Last updated on February 3rd, 2022
The recovery process involved when you go to rehab for addiction doesn’t end when you complete the program and leave the facility. You may feel like you’ve overcome your problem and regained full control of your life, however, there are more challenges to come post-rehab. Which is why it is important to make sure that you have a good support system with you. You will constantly be fighting your addiction for the rest of your life, there is currently no cure. However, it’s not impossible to survive life after rehab, in fact, it is doable. Keep on reading to find out how.
It’s important to understand that just because you are sober, it doesn’t mean your recovery has ended. Addiction is a chronic disease and you will be capable of falling back into it for the rest of your life. Addicts are always addicts even while sober, meaning they must always be actively avoiding addictive substances and triggers.
Relapse is even known to be a normal part of the recovery process, so don’t lose motivation if you do have a momentary failure. Remind yourself about everything you learned in rehab, what being an addict was like, and what detoxing was like, in order to regain control. With time, you will grow stronger and will eventually be able to overcome temptation altogether.
In order to avoid relapsing, you need to make significant lifestyle changes based on what you have learned during your time in rehab. You are likely to be taught how to live a healthy lifestyle in order to maintain your mental health, so you need to integrate this into your home routine. One of the most important things you will need to do post-rehabilitation is to remove triggers from your lifestyle, for example, if your job was causing you to feel significant stress which in turn led you to seek relief from drugs or alcohol, you need to look for alternative work to better suit your personality.
If there were certain people who always encouraged you to abuse substances, explain to them that you need them to behave differently around you, and if they do not you will need to avoid spending time with them. Similarly, if your friends always socialize in environments you no longer feel comfortable in, ask them if they will meet with you in new places or alternatively try to find new friends with similar interests.
You will need continued support from others on your long journey to full recovery, so it is important not to isolate yourself. Many of those who have successfully managed to avoid relapse have credited communities like AA. Alcoholics Anonymous and similar programs provide an opportunity to meet with others in your situation to discuss the challenges you’re facing and to offer each other support. Alternatively, you can regularly visit somewhere like this Arista Recovery for further professional support. It’s important to meet with others regularly to reinforce your motivation, as well as have regular check-ups at the doctor to make sure that your physical and mental health is on track.
The key to continued recovery after rehab is to understand that it is an ongoing process that requires a significant lifestyle change and regular support from others. As well as regular check-ups with a doctor and attending group sessions with other addicts, you may need to make changes to your social circle in order to avoid people who would encourage you to relapse or visit places that act as triggers for you. For further advice and to find local meetings in your area visit Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or SAMHSA’s National Helpline.