5 Tips for Protecting Your Sobriety After Addiction Treatment

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5 Tips for Protecting Your Sobriety After Addiction Treatment

Congratulations!  You’ve completed rehab and are ready to begin rebuilding your life.  But, you’re unsure about what happens next.  For a while, you’ve been focused entirely on getting through detox and rehab.  However, those 30, 60, or 90 days spent in rehab were only the beginning of your journey.  Now, it’s up to you to stay on the right track after addiction treatment.

What are some things you can do to protect your sobriety and enjoy a healthy, fulfilling, and sober lifestyle?

Staying on Track After Addiction Treatment

Leaving the safe, structured environment of rehab causes stress for many recovering people.  They fear the responsibility and doubt their ability to cope.  But, with a realistic plan and a little support and guidance, they can succeed in building a healthy, sober life.

According to treatment providers and other addiction treatment experts, the following tips are proven to help people stay on track in recovery.

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Tip #1: Have realistic expectations

Many people mistakenly believe that getting through detox and rehab means they are “cured” from addiction.  With this unrealistic mindset, they fail to take an active role in planning their daily routine.  Therefore, when challenges appear, they feel overwhelmed and may relapse as a result.

Life will always present challenges, but how you react to those issues is crucial to your successful sobriety.  In rehab, you learned skills for coping with triggers.  Put those skills to use.  You can also reach out to a counselor or go to support group meetings.  Exercise and meditation are also recommended for stress relief.  Many people find solace in music, art, or reading.

It’s important to remember that recovery is an ongoing process.  You don’t have to do everything all at once.

Tip #2:  Utilize transitional housing or step-down programs

Addiction wreaks havoc on some people’s lives. They suffer the challenges presented by job loss, homelessness, or financial problems.  Furthermore, many people have never learned to cope with adult life without turning to drugs or alcohol.  For these reasons, they won’t have the benefit of a supportive, structured environment to return to after rehab.  These individuals often relapse within a few weeks or months.

Fortunately, programs are available that can help a person establish their place in the community.  Sober living homes offer a structured environment for recovering addicts while they pursue a job or education.  Also, step-down programs offer evening meetings or outpatient care.  Both options are temporary but can be essential to a person who is transitioning from rehab to the real world.

Tip #3:  Expand your sober community

During your time in rehab, you interacted with many people who were struggling with issues similar to yours.  You may have developed friendships and will miss them when you return home.  Plus, you won’t be safe hanging out with your old friends who are still using.  So, loneliness could become a problem.  But, if you make new, sober friends you’ll find better ways of being entertained without involving drugs or alcohol.

You can expand your sober community in a variety of ways.  Volunteer at community events, go to self-help meetings, go to the gym, try a new hobby, learn a sport, or any other activity that allows you to meet sober people.  Break out of your old routine.  You are building a new life.  Start fresh with like-minded friends.

Tip #4:  Focus on the big picture

It’s hard to imagine two weeks from now or two years from now while you’re struggling with today’s issues. Sometimes you feel that you aren’t getting your life back together as quickly as you should.  But, if you stay focused on your recovery goals, the daily frustrations will be easier to manage.  Each day you reach a new milestone when you build your sober community, establish healthy habits, and resist temptation.  Over time, you become stronger and remaining sober after addiction treatment becomes easier.

Tip #5:  Create a schedule and stick to it

During your time in rehab, you had to stick to a schedule.  Your days were structured, and you always knew what to expect.  If you’re having trouble accomplishing your daily goals outside of rehab, maybe it would help to get on a schedule.  With a plan for the day, you’ll feel more in control of your life and that sense of accomplishment is invaluable at this sensitive time.  The schedule doesn’t have to be extensive but is merely a guide to help you stay on track.  Don’t forget to include time for some of the things you enjoy.

The days after addiction treatment can be challenging in many ways.  But, if you utilize the five tips above, you’ll be proud of what you can accomplish.

At A Forever Recovery, our patients leave the program with the tools and confidence to succeed in building a sober life.  If you know someone who needs help with addiction, please contact us today.

Resources:

  • ncbi.nlm.nih.govWhat Did We Learn From Our Study on Sober Living Houses
  • ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Benefits of Peer Support Groups in the Treatment of Addiction

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