What are Life Skills?
Life skills are defined as skills that are “necessary or desirable for full participation in daily living.” Becoming proficient in new skill sets can improve an individual’s quality of life, especially those suffering from drug or alcohol addiction.
A few of the many essential life skills include:
- Communication skills
- Problem solving
- Self-care and hygiene
- Stress management
- Organization skills
- Anger management
- Personal development
- Medication management
- Financial planning
- Leadership skills
- Concentration and focusing
- Social skills
- Time management
- Conflict resolution
“The compulsion to get drugs, take drugs, and experience the effects of drugs has dominated their every waking moment, and abusing drugs has taken the place of all the things they used to enjoy doing,” states an article from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). This is one reason why life skills training is essential to help those in the addiction recovery process.
Why are Life Skills Important?
Adopting Healthy Habits — Proper nutrition and hygiene are essential skills for life that can improve an individual’s physical and mental health. Since addicts tend to make their substances their first priority in life, they neglect their healthy habits, resulting in the need for rebuilding healthy minds and bodies. Life skills can teach addicts how to take proper care of their bodies, practice good hygiene, and becoming healthier people physically and mentally.
Developing Routines — Coming up with a daily routine for morning, afternoon, evening, and bedtime can help the recovering addict fall into a cycle of healthy living. Support groups, counseling, exercise classes, and other parts of their comprehensive treatment program should be scheduled into their daily routines as well. Routines help recovering addicts maintain their healthy habits and get back to a better lifestyle.
Social Skills — Since addicts usually begin to have relationship problems with their families and friends because of their addiction, life skills training can teach them many social skills that they’ll need to mend their broken relationships. Learning how to control emotions, practice effective communication, and understand others can help addicts enhance their social skills.
Becoming Financially Stable — Being responsible with finances, budgeting, and learning how to live within your means are usually not thought of when going through an addiction. It is important for people in the addiction recovery process to learn how to become financially stable and responsible with their money.
Organized Living Space — The spaces that we surround ourselves with can have a significant effect on how productive we are, how clear our minds are, and how responsible we are for our items. Learning how to clean, organize, and declutter our living spaces can significantly reduce stress.
Managing Medications — Learning how to manage one’s medications is a highly important life skill to learn while in the addiction treatment process. Becoming educated on how to appropriately manage medications can be beneficial for the person’s mental and physical health and can reduce their chances of forming other addictions.
How Can Learning Life Skills Help an Addict?
Life skills training can be an effective supplement to a comprehensive, holistic treatment program. Holistic treatment programs believe that instead of just detoxing the body from the addictive substances, individuals must learn new ways of healthy living to achieve long-term sobriety. Life skills encompass the concept of emotional healing that can be used to help a person in the recovery process.
These skills aren’t just an important component of the addiction treatment process; they also contribute to decreasing the addict’s chances for relapsing in the future. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that about 40% to 60% of previous drug users will relapse in the future. By learning life skills while in the addiction treatment process, individuals will be better equipped to manage their addiction throughout their life. Triggers, distractions, and cravings will arise in the addict’s future, so it is important for them to learn how to fight off temptations before they start.
If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, call A Forever Recovery at our toll-free number as soon as possible. We will get you started on your journey to long-term sobriety by working with various members of the center to find the best treatment options suited to your individual needs.