy and pleasure that doesn’t involve using drugs can be helpful. Finding joy in your new drug-free life can be tricky, but it is vital. It helps you to feel like you don’t need the drugs or alcohol because other things are keeping you occupied that you enjoy.
Overall, the journey through recovery is never-ending. You have to keep trying and stay away from people, activities, and places that once tempted you to do drugs. Or remind you of when you did drugs. This way, you can decrease the amount of temptation you have in your daily life. Getting out of rehab and trying to go back to your everyday life can be an enormous change. You are no longer being supervised and have to be careful not to relapse. Finding things to do for enjoyment and to keep your mind off drugs is essential.
Eating healthy, exercising, meditation techniques, yoga, and other activities is essential to staying abstinent. Try new things, seek help when you need it. Continue living in your new healthy way of life. Even if you relapse, you didn’t fail- it is a standard part of recovery. Suppose you have any questions or concerns or need more answers for yourself or a loved one. If you are done with rehab, let us help you take the next steps. Please contact us at (385)-327-7418. We are always here to help you with anything you may need.
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