There’s this misconception that going to rehab is challenging. Although making the decision to seek treatment and having the courage to follow up and complete treatment is hard, staying sober is harder.
Living a life of sobriety after treatment, especially without any guidance, is very challenging in many ways.
Making a decision every day to stay sober despite getting the urge to indulge is difficult, especially if you lack direction. Your chances of using alcohol or drugs are high if you seek recovery without guidance.
Since addiction is a disease that takes over your mind daily, eliminating substance abuse completely can leave you with questions on what you are supposed to do after rehab.
What will happen if you get bored and you get a strong urge to indulge? You may also find yourself asking questions like; where do I find a supportive community or environment that won’t trigger my urge to relapse?
Luckily, there are answers to these questions that make eliminating substance abuse easy after undergoing treatment.
Before answering these questions, it’s important to understand the rehab experience.
Rehabilitation at a glance
You may/may not have completed a comprehensive rehabilitation process depending on the rehab you go to. Typical holistic recovery experiences are made up of several transition phases with each phase offering different environments and sets of rules that progressively equip you for life after treatment.
A typical rehab treatment program includes 7 to 10 days of detoxification and one to three months of residential treatment depending on the severity of your addiction.
You can choose to attend an outpatient program which generally lasts for 3 to 6 months. Although outpatient programs aren’t highly recommendable because they don’t offer the kind of constant attention most addicts need, they can be taken in unique circumstances.
After treatment, patients can proceed to the sober living phase, which is, life after rehab. Although detoxification alone will get an addict physically sober, most of the work is done in the residential and outpatient treatment programs.
Patients attend therapy and life planning sessions to help them cope with life. These sessions address several fundamental issues about addiction. Addressing the underlying issues leading to addiction is one of the keys to building a sober life after treatment.
Here’s an in-depth discussion of how the therapy and life planning helps you live a sober life.
There are two main types of therapy treatments offered in rehabs, namely cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy is utilised by case managers and counsellors to plan treatment.
Since every addiction story is unique, counsellors and case managers must look at every person’s recovery path differently.
Cognitive behavioural therapy targets destructive negative thought processes that have triggered the addiction in the first place.
Interpersonal therapy is also crucial for treatment as it serves to evaluate patients alongside peers to develop effective communication and fostering fruitful relationships among recovering addicts.
The sessions allow addicts to discover that addiction isn’t a unique issue (it affects many people), and patients can learn from one another and support each other after rehab. Interpersonal therapy uncovers the true meaning of addiction as being a family disease.
Treatment sessions also include life planning. There are two main types of life planning addressed in rehab. The first type is school and career planning. Since addiction derails every constructive aspect of an addict’s life, they aren’t able to continue with school or work.
Most, if not all, addicts drop out of school or encounter issues in their workplaces. Since addiction affects the mind, you may not worry about dropping out of getting fired until you seek treatment and start wondering what you will do next.
During treatment, individual case managers have sessions with recovering addicts outlining the steps they need to take to get their life back on track again.
It doesn’t matter if you have dropped out of school or lost a job; individual case managers will give you the answers to those questions. In fact, their sole responsibility is pointing you in the right direction.
You’ll also learn how to plan for a crisis. Emergencies are inevitable in life, whether you are a recovering addict or not. You are bound to come across addiction triggers that can pave the way to a relapse.
For instance, there is a high likelihood of meeting old friends you used to indulge with if you still live in the same area after treatment, crisis planning gives you the tools to deal with such situations without relapsing.
Rehab also works on your mindset. After completing your treatment program, you will learn that recovery isn’t an event but an ongoing process. This shift in mindset is crucial for coping with life after rehab.
You must shift your outlook towards recovery to have the right answers after treatment.
A good rehab plants seeds which a recovering addict must water. Rehab isn’t a quick fix. There is a chance you may slide back to old habits. To avoid this, you are encouraged to develop specific behaviours in rehab. Although the mindset changes vary, there are a few commonalities.
First and foremost, you must purpose to be present at all times. Although it’s normal to plunge into altered states of consciousness, you should work on being present to be more productive. You must focus on reality to recover successfully in the long-term.
Besides being present, you also need to live day-by-day. This may be daunting, but focusing on staying sober 24 hours at a time is more manageable than focusing on lifelong sobriety.
Lastly, you need to find a support network. During recovery, it’s not advisable to live life on your own, especially in times of crisis. You need people who understand and support you.
It is possible to recover 100% and become sober for life when you complete treatment. However, you must first find a rehab with tested and proven programmes that support sobriety in and out of rehab. In case of a relapse, you should get help.
The rehab should be interested in your progress and make efforts on the same via aftercare programmes. Your chances of recovery are highly dependent on where you seek treatment in the first place.
Getting the right help if relapse occurs
It’s important to know that relapse can occur even if you have completed a rehab programme. If you have relapsed and you are unsure what to do next, contact us on 0800 140 4690.
Our free helpline allows you to learn about suitable addiction treatment options in your local area. Most locations in the UK have access to a variety of treatment programmes.
Contact us today to ensure your route to re-establishing your recovery is as straightforward as possible.