There are few things that are more amazing than successfully completing a drug rehabilitation program. Addiction is one of the most devastating conditions that a human being can go through; it destroys the very fabric of people’s live. Those with addictions can destroy their careers, their families, their friendships, and everything else that connects them to society.
In order to heal from an addiction, many are encouraged to enter a rehabilitation program that will not only detox the substances from their systems, but will also help them adjust to living in society in a new way. Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.
Many people believe that once you complete a drug rehab program, that’s it; you’re sent off into the world, and you’re magically cured. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, many say that’s when the “work” truly begins.
The recovery process doesn’t stop with the completion of their program, though it serves as a great first step. As they continue onward, successfully living a drug-free or an addiction-free life is a process they will have to keep up with. If detox and residential treatment are the first steps in your recovery, the rest of your recovery begins once you leave the facility or complete the outpatient program. For many people, this can be the most challenging time of all. This is also the time when many people need the most help.
Why Can Life Be Challenging After Leaving Rehab?
Addiction is a chronic disease, but it is treatable. It will require ongoing medical intervention and rehabilitative processes in order for the individual to be able to live as a functioning, healthy contributor to society. Many people with chronic diseases end up getting very sick or even dying from their diseases.
Chronic disease is often hereditary, which is thought to be the case by many scientific and medical communities. In order for people to live comfortably with chronic disease, they often have to learn to live with lifestyle modifications that last years if not forever. These lifestyle modifications will help keep their bodies in the condition that they need to be in order for them to live as healthfully as possible.
When many people think of chronic diseases, they often think of concerns like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. Substance use disorder is a condition that affects a person’s physical and mental health, which is why they must make medical, psychological, and lifestyle modifications to remain healthy going forward.
If someone leaves a rehabilitation and treatment program without a plan for what happens next, he or she is literally giving the chronic disease an opportunity to flourish and to possibly return. In this case, the addict is more likely to relapse. In order to prevent such a setback, individuals leaving treatment programs are encouraged to have a plan for what comes next. An aftercare plan will allow them the biggest chance for success.
What Could Happen Without a Plan?
Without a plan in place, it can be difficult for people to reintegrate into the ‘real world’. This individual will have been able to succeed in treatment because he or she has been closed off from a lot of the temptations and situations that may have triggered their addiction in the first place.
If this person is thrust back into those environments without the tools that he or she needs, it can be easy to succumb to those temptations once again. You might be tempted to go back to the same neighborhoods that you used to go to in order to get your drugs. You might associate with the same people that you used to associate with when you were in the throes of your addiction. You might not know how to react when placed in a position of temptation. This is why so many people who leave drug treatment centers end up relapsing.
The reason that most groups push abstinence from drugs after going through a rehab program is that they’ve learned that in many cases, a simple taste or hit from the drug can cause you to slip right back into addictive mode. Once you have taken that first stumble, it is incredibly difficult for to stop. Your body remembers the drug in your system, and before long, you’re addicted once again.
Shame and embarrassment often cause many people who are dealing with this issue to not seek help for a second time. They fear that they’ve let other people down, their recovery community, and themselves down. This mental mindset can be extremely difficult to break free from, so the best thing to do is not be in a position where this can happen.
Outsiders may think that this is only a danger for people who are not truly on board with recovery. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The most well-intentioned people have gone through drug treatment programs, and they often succumb to temptation once they return to their everyday lives. Relapse is often a part of the recovery process, but it’s important it does not become repeated behavior, known as ‘chronic’ relapsing.
This underscores the reality that addiction is extremely powerful. It will take more than a stay in a rehabilitation center for someone to really be out of danger. For some people, freedom could take months. For others, the process could take years, and some people may always be in resistance mode.
Addiction Is a Disease
Some people may look at addicts who have relapsed and simply assume that they weren’t strong. This isn’t true at all. Addiction is literally a disease. The American Society of Addiction Medicine notes that addiction is classified as a disease because if the body is going through it, it’s not able to function the way that it should. In this way, addiction is similar to heart disease or any other type of disease that afflicts the body.
Because addiction is a chronic disease, successfully completing a drug rehabilitation center stay is only the first step toward treating it. The next step is taking what you’ve learned in the center and translating that into the real world.
At Granite Recovery Centers, we focus on more than just what our clients do while they’re going through the detox and rehabilitation processes; we are also heavily invested in what they do afterward. We provide people with the tools, coping skills, and everything else that they will need to be able to make it outside the confines of our walls.
