In recovery circles, there is a lot of focus on treatment. Admitting you have a drug or alcohol problem and being willing to seek treatment is a massive step on the journey toward health. Finding the right treatment center that can meet your individual needs can help you create a solid foundation for recovery. Still, the 30, 60 or even 90 days that you spend in treatment are just a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of your life. To really succeed in sobriety, you need to focus on recovery after treatment. 

Whether you’ve recently finished treatment or are floundering a bit in early recovery, having a plan for recovery after treatment can help you get on the right track. Here’s what you can do to protect your sobriety after treatment ends. 

Have Realistic Expectations

It would be wonderful if people could go to treatment for a set amount of time and emerge entirely cured from their substance use disorder. Unfortunately, that’s not realistic. The past traumas, underlying mental health issues and other factors that contributed to your substance abuse are still with you, even in recovery. 

The key difference is that you’re now able to deal with them in healthier ways. You can talk to professionals, go to a meeting, meditate or exercise when you’re overwhelmed, rather than using. Still, you have to accept that sometimes you’re not going to feel great. Life can still be challenging even in recovery, so be prepared for there to be bumps in the road, no matter how transformational your treatment experience was. 

Utilize Step-down Programs and Transitional Housing

Many people who go through treatment had their lives interrupted by their addiction. You might have experienced job loss, homelessness or credit challenges. Some people never learned