Transitioning Back to Life After Treatment
Transitioning back into the real world after treatment can be daunting. After you complete an alcohol treatment or drug abuse program, you will be looking forward to starting over. Treatment sets the stage for a recovery period that can take months or years. As you begin this journey and reenter society, you must have a solid plan.
In the real world, there is no guarantee of safety or accountability. Also, you will be facing the risk of relapse. As you formulate your re-entry plan, focus on starting a healthy and successful recovery and give it your best.
Creating a Lifetime Recovery Plan After Treatment
Transitioning back to reality is difficult. When you’re in a treatment program, you’re usually encouraged to stay off your cell phone and may be unable to have uninhibited communication with others. Your time is usually organized into process groups, individual therapy, 12-Step meetings, mealtimes, recreational time, and more. Having an orderly, regimented schedule helps get you used to a daily schedule. Once you leave, you’ll no longer be required to follow such a schedule, and that can seem a bit frightening at first. Even if you choose to go on to a sober living environment, you will earn more freedoms back as you gain more time. The important thing is to remain accountable and try to take the tools you learned with you so you’re ready to resist any temptation to use or fall back into your old patterns.
So, what now? The next big step is starting alone as you’re finding your way—a new and sober way—back into the real world. There will be risks, but everything should fall in place once you’re serious about trying. Remember to stay positive even in the most challenging times. Explore coping strategies, and be prepared for potential cravings.
Return to Reality: Tips and Tools to Help Avoid Relapse
During treatment, you probably learned about potential triggers. Also, the recovery team must have helped you understand how to confront such challenges. You might have learned delaying methods or healthy distractions. Regardless, your mind and body will still recall how you felt before treatment.
Transitioning back into the real world will not be an easy process, but you can use the knowledge from treatment to guide you. You can use the following tips and tools to avoid relapsing:
- Create a Healthy Daily Routine: After you have completed treatment, it is essential to establish healthy habits. For the most part, focus on proper nutrition and physical activity. It will help you stay physically fit and mentally alert.
- Learn to Handle Social Situations: As you go back into the real world, you will be encountering numerous social situations where alcohol and drugs are present. It would help if you learned how to handle these situations without losing control.
- Avoid Parties and Bars: Avoid attending parties and bars where alcohol and drugs are present, as these may make it easy to fall back into the same old habits. Avoid people and places where alcohol is served. Once you have a healthy lifestyle, you can use it to solidify your recovery. It will be the best thing for your mental and physical well-being.
- Create an Accountability System: An accountability buddy or support system is crucial in the recovery process. This can help support your effort to control your drinking or drug usage.
- Communicate With People Who Care: There are people you can talk to about your addiction, such as a close relative or friend. Don’t be shy about expressing challenges or talking about achievements. People who care for you will help you find solutions to challenges and celebrate your achievements, and getting support will allow you to overcome the difficult moments. Try to stay away from those who might be toxic to your recovery.
- Give Yourself Time for Reflection and Processing: Reflect on what has happened in your life. Look at where it led you and how you ended up using substances. Focus on what you could have done better, and take some time to process these thoughts. Don’t beat yourself up over everything that has happened. Remember everything that made it hard for you to quit the addiction. Celebrate the effort you made, and stay optimistic for what’s about to come next.
- Look at the Bigger Picture: A recovery plan is not about stopping drinking or taking drugs; it’s about the bigger picture. Focus on these essential aspects, including the people you love and your goals. Look beyond recovery by setting short-term and long-term goals.
Warning Signs of a Possible Relapse
Keep an eye on the following signs as you’re transitioning back into the real world, as they may indicate a possible relapse.
- Poor eating and sleeping habits.
- Work performance and enthusiasm is below average.
- You find yourself withdrawing from friends and family, and you’re not reaching out for help.
- Craving “old haunts” or places that are associated with drugs or alcohol.
- Spending money in an unhealthy way.
- Feeling stressed or agitated.
- Being compelled to be constantly dishonest.
- Get the urge to find opportunities to use again.
Where Should You Live After Addiction Treatment?
If you’re concerned about relapsing, then you may want to move into an area where your recovery peers live. It can be a difficult decision, especially if you’re comfortable where you are. Depending on your treatment setting, though, you may transfer your residential or outpatient services to different facilities.
If there is a high chance of relapsing, living at home could harm your recovery. You’ll want to consider the environment in your neighborhood and the local area. This is necessary as these factors may impact your recovery. These are some other factors to consider before deciding where to live after addiction treatment:
- Consider what opportunities are within the city or town you plan to live in and whether your recovery peers are in the area.
- Speak to a treatment professional to help you ensure the choice you consider is best for your recovery.
- Also, consider the cost of living, weather, and opportunities that may arise once you settle.
Should You Opt for a Sober Living Home?
A sober living home is a good option if you’re going through active addiction recovery. It can be a better choice than living at home, especially if you have a history of abuse or neglect. A sober home will provide a safe environment that will foster quick recovery. You will get the following in a sober living home:
- Group therapy
- Living skills
- Education or job assistance
- Goal setting assistance
- Rules and structure
At Granite Recovery Centers, we provide safe and supportive sober living homes for individuals who have completed addiction treatment. These homes are great environments to start your life back in society. You will have access to sober living programs, client monitoring, and other regulations to keep you on track.
Should You Continue Getting Care After Addiction Treatment?
Upon completing treatment, you may be encouraged to follow up with outpatient services. It may help you avoid relapsing and improve your chances of a successful recovery. It’s common for someone to have low self-esteem and poor confidence after treatment. This is one of the reasons you must continue receiving care following rehab. Many support groups are available for people seeking recovery advice, community, and more.
You can opt for a step-down approach with outpatient services from inpatient addiction treatment. Your doctor will recommend a similar program with a lower level of care. The outpatient services offer you support. You will receive help with managing addictions and living independently in the community. During this time, you may be under the supervision of a case manager and other treatment professionals.
Social Support After Treatment
If you struggle with anxiety, feeling isolated could make you more vulnerable to a relapse. Try to surround yourself with people who can offer therapeutic and emotional support in your journey to recovery.
Social support is essential in the recovery process. It’s important to find this support as you transition back into a daily routine, as it will help you avoid relapses and improve your chances of success in your journey to sobriety.
A typical social support approach is family therapy. Family therapy is meant to help you remain sober while improving your relationship with your family. It will allow you to express yourself and ask for help when necessary. Also, you will be working with your family on developing coping mechanisms to avoid relapse.
Transitioning Back to Work After Addiction Treatment
Some might be worried about transitioning back to work after treatment. Don’t take this step lightly, as it’s a vital part of your recovery and will allow you to regain some independence after your program. We recommend that you choose a job that keeps you busy with activities that interest and excite you.
If you return to an old job, be ready to mend broken relationships with workmates. Also, many of your workmates may ask questions about your experience. They may ask what you plan to do in the short or long term. It might be overwhelming, but do not let it get to you.
Talk about what feels comfortable and express your concerns about uncomfortable questions. Some individuals tend to shy away from speaking about their experiences. Also, they remain silent when there’s a problem at work, which creates an environment that lacks trust. When this happens, they might get pressured by stress or anxiety and be tempted to go back to old habits.
Be open and honest with your employer. A healthy relationship with your employer and co-workers will earn back their trust, and you will get the support you deserve.
After treatment, the recovery process requires a plan to guide you as you re-enter society. Don’t be shy to ask for help if necessary. Focus on your goals and live in a positive environment that will foster quick recovery. Remain aware of the symptoms of relapse and celebrate your achievements. If you feel uncomfortable living with family or alone, you can check out Granite Recovery Centers. Call us today for more information.