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In many ways, successfully living life after addiction rehab is just another step in the ongoing addiction recovery journey. In step one you gathered the courage to get help, and you may have endured a difficult detox experience. In step two, you completed the intake process, providing intimate information about your life and your history with substance abuse. In step three, you devoted yourself to a professional addiction rehab program, learning healthy coping skills and repairing the damage to your physical and mental health. Now, in step four, it’s time to live life after addiction rehab.
Notice we didn’t say “life after addiction.” That’s because there is no such thing as life after addiction – there is only life in recovery from addiction. It’s a subtle difference, sure, but anyone who has been in your shoes should understand the nuance. Stick around to learn more about what to expect as you live your life after completing an addiction rehab program.
What to Do after Rehab – Daily Life in Recovery from Addiction
Your life after addiction rehab is going to be a lot like any other person’s life. You’re going to eat food. Burn your tongue. Go to sleep. Wake up – sometimes too early. Interact with others. Smell the fresh air. Laugh and cry. Get stuck in traffic. Spill coffee all over your new shirt… In other words, you’re going to encounter and cope with everything it means to be a human, only you’ll be doing it without relying on drugs or alcohol.
That means you need to be prepared to deal with all of life’s ups and downs. Remember, just because you’ve completed your addiction rehab program doesn’t mean your battle with substance abuse is over. Like diabetes or depression, addiction is a chronic disease that can be managed, but not necessarily eliminated. It also means you’re going to have to find other ways to fill your time now that your schedule doesn’t revolve around acquiring and using drugs and alcohol.
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Not sure what to do with your free time? Here are 5 ideas to help prevent boredom and relapse:
Many of the most successful addiction rehab programs introduce recovering addicts to peer-led support groups and 12-step recovery meetings. Now that you’ve completed your residential addiction rehab program, it’s a great idea to continue your involvement with these groups. Connecting with fellow recovering addicts and sharing your experience with others is a great way to get the emotional support you’ll need in recovery.
Getting a Job after Drug Addiction Rehab
If you lost your job due to your drug addiction, or you’ve been living off the support of friends and family, you may want to think about finding employment. Finding a job not only helps fill your time, it gives your life a sense of purpose. It also gives you a source of income which you can use to repay debts and support yourself, rather than relying on assistance from others. Some local businesses may even offer positions specifically for recovering addicts.
Playing the Dating Game after Addiction Rehab
Jumping back into the dating game is not recommended for addicts in the early stages of life after addiction rehab. That doesn’t mean you’re destined to live a life of solitude like a monk or a crusty old hermit. What it means is that recovering addicts need time to focus on themselves before factoring in the complexities of a romantic relationship.
Preventing Relapse during Addiction Recovery
Relapse is the elephant in the room, but you don’t have to let it trample you. Don’t forget that addiction relapse is not a singular event. It’s a process. It’s starts on an emotional level, progresses to the mental stage and, finally, concludes with the physical use of substances. If you need a refresher, check out our article, 3 Stages of Addiction Relapse: Emotional, Mental & Physical.
And, for a reminder on addiction relapse triggers, direct your attention here: 12 Relapse Triggers Infographic.
The Raleigh House is Here to Help
If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction or addiction relapse, don’t wait to get help. You can fill out our form to get started, or call us during normal business hours to speak with one of our team members.