Life after addiction treatment is a scary abyss of unknown territory. Coming from a structured treatment schedule and jumping into a less controlled environment can be a big struggle to remain sober. However, many treatment centers, like the Harm Reduction Center, offer aftercare programs and tools to keep you on track and help set you up for success.
Some of these aftercare programs include:
- Ongoing outpatient counseling
- 12 Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
- Sober living homes
- Rehab alumni programs and events
Unfortunately, with all the tools available at your disposal, it takes hard work and dedication every day to stay on the road to recovery. Studies show that more than 75% of people relapse within the first year after treatment. Although these statistics are high, there is hope. Below are 8 tips to help you rebuild your life after addiction treatment.
Tip 1: Don’t Rush Back in
The first tip following addiction treatment is to take things slow. There is no rush to jump right back into your old life prior to treatment. In fact, overconfidence and not allowing yourself the right amount of time to adjust can set anyone up for failure. Slowly learn what your triggers are and try to avoid anything that may threaten your sobriety. Reacclimating back into the swing of things can take time, so give yourself time.
Tip 2: Making Amends/ Forgiveness
The second tip and important step in the recovery process is to make things right and work on forgiveness. Forgiveness is a huge part of recovery, whether that be forgiving yourself, people you hurt, or learning how to forgive people who hurt you. Many people who struggle with addiction end up hurting the ones they love because they are trying to avoid hurting them in the long run. Pushing family and friends away is almost a way to avoid hurting them.
However, the people who love and care about you want to support you through the good and the bad. When you leave treatment, understanding that you are a new person who deserves forgiveness is an opportunity to grow and rebuild meaningful relationships.
Tip 3: Expectations and Boundaries
Learning the new roles and expectations after treatment is something that needs to be discussed. This may be a discussion between you and family members, you and a spouse, or friends. Setting boundaries is important for not only your success but your loved ones as well. Many people tend to tiptoe around subjects or can make situations that involve triggers more awkward than they need to be.
Discussing what you are comfortable with, as well as asking people for help is all a part of the new life you are rebuilding. People who have never experienced addiction or treatment may not be aware of the difficulty when leaving treatment. Oftentimes, your loved ones can expect too much which is why discussing expectations and making boundaries is important.
Tip 4: Making New Friends
Recognizing your triggers and avoiding them is crucial for success after leaving treatment, however, these triggers can also be people. It is an important step to cut ties with the individuals you used with before treatment. Regardless of the support they offer, their mere presence can be a trigger and lead to relapse.
On the other hand, you may be the one wanting to keep the friendship going because you think you can save them. Sadly, right now is a time for your healing and extreme focus to create a healthy life that supports your sobriety.
Tip 5: Create Healthy Habits
The next tip for life after addiction treatment is to create healthier habits. This includes exercising and eating a healthy well-balanced diet. Exercising and finding ways to stay active help improve brain health, boosts your energy, puts your focus into something positive, and improves your self-confidence. Choosing a better and healthier diet not only nourishes the bottom but continues to help restructure and boost your immunity, energy, appearance, and overall health.
When it comes to working out and staying active, it doesn’t have to involve going to the gym and lifting weights. Some activities you can try are:
- Joining a sports team
- Rock climbing
Tip 6: Find New Hobbies
Life before treatment focused completely on addiction and many things were pushed to the back burner. Life after treatment leaves you with a lot of time on your hands. Many sadly fill this time with activities that are not promoting their sober lifestyle. This can send many people back down a spiral and cause relapse.
However, time is not always against you. This is the perfect opportunity to try new interests and find new hobbies. The world is your oyster and there are endless possibilities. Take an art class or pursue further education. Take horseback riding lessons or volunteer at a shelter or soup kitchen. Finding new hobbies not only fills your time with positive activities but will give you a sense of purpose.
Tip 7: Sleep is Important
This tip may seem irrelevant, however, creating a healthy sleep schedule is important. Oftentimes, people who abuse substances have a poor sleep schedule. Sleeping all day and staying up all night; these unhealthy sleep patterns take a toll on your mental and physical health. Although we all know how important sleep is, actually creating a healthy sleep schedule is important after treatment. Creating schedules, in general, helps keep you organized and focused on your goals.
Tip 8: Set Goals
Finally, our last tip for life after addiction treatment is to set yourself goals and work daily to accomplish these set goals. Now that you have finished treatment and are taking the steps to create a healthier and happier life you have so many opportunities for your future. You now have a blank slate to do with it as you wish. Maybe a goal is to finish school or learn a language. Whatever the case may be, creating meaningful goals for yourself keeps you focused and motivated to continue putting in the work and effort on a daily basis.
Get Help Today
If you are struggling with addiction and are ready to make the necessary changes contact the Harm Reduction Center in Boynton Beach, Florida. The Harm Reduction Center is a private healthcare facility that offers all steps and programs to recovery. You are not alone on this journey and HARC is here to help you every step of the way.