10 Ways to keep recovery alive when you step back into the real world.
You hated inpatient rehab at first. You bucked the system and were defiant. The people were nothing like you and you weren’t going to make friends. Then something changed. You opened your mind to the ideas the professional staff were sharing. You recognized your life could be better than what it had been. It turned out, you really had an addiction, as did all of the “different” people around you. Friendship and bonds were formed, healing began. While you missed your real life, you were adapting to life at an inpatient facility. Just as you started to think, “I’m going to make it, I’m going to be OK” they pulled the rug out from under you and sent you home.
Like a castaway sent adrift in a life raft with only the barest of essentials, you return to an environment that isn’t very different from when you left, but you recognize just how different you now are, and how easy it would be to return to your addictive behavior. You want to stay healthy, you want to maintain the sobriety and human connection you felt at rehab, but how do you do that when you’re just returning to the same life you had?
It can be challenging, but it can also be done. Whether you’ve just left a rehab facility, are preparing to enter one or have a loved one somewhere in the process, here’s a list of 10 things that can better an addict’s odds for a successful recovery.
Get a treatment plan and follow it
Just about every inpatient rehabilitation facility is going to put together a discharge plan for patients upon exit from their care. The details can vary extremely, often dependent upon if the facility has a dedicated discharge coordinator, but even without that full-time employee a basic plan can be improved if the patient expresses interest in their post-rehab options. Statistics sadly show that only a minority of patients are successful with their recovery. A patient showing they plan to be in that minority will get more individualized attention to a treatment plan, which can include lists of healthcare providers in the patient’s hometown, along with a list of 12-step meetings and additional recovery literature to review once home.
Evaluate the living situation
Upon returning from rehab as a “new person” it can be jarring to see just how much the people and environment around a patient has not changed during their time away. Is their residence located in a part of town conducive to their addiction? Are they living with people who use? Does the recovering addict have the means to remove themselves from the situation or are they strong enough to stay sober in it? Most inpatient facilities promote a transitionary living situation following rehab to address many of these questions that go unanswered during treatment. An unhealthy environment for someone not strong enough to remain committed to recovery is the surest way to relapse.
Find sober friends
Prior to entering treatment, the addict likely either holed up in a room lost in their addiction or they only socialized with fellow addicts. Both behaviors, post-rehab, are part of a recipe for disaster. The fact is, there are far more non-addicts (called “normies” in most addiction circles) than addicts in this world. Getting to know them, getting to see the choices they make and experiencing life in their world are all key to understanding what a sober existence can look like. Read more at the fix…