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How to Integrate Recovery Strategies into Life Outside of Rehab

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A successful recovery treatment program is the first step to breaking free from addiction. Once a loved one or you leaves inpatient rehab in Los Angeles or elsewhere, you should have the life-skills and tools you need to take on the challenges of transitioning to an independent, sober lifestyle.

Perhaps for the first time in a long time, you can see the issues you have faced and understand what triggers your substance abuse. This is a rare opportunity to apply what you have learned to your life as a whole.

Let’s examine the strategies that are most successful after leaving drug treatment, why they work, and how they open up paths of opportunity to those committed to recovery.

 

Recovery in Every Aspect of Life

There are several “dimensions” that are considered critical to long-term substance abuse recovery after formal treatment.1 Each of these requires focused attention and the application of the skills learned in rehab treatment to empower your successful transition.

Health and Wellness

In treatment, your health and mental wellness were high priorities, allowing your body time to heal from the damage done by drugs or alcohol. Strategies used in treatment extend into your life after rehab, and these factors are very important to feeling healthy and happy in a sober lifestyle. Some of the skills that apply here include:

  • Managing any existing diseases or symptoms with ongoing medical or mental health supports
  • Establishing good self-care habits for eating, sleeping, personal hygiene, and exercising
  • Practicing alternative ways to relax, escape, and reward yourself that are not centered on substance use

Safe And Stable Home Life

Transitioning from an inpatient treatment facility directly back to the environment where your addiction developed can be particularly challenging because all of the reminders, relationships, and triggers still exist there. Many individuals choose a halfway house or sober living home to protect their progress and have support services readily available to them.

Others choose to continue with an outpatient program with regular check-ins and counseling sessions. Choosing the right living place for yourself is a decision that can leverage these recovery strategies:

  • When you do return home, establish open communication with your family members or house-mates about your need for a home free of drugs and alcohol, and keep those lines of feedback open.
  • Use what you have learned in behavioral therapy to feel confident in your decision to end toxic or co-dependent relationships that have contributed to your addiction.
  • Hold yourself accountable for your living decisions, including returning to a sober living facility if you determine that your home situation cannot support your recovery goals.

Find Purpose in Your Life

When addiction develops, it replaces other feelings of purpose, driving individuals to focus on where their next drink or dose is coming from rather than what is truly important to them. We forget the positive and life-affirming feeling of having a meaningful purpose, independence, and participation in society. By learning life skills and striving to become a positive force in your family, community, and relationships, you can redirect your energy toward purposeful actions.

The lessons of addiction recovery in finding purpose include:

  • Help others, in support group meetings, as a sponsor or mentor, or as a volunteer in your community. These activities are shown to increase the success of your recovery.
  • Apply skills learned to interview for jobs, write resumes, and meet employer expectations for performance and dedication.
  • Pursue access to higher education or tech school programs that will improve your income and better your living conditions.

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Maintain Contact with Your Sober Community

We are social creatures, and fighting against the isolating effects of addiction and illegal drug use is hard. Keeping a strong community around you provides the hope, understanding, and encouragement we all need to succeed in reaching our goals. Applying your skills and habits in this dimension will mean:

  • During treatment, you will learn to identify your supporters and your enablers. Surrounding yourself with those who understand your addiction and recovery journey will keep you on track.
  • Through family and relationship counseling, you can apply your skills to coping with, managing, and resolving the feelings of stress, guilt, shame, and grief that everyone faces.
  • Continuing your established habit of attending regular support meetings and finding a meeting whenever you feel in danger of relapse will keep you in touch with the people who can best support you in times of crisis.
  • Maintain a recovery circle, surrounding yourself with supportive family, friends, health professionals, and therapists.

Change Negative Thinking Patterns

Your loved one or you are at a high risk of relapse, as with any chronic recurring disease. Feeling hope and confidence that these challenges can be overcome is an essential part of recovery. Inpatient drug or outpatient alcohol rehab centers in Los Angeles and beyond provide behavioral therapy that teaches individuals how to change their negative or self-destructive thought patterns.

Some of these skills learned in therapy include:

  • Directly addressing the fear that you are incapable of remaining sober
  • Using cognitive behavioral therapy to change learned thought patterns of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness
  • Practicing spirituality, meditation, and relaxation techniques to stay connected to your higher power or source of spiritual healing

Keeping Plans Resilient and Flexible

Each of us has unique needs and challenges in early recovery. We may have different cultural backgrounds, spiritual beliefs, and healthcare practices. All of these factors will determine the right combination of services, resources, and supports that are needed to stay sober and avoid relapse. Your ongoing treatment plan after rehab should be one that supports your sobriety with the greatest level of flexibility and self-sufficiency.

Make all of these recovery strategies part of your relapse prevention plan:

  • Have a concrete, written plan of how you will avoid triggers, address cravings, and seek treatment in the event of a relapse.
  • Choose support groups, activities, and sober events that relax, motivate, excite, or inspire you, from the endless possibilities available.
  • Explore new hobbies, classes, groups, sports, or spiritual gatherings that open new opportunities for socializing and building friendships.

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Addiction Recovery Is the Journey of a Lifetime

People do recover from addiction and other mental health disorders, with the right set of treatment tools and learned skills they take with them as they step back into the world. Teaching superior coping mechanisms and greater self-awareness, drug rehab centers in Los Angeles and nationwide offer a path that transcends substance abuse and opens a world of meaningful opportunities for each recovering individual.

There is no better place to learn these skills than in the company of compassionate people who specialize in helping thousands of others overcome personal obstacles and achieve a satisfying and fulfilling lifestyle that releases their potential. Recognizing the complex contributing factors and making meaningful change requires courage not just at the first step but all along the way.

When it is time for you or a loved one to take the next step toward healing, contact the Dedicato Treatment Center in Sierra Madre, CA. Our team is fully accredited and Joint-Commission-certified to provide the full suite of services, skills, and resources that will transform lives and support long-term recovery.

Source:

  1. https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/recovery