Staying sober after leaving substance abuse rehab is not easy, but it does get more manageable over time. That being said, many recovering addicts find friends and family treat them differently because of what they went through. Instead of being treated normally, people sometimes feel like they are belittled or like they can’t handle themselves. The purpose of an addiction treatment program is to give people the tools they need to lead normal, independent lives after rehab. Instead of living in a perceived fishbowl, try the following tips to keep your transition seamless.
Have Daily Structure
Addiction treatment centers keep rehabilitating patients on a strict daily schedule, with a healthy regimen of activities. A little introspection in therapy, a dose of cardio, fellowships, meals and structured down time. Keep this structure up by creating a daily schedule at home. A schedule can include daily exercise, going to work or school, and making time to clean or do other activities. To make daily structure easier to follow, write all daily interests and commitments on a calendar and hang it somewhere visible. Be sure to also include appointments or therapy sessions if your treatment center has suggested it.
Find People to Support You
Having a strong support system is great for anyone who is recovering from an addiction. These people can be friends, family, or a sponsor, and should be able to help handle anything from bad days to relapses. Make time to talk to support systems every day or meet up with some of them every week. Plan activities or outings together, or do positive pastimes enjoyed before rehab. Caution: as the saying goes — “birds of a feather, flock together” — it is important to enjoy the pastimes that were constructive before rehab, not in the company of the former addicts that kept you in the pit of substance abuse.
Set Goals for the Future
Having long-term goals is a great way to keep an eye on the future and provides something to be excited about. Plan out day by day steps to reach a long-term goal and put it on the calendar. By doing something small every day, goals are attainable without being overwhelming. It is important to balance daily activities to maximize focus, yet not overrun with responsibilities. Make sure to invent tangible or visible objectives to reach a goal, to encourage oneself along the way.
Follow Up After Rehab
Many alcohol rehab centers or prescription drug rehabs will require people to come back for follow ups after finishing treatment. This is to make sure that everything is going smoothly and there are no problems assimilating back into normal life. Th addiction treatment program may suggest attending support group sessions or therapy a few times a week. The frequency of these visits will gradually decrease. Stay in contact with a sponsor, and have a contact number for a therapist or support group in case help is needed. Treatment centers do not advise residents to skip these support groups or therapist meetings, so do not assume you will be okay without them. Even the smallest bit of help can make all the difference. Remember that living sober is a lifelong task and learning how to deal with urges cannot always be done alone.
Sovereign Health Group has treatment programs to help people with all different types of addiction. If you think you need help controlling your addiction, visit one of the many treatment centers for assistance. They can help you get back on track to a normal, sober life.