Completing a residential rehabilitation program is an achievement worth celebrating. You decided to make a change within your life and are one step closer to lasting change. Taking a moment to recognize that following through is a great accomplishment.
Unfortunately, assuming that residential treatment fixed all your problems just doesn’t work. It is important to make choices that will uphold sobriety long-term after residential rehabilitation. Recovery is a life-long journey, so prepare to continue working at it after completing a treatment program.
Continuing Care After Residential Rehabilitation
There seem to be dozens of resources initially for treating substance use disorder (SUD). However, there are not as many for what happens after residential rehabilitation. Once you complete treatment, you start a new life built around your recovery.
You may expect your life to return to the way it was before addiction. However, it is essential to recognize that you are no longer that person. You have to continue making changes to support who you have become after the experience of addiction and treatment. That is why continuing care or aftercare is so important.
Continue Treatment After Rehabilitation
Treatment should be tailored to fit your needs. Most professionals recommend that individuals participate in one-on-one therapy at an outpatient facility. Addiction therapists recognize that addiction is often born out of undealt-with emotions or stressors.
Treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) help people recognize negative thought patterns and reframe their thinking to promote healthier behavioral patterns. Individuals work with therapists to address poor thought patterns, behaviors, or withdrawal symptoms.
Stack Up Your Sober Supports
Friends and family are often eager to help after rehabilitation. These people can be an important part of your sober support team. Focusing on relationships that build you up during recovery is key to stability. Finding your sober support systems can help you adjust to your new life of recovery.
At the same time, avoid people who remind you of substance use or make you want to go back to using. No matter how strong you imagine you are, being around them may trigger thoughts of your old life.
12-Step programs are powerful peer support programs that empower and guide you throughout recovery. They can help you maintain a drug-free lifestyle. There are many 12-Step programs available, so you can find one to match your preferences and needs.
Check In After Rehabilitation
To stay accountable, it is important to check in with a mental health professional periodically. Even if you think you are fine, it never hurts to utilize a check-up. This guarantees that you are staying steady in your recovery.
Within active addiction, most people are not concerned about their health. When in recovery, the brain is healing, and so is the body. Checking in with professionals can help you determine whether new challenges are normal and get help when they’re not.
Fill Your Schedule With Sober Activities
Creating a new routine after rehabilitation is essential to maintain sobriety. Many things you used to do before rehabilitation will not be a part of your new way of living. This is why it is essential to fill your schedule with sober activities.
Everyone has the same amount of time in a day. How you utilize yours will depend on your priorities. A healthy schedule should include the following:
- Getting enough sleep
- Engaging in your favorite hobbies
- Eating well-balanced meals
- Attending individual therapy and recovery groups
- Practicing stress management techniques
Consider Recovery Housing After Rehabilitation
Recovery housing offers a substance-free living arrangement. This is a good option for people who complete rehabilitation but need additional support before returning home. Recovery housing is a short-term program that provides supervision and peer support.
Acknowledge Your Triggers
It is important to recognize situations that may trigger thoughts of drugs or alcohol. Keep a list of potential triggers and healthy coping skills to get you through them. Always have a supportive loved one in mind to call when triggers get overwhelming.
Triggers can be anything that reminds you of the life that you used to live. When a trigger occurs, people often glamorize their previous use of substances, which can lead to relapse.
Some triggers that may occur are:
- Life changes and stressors
- People that used with you in the past or who are still using now
- Homes, workplaces, schools, bars, beer distributors, gas stations, or anywhere that you used
- Situations or feelings that were causes of previous substance use
Talk to a Treatment Provider
Recovering from SUD will be one of the hardest things you will ever do. Fortunately, you do not have to do this alone. Many people have come before you in this process, and many will come after. However, it is not a quick and easy journey, so you will need constant support and connection. If you’re struggling to maintain sobriety post-treatment, talk to a treatment provider as soon as possible.
Sobriety requires more than just eliminating the substance from your life. It is about being present in the moment and acknowledging your feelings. It is about engaging in uncomfortable things to guide you to a space of growth. Sometimes the journey is hard and tiring. Luckily, you can become your best self with sober support, therapy, and a willingness to learn. At Laguna Shores Recovery, we understand the vulnerability of reaching out and asking for help. We will meet you with unconditional positive regard and be with you every step of the way. Your recovery is our passion. Let us guide you to be your best self. Give us a call at (866) 229-9923 today.