Congratulations on completing drug rehab! While this is a cause for a celebration, it’s only the first step towards recovery. Being sober is a lifelong process, so there are a lot of things you need to avoid straying from the path to recovery.
Here’s what to expect after drug rehab – as well as the 5 things you need to do:
Table of Contents
- 1. Relapse is Likely, But You Can Fight Your Way Through it.
- 2. Need to Transfer to a New Place
- 3. Need to Undergo Treatments
- 4. Individual Therapy
- 5. Check-ups
- 12-Step Programs
1. Relapse is Likely, But You Can Fight Your Way Through it.
That being said, it’s essential to foster healthy relationships after rehab. These ‘positive’ people can provide support and help you achieve a healthier lifestyle along the way.
2. Need to Transfer to a New Place
Your old home or neighborhood may be a reminder of your old ways. There are the nook and crannies where you once hid your stash. With dealers at lurking around and bars that remind you of your old ways, these factors can push you to use again.
As fighting such triggers can be hard, returning to your old home may be bad for your recovery. As such, it’s best if you try to move into a new house or neighborhood. For one, it might be safer and dealer-free compared to your old block. More importantly, a new home may help you fight the constant triggers that make you want to use.
3. Need to Undergo Treatments
Unlike other diseases, addiction needs lifelong treatment. You will need to undergo rehab-similar treatments to main your sobriety:
4. Individual Therapy
Addiction is more than just a problem of chemical dependence. It can happen repeatedly due to the presence of triggers. As such, individual cognitive behavioral therapy is important as this will help you understand the issues behind your addiction. It can also help you recognize withdrawal symptoms, among many other things.
Individual therapy also focuses on certain emotions – and why it necessitates drug abuse as a means of coping. In turn, it can help you identify the various treatments available. For example, if you want to relax, feedback and meditation are good exercises to try out.
You will need to check in with a mental health professional every so often – at least four times a year. This usually includes the checking of vital signs, as well as other symptoms that point to possible use. The physician or practitioner will also check for breathing or heart problems, muscle twitching, sleeping problems, weight changes, and the presence of wounds. Not only will this help assure your physical health, but this can also help determine your progress towards recovery.
12-step programs have long been the cornerstone of addiction treatment. While it is originally for alcoholics, it has branched out into many support groups for substances such as nicotine or cocaine.
The 12-step program is all about admitting powerlessness. It’s all about being responsible for all your wrongdoings against others.
A great thing about this support group is that it can work for any type of person. After all, these clusters can be tailored according to the individual’s cultural values or religion.
1. Alternative Support Groups
Apart from 12-step programs, other support groups can help you trudge the path to sobriety. A good example is Self-Management and Recovery Training or SMART, a science-backed method that helps individuals take control of their addictions.
Support groups are also available for special populations, i.e. teens, ethnic groups, or LGBTQIA.
2. May Need to Take Medications
Medications are important for people who are addicted to opiates and other substances. Because of this, you may still have to take some drugs after you exit rehab. It may only be for a short duration, but in some cases, the treatment plan can take several weeks or months.
Medications can help you maintain your sobriety by:
- Preventing the effects of the abused substance.
- Treating symptoms that may develop after drug use (i.e. depression or anxiety).
- Maintaining abstinence by improving your physical and mental health.
- Mimicking the drug’s effects so that you won’t have cravings.
- Removing the temptations of using drugs.
3. Build a New Life
A great thing about drug rehab is that it can help you live the normal life that you once did. However, you need to be prepared for some lifestyle changes that may affect your social life.
Being sober may mean boredom, helplessness, or loneliness for some. That’s because your previous activities once centered on getting high. Although you might find your post-rehab life drab, there are many activities that you could enjoy healthily. They include:
- Playing sports
- Doing volunteer work
- Watching movies
- Taking classes, i.e. dance lessons
- Going to conferences or conventions
- Playing video games
- Learning a musical instrument
A good thing about doing these activities instead is that they can help you be happy without being high. Doing any of these will also help you fight any triggers that might come your way.
4. It’s Good to Help Other People as other People have Helped You.
Now wouldn’t it be nice to pay it forward? At the same time, it could help with your recovery as well.
When you help other people, you can share your experience and provide some encouragement. By doing so, you can reflect on your struggles towards recovery. This can help you get over your petty problems as well since you get to enjoy the euphoria of helping others.
What’s great about this activity is that it is often included in support groups. At Narcotics Anonymous, for example, you can help coach newer entrants as a senior member.
Life after drug rehab is ripe with cravings and temptations, but you can fight your way through them. By moving out of your place, taking medications, and continuing treatments, you can maintain your sobriety for a long time.