What Happens After Treatment?
When you are coming to terms with an addiction and acknowledging that you have lost control of your life, you realize that you need outside help to combat the problem. The best help you can receive is from a professional addiction treatment program. As yo prepare for that journey, you may find yourself thinking “OK, so I get through rehab and then what?”
Because addiction is a chronic disease, it is something that needs to be dealt with long-term. Rehab is a great start and a wonderful way to establish your recovery. But, it isn’t the end of the process. Patients have to transition into their lives and make an effort to continue to care for themselves and their addiction. When you re-enter your regular life without the supervision and support of an addiction treatment facility, you have to be the one to keep your recovery moving forward.
You can call 888-805-3559 to speak with someone about addiction treatment and the role it can play in your recovery. Someone is available 24 hours a day to take your call.
Follow Your Treatment Plan
Just as an addiction treatment facility prepare and individual treatment plan for you when you finish your intake, they should put together a discharge plan when you get ready to complete your rehab program. Often, these plans and other aftercare programs are conducted by a full-time discharge coordinator. Your plan will be unique to your needs, so you can’t truly anticipate what it will include beforehand. However, if you are vocal about creating a plan and your intention to stick to it, your treatment plan will likely be more detailed than it would be otherwise.
Treatment plans often include:
- Recovery literature
- Support group meeting schedules
- A list of community resources
- A calendar mapping out stages of recovery
- Referrals to local counseling and therapy programs
- Contact information for transitional housing
Whatever you establish with your rehab staff needs to be something you adhere to closely in order to give yourself the best chance at successful recovery.
Meet Some Sober People
Addicts tend to fluctuate between isolation and socializing with other people who share their addiction. Alcoholics hang out in bars. Gambling addicts can be found at the track and in casinos. When you complete your rehab period, you can’t fall back into either of these patterns and expect to maintain your sobriety. Therefore, you have to get out in the world and meet people who aren’t addicts.
It might seem weird to have to hunt down addicts, but there are a lot more of them than there are addicts. You should not have a hard time doing this. Once you know some sober people, you can develop friendships and learn from them. Watch the choices they make and the way they spend their time; this will help you to live a satisfying sober life because you have a model and a motivation.
Follow a Schedule
Rehab programs are all about schedules. Inpatient programs run on a strict daily schedule and outpatient rehabs are all about scheduled activities. That structure is critical to people establishing their recovery. When you are finished with formal rehab, it is very easy to revert to unhealthy, aimless patterns.
As part of your aftercare, create a schedule for yourself. Establish a set time to go to sleep and to wake up. Make a time for grooming and meals. The goal is to map out a time for every activity you intend to do in a day, even relaxing. By sticking to this schedule, you will limit your chances of falling into behaviors that lead to relapse, like fatigue and hunger. When you become undisciplined you stop taking care of yourself and that is not good.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Addiction rehab programs always include counseling and/or therapy because most experts agree that addictions all have a mental health issue behind them. In some cases, a person has a literal, diagnosed mental illness coupled with their addiction, but other people may have trauma, childhood experiences, or dysfunctional beliefs. In this light, addiction is one component of a much more complicated issue. By treating the complex issue, you treat the addiction, making it easier to manage.
Look for a therapist you can work one-on-one with, as well as a therapy group. Try multiple approaches and groups if you aren’t feeling comfortable. Because the work your will be doing is sensitive, it’s important you not feel overwhelmingly negative about the sessions. However, keep in mind that things will be difficult, and you will be confronted with things that make you uncomfortable. But, doing this work will benefit you.
Join a Support Group
Support group meetings are often a component of a rehab program, so you will experience them during your treatment. When that treatment ends, your need to be supported will remain. Some people get what they need from 12-step groups designed to address their specific addiction. But, other people form their own networks of support. People from church may be a great group or friends and family members. Some people even get what they need from co-workers.
You are looking for people who will be present when you feel yourself making mistakes. You need to be held accountable by the group and they need to assist you in being responsible for your own recovery. But, they also need to model positive behaviors and give your motivation to continue your recovery journey. When relapse is a possibility, you need people to rely on.
Relapse is always a possibility and the things you do after treatment are all efforts at preventing relapse and maintaining sobriety. You should have a plan in place to deal with an oncoming relapse and this is something you can develop with your therapist and discuss with your support group. Your schedule will help you spot changes that may signal and oncoming issue, and your sober friends will serve as a ruler to measure yourself against.
To learn more about life after rehab, call 888-805-3559, but remember your recovery starts with treatment.