Life after addiction can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Getting out of a dual diagnosis rehab newly sober affords you a great deal of freedom and opportunities, but it can also bring temptation and self-doubt. Ultimately, putting the tools you learned in treatment to work can help you to enjoy and maintain your life in recovery.
Recovery Doesn’t Stop after Treatment
Unfortunately, there is still a lingering belief that drug and alcohol treatment centers offer a “quick-fix” for addiction. On the contrary, a 30, 60, or 90-day stay at a residential treatment facility isn’t always enough for long-term recovery after rehab. Rather, you must put the tools of your treatment program to use in the real world to achieve lasting abstinence.
At an accredited dual diagnosis treatment facility, this planning for life after addiction usually begins the day you begin treatment. In this way, your treatment team will work with you to ensure that you have a plan in place for when you ultimately leave care. Having this plan will help you to keep a sense of structure and accountability while venturing out on your own and allow you to continue practicing the healthy coping mechanisms you’ve learned in treatment.
How To Stay Sober After Getting Out of Rehab
So, what happens after rehab? Addiction treatment, by design, is highly structured and keeps idle hands busy. Transitioning to life back at home without this structure can be jarring, but a few helpful tips can help you to stay on the path to recovery.
Find A Sober Support Group
Social support has repeatedly been linked to lower relapse rates for people struggling with a substance use disorder. Your first aim for life after addiction is to find this support group, as it can dramatically affect your long-term sobriety and how much you enjoy life in recovery after rehab. Finding a support group can come from several places:
- Friends or family members who support your abstinence
- Self-help groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery
- Shared interests, such as competitive sports or exercise
- Alumni programs at your treatment center
- Work, school, or social events
Naturally, finding a support group in life after rehab can help you to feel like you belong, see that people appreciate your sobriety, and give you people to spend your time with that won’t make you feel pressured to engage in substance use. For instance, feeling like you belong in a self-help group is directly associated with several elements of emotional wellbeing.
Build Yourself Recovery Capital
Take your first step towards recovery.
The surest way to stay sober is to build yourself a life that directly opposes substance use and to make sure that life after addiction offers more than drugs or alcohol ever could. That could mean finding a job that you love, pouring your energy into passion projects, or building deep and meaningful relationships with friends and family. Collectively, these meaningful achievements are referred to as “recovery capital”.
When you build recovery capital into your life, you make the idea of returning to substance use less and less appealing. They essentially act as a barrier to relapse, because they are completely inconsistent with your old lifestyle.
Avoid High-Risk Situations
Sometimes, the best way to prevent relapse is to avoid situations where drugs and alcohol might be present. Put simply, it’s not worth the risk to start spending your time at bars and nightclubs – particularly not in early sobriety when the risk of relapse is highest. These environments can be highly triggering and may cause cravings and impulses that can lead to relapse.
Of course, sometimes these situations simply can’t be avoided. In those cases, make sure you are feeling confident in your sobriety beforehand, and if possible, bring a friend who is supportive of your recovery. Finding the strength to overcome these situations can build confidence in your sobriety and improve the likelihood that you will continue to overcome them in the future.
Make Time for Self-Care
Scheduling time for self-care is an important component of maintaining your physical and emotional health. These practices can prevent the buildup of harmful stress and anxiety by giving you a regular release and building your resiliency. Self-care looks different for everyone, but could include:
- A regular mindfulness practice
- Starting an exercise routine
- Talking to friends and family
- Treating yourself to a spa day
- Reading or journaling
Importantly, self-care practices not only feel good but are good for you. Building them into your regular routine is an excellent way of adjusting to life after rehab, and ensuring you keep up the work of self-improvement that you started in treatment.
Know When to Ask for Help
Life after addiction isn’t always easy. There can still be trying times and knowing when to reach out for help is a vital lesson for maintaining your recovery. Reaching out to your support network in these difficult times is sometimes enough to help you overcome life’s problems, but in some cases, you may need professional help.
If you feel like you’re on the brink of relapse, or if relapse has already happened, consider reaching back out to your treatment center for some continued support. Relapse is often a part of recovery – adjusting to life after rehab takes time, dedication, and effort, and it is not always an easy process. The professionals at an addiction treatment center have the tools and knowledge to help you overcome this challenge and would be happy to help.
Treatment at The Blackberry Center
The Blackberry Center in St. Cloud, Florida is a mental health and addiction treatment center just outside of Orlando that offers a safe and comfortable space for people to heal. Whether you’re seeking care for the first time, or need additional support after getting out of rehab, our expert treatment team is here to help. Contact our team by calling 888-512-9802 or filling out the confidential online form. You can achieve long-lasting recovery after rehab, and we can help to show you the way.