Sustaining Your Sobriety After Drug & Alcohol Treatment
When people graduate rehab programs and leave treatment, it is easy to underestimate the necessary work ahead. While initial treatment is an important part of addiction recovery, it is not the only requirement to maintain sobriety. Be prepared and ready to make the changes needed for a sustainable recovery when you leave treatment.
For one thing, it is not advised to jump right back into the life you had before, just without using substances. In fact, it is better to ease out of treatment—either with outpatient or sober living. Recovery requires maintenance; it is a huge lifestyle change that needs attention.
This means more than just abstaining from Alcohol and drugs. You must continue to move out of the mindset and patterns that enable substance abuse. It is imperative that you form new patterns of behavior and thought that are conducive to success. Surrounding yourself in positive influences and support, not old friends who still use, is an important part of this.
Stay connected with the recovery community. While friends and family are important, you also want to have people in your life who can relate to you. Alumni associations and meetings are great ways to stay connected and supported.
Getting accustom to you new life after treatment can take time and dedication. Make it easy on yourself, reach out for the help you need to succeed in your recovery.
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Easing Out of Treatment & into the Routine of Your Aftercare
Many people jump from the safe, supportive environment of treatment into the stress and responsibility of living with no buffer. Don’t do that; you have done so much work and come so far. Find a middle ground and ease of out treatment by attending outpatient or going to a sober living house.
The best rehabs offer long-term inpatient care that isolates and supports patients, reintroducing stress and responsibility slowly as they rebuild from a healthy and safe place. This kind of support and structure is needed to achieve recovery. Set yourself up for success and have securities lined up for your next step of recovery when you leave.
You could attend outpatient services, continuing group, and individual therapy while you find independent housing and a job. This will keep you connected with the professionals and resources that have supported you thus far for a little longer while you get on your feet.
Another option is to move into a sober living home. These vary, but most offer some degree of structure and accountability for staying sober and contributing to a healthy household. There are many scholarship programs to help you pay for the first week or two.
Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings: Embrace the Sober Community of the Fellowships
There are many different kinds of meetings out there for people in recovery, associated with the 12-step program and otherwise. There are even meetings for different kinds of substance, such as Narcotics Anonymous versus Alcoholics Anonymous. Meetings are essentially support groups for people in recovery, where you can connect with others, working through any challenges of recovery and acknowledging accomplishments.
Meetings are a great way to stay involved with the recovery community and take your sobriety and recovery into your own hands.
Inpatient and outpatient programs often model meetings to some degree in group therapy sessions. In addition to this, it is advised to go to meetings while in treatment and to find a sponsor. After treatment, though, you should continue attending meetings. Find a chapter that you like and settle in.
Not only can meetings connect with others who you relate with, but they are also a place to be of service to others. Once you have worked the steps, in a 12-step for example, you can sponsor someone who is completely new to recovery. Helping someone totally new to recovery will remind you of the values and lessons you have learned. It will also build compassion and purpose in your life.
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Stay Involved in the Sober Community: Alumni, Sponsors & Step Work
Going to meetings is a good way to stay involved, but it isn’t really enough— especially when you first get out of treatment. Luckily, there are tons of ways to stay saturated in the community of recovery. It is so vital to surround yourself with other people who want to be sober, people who understand where you have been.
Most treatment programs have alumni communities for people who have graduated to stay connected and involved. A Better Today’s alumni association plans activities like bowling, hiking, and travel together. They put together celebrations and fundraising events for causes in recovery. Alumni chapters can help you to maintain the bonds you formed with others in your treatment program.
Some of those friendships could last a lifetime. Your shared experiences of pain and growth, as well as your mutual support for each other, can create strong bonds. One of the key elements needed for someone to sustain sobriety and recovery is a support system filled with love and compassion.
You may have felt alone in active addiction, but you are not alone anymore. These people will help you through when you falter. They will enrich your life with camaraderie and friendship.
Goal Setting in Your Recovery: Keep Moving Forward Toward Success
In rehab, you learn the ropes of sobriety and take your first steps in recovery. After treatment, you must continue the work that you started. You learn about how addiction is related to the brain, certain behavioral patterns, coping skills, trauma, and more. You work with therapists to understand the underlying issues of your addiction.
But, a few weeks to a few months isn’t enough time to completely work through all of that. You still have to learn how to recognize and assess all of these things on your own. You must learn to do that while managing all the stresses and responsibilities of everyday life. Recovery is ongoing.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help; we all need help sometimes. Ease yourself through the transition from treatment to everyday life with outpatient or sober living. Get a therapist who you can keep seeing indefinitely if you think it will help. Stay involved with the recovery community through meetings and alumni chapters.
Remember to always continue moving forward. Recovery is about constant self-improvement and progress. You have the chance to live the most fulfilling and blessed life you can imagine. Don’t look back and worry about regrets; look onward to bigger and brighter futures.
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Recovering from a Drug & Alcohol Addiction is a Journey: Explore These Resources to See Just How Strong Your Aftercare Plan Truly is
It is important to use reputable sources when communicating with addicts, their families, and potential clientele. Therefore, all of our information, statistics, treatment modalities, and network treatment centers work on reliable resources supported by data, scientific methodology, and testing.
A strong foundation for recovery should be built upon the impartial knowledge, not funded by organizations that could benefit from certain outcomes, and proven or tested to be effective for substance abuse treatment and aftercare. Below are the sources used to construct the content on our website and all written material from ABTRS. We will continue to try to provide you with reputable sources that are up to date and relevant.
Store.samhsa.gov. (2019). The Next Step Toward a Better Life | SAMHSA Publications. [online] Available at: https://store.samhsa.gov/product/The-Next-Step-Toward-a-Better-Life/SMA14-4474 [Accessed 20 Feb. 2019].
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 47. DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 06-4182. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2006.
Donovan, D. M., Ingalsbe, M. H., Benbow, J., & Daley, D. C. (2013). 12-step interventions and mutual support programs for substance use disorders: an overview. Social work in public health, 28(3-4), 313-32.