A drug or alcohol rehabilitation program can be a positive and life changing experience. However, simply attending treatment doesn’t guarantee you a drug free life. There are many people who relapse after leaving treatment. Why? Because the rehabilitation program can’t do the work for you.
It’s important for you to make the most of your experience during treatment. While you might be excited to leave and embark on life with a fresh start, you must also be prepared to face the challenges of life after rehab.
In a way, your last day in rehab might feel similar to graduation day. This doesn’t mean that your journey is over; in fact, some of the toughest challenges lie ahead. Rather, your stay in an addiction treatment program is all about preparing you and equipping you for life back at home.
6 Keys to Long-Term Rehab Success
Though leaving drug addiction treatment might feel intimidating, this is truly an exciting time. You have the opportunity for a fresh start. You are empowered with new skills and coping mechanisms to create a healthy and meaningful life.
The risk of relapse never goes away. Fortunately, the longer you remain sober, the lower the risk becomes. Completing addiction treatment is an achievement that requires a lot of effort. It would be a shame not to make the most out of this opportunity. It’s important that you do everything possible to make the most out of your treatment to make sure you live a drug-free life and avoid relapse.
Here are some practical steps you can take to make the most out of addiction treatment:
Don’t Take Any Shortcuts
Committing to sobriety is tough work. If you expect drug rehab to be easy or think that you can breeze through treatment without any type of discomfort, you need to embrace the tough work that needs to be done. You may feel discomfort; some of these experiences may even be difficult for you, but it’s important to remember that it will get easier.
Many addicts in recovery try to take short cuts by telling counselors and therapists what they think they want to hear. The reality is that addiction treatment professionals have heard it all before and are familiar with the shortcuts people try to take. While it’s normal to want to avoid the responsibilities and internal reflection that addiction treatment requires, it’s important to know that there are no shortcuts that work.
Use The New Skills and Coping Techniques You’ve Learned
There’s a reason you went to group therapy, individual counseling, and experiential therapy. During these sessions and activities, you not only learned more about yourself – you learned meaningful new skills and coping strategies. After drug rehab, it’s important that you use these newfound skills.
Some skills you can use on a daily basis. For example, meditation, healthy eating, exercise, attending 12-step meeting, etc. are some of the things you can to remain sober and get the most out of treatment. There are other skills that you will use when the need arises, such as knowing how to react if you’re offered drugs or alcohol at a party.
One of the biggest ways to get the full benefits of treatment is to actually use the skills and lessons that you learned during rehab.
Go to Rehab When You’re Ready
In order to make the most of rehab after treatment, you have to make the most of it during treatment. This means that you should go to treatment when you’re ready. In some cases, professional intervention is necessary to get someone the help they deserve.
However, someone who realizes they need to change and is personally ready for rehab will get more out of treatment than someone who enters a facility kicking and screaming.
It’s normal to be in denial about drug and substance abuse. Many people don’t want to go to rehab because they’re in denial about their addiction. When you acknowledge the problem and are ready to change, that’s when you know you’re ready for rehab. You’ll get the most out
Stay Connected to a Recovery Network
Turning away from addiction means you have to turn away from your old way of living. Addiction is a chronic disease with potential co-occurring mental health issues. This means that even after formal treatment, you will still face some of the same challenges you faced before.
Aftercare programs, recovery coaching and 12-step meetings are just some of the ways that you can stay connected in recovery. Participating in these things will help you find accountability, encouragement and strength. These people understand where you have been, because many of them have been there themselves. You’ll feel understood and supported, and this is critical to making the most out of rehab.
Avoid Old Patterns of Negative Thinking
Don’t fall into the temptation of complacency. Some people think that after drug rehab all the work is done. They’ve completed the program and now the rest is a piece of cake, right? Not quite. This type of complacency is dangerous because it distracts from the hard-work and lifelong commitment you have to make to sobriety.
It can be easy to revert back to negative thought patterns and old ways of thinking. This is what we call a “dry drunk.” You might not be drinking alcohol or using substances, but your attitude and behavior is the same as when you were using. This increases the chance of relapse. Even if you don’t relapse, it will be difficult to find happiness in recovery.
Instead, it’s important to consistently engage in healthier activities and thinking. This is yet another reason it’s important to stay connected in recovery.
Stay in Touch and Stay Sober After Rehab
After drug rehab, you might not know what to expect. You’re leaving a place of structure and routine, returning to a world where you face unexpected challenges and situations every day.
Avoid making up your own recovery plan and avoid bringing up the past. Instead, live in the present. Focus on the future and promises that are ahead.
Most importantly, stay in touch with your recovery network. Your family, friends, recovery coaches, and sponsor are all cheering you on. We want you to succeed.
For more information on what to expect after drug rehab, contact JourneyPure Alumni today!