What Can a Recovering Addict Do to Successfully Re-Enter Society?
There are several things that a recovering addict can do after leaving rehab to help him or her acclimate back into society. Taking these steps helps give you a better chance of seeking out positive behaviors and of eliminating and rejecting negative ones.
Have a positive mindset.
One of the most important things that recovering addicts can do is to feel positive about the space that they are in now. They shouldn’t focus on where they were, and they shouldn’t worry about what’s going to come tomorrow. They should simply focus on all the steps that they’ve made to get to the present time. They should be proud of their accomplishments, and they should take every day to celebrate the small victories.
This focus on staying in the present is called mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness will help them focus on what needs to be taken care of in the moment. This can include meditation, yoga, or simple breathing exercises. Ultimately, they learn that when you take care of the things that you need to take care of today, the things tomorrow are so much easier to deal with.
It’s also important to remain honest, accountable, and teachable. Being straightforward and transparent with yourself and your loved ones will go a long way.
Join therapy programs.
Another amazing way for someone to continue to heal after rehab is to join programs or groups that will help them to continue to improve their mental health, and will build up their support network. Many users became addicted because of personal or mental issues that they had never dealt with before. One of the things that they’ll learn through rehab is that in order for them to succeed, they’ll have to deal with those issues. After they leave rehab, they’re still going to need to deal with those issues, so continued therapy is key.
At Granite Recovery Centers, we make sure that our clients have access to the types of therapies that they need to help prevent them from falling back into their old ways. Continuing to deal with their emotional issues in a healthy way increases their chances of success exponentially.
It may also be helpful for them to work with people who have gone through the same struggles that they have. We can direct them to community organizations filled with people like them who are looking for the same thing that they are: recovery and restoration of good mental and physical health. Finding this sense of community may also help them feel less alone. Volunteering is also great to help others and give back.
Continuing therapy may also help them repair relationships that they may have broken while they were in the throes of addiction. Addiction destroys every type of relationship that an individual has, and repairing those bonds will take time and effort. However, you can work toward restoring those relationships.
Some people invite their former loved ones or friends into the therapeutic process with them. It is completely up to them whether they join you or not, so don’t feel bad if they refuse. Remember that they were going through your addiction with you, but in a different way. You need to give them time to find their peace as well. You can only control what you do. They may want to put boundaries in place, or maintain a certain distance until you have some sobriety under your belt. What you do and the choices you make don’t have to be dependent on how other people feel or don’t feel about you. This is a journey of self-restoration.
Get new hobbies.
The great thing about hobbies is that they’re a form of self-discovery. Some people may think that they don’t have any hobbies, or that they don’t know what they are interested in. The good news is that there are many activities that people can get involved with. Some of those involve crafts like painting or pottery whereas others are more internal, like reading.
What many former addicts come to realize is that their addictions took up so much space in their minds—it was the only thing they cared about for a long time. They weren’t even aware of the world that was available to them. Giving themselves a chance to fill that space with something positive and fulfilling not only helps them stay away from addictive substances or behaviors, but it can also stimulate the mind with new ways of finding pleasure. If they’re not sure what to do, individuals in recovery can try a wide range of things until they find something that’s enjoyable.
Exercise and eat healthily.
Exercise is one of the most amazing ways to reform and reshape your body and mind. Exercise releases endorphins that lift your mood and that make you feel good. You may even become excited about working out and going to the gym. It doesn’t mean that you need to join a weightlifting gym or a kickboxing class. Exercise can be as simple as taking a walk or riding a bike.
If you don’t like to work out alone, get a workout buddy. Again, your workout buddy could be the person that you walk to the grocery store with. It doesn’t have to be anything formal. It can be as simple as you need it to be in the beginning. The goal here is to improve mental and physical health.
Food is also an important part of the restoration of health. Eating healthy whole foods can make all the difference in how your body responds as you go through your healing process. Choosing whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and proteins that nourish your body will help nourish your mind and soul as well.
This focus on body health naturally extends to mental health. As your mental health starts to improve, you’re less likely to have to turn to other more destructive methods to obtain joy.
At Granite Recovery Centers, our goal is to make sure that you have the best chance for success once you leave the program. We are happy to offer aftercare options, such as an outpatient treatment program, as well as sober living facilities. By working with us in tandem with the tips above, we know that it can happen. Please give us a call today to learn more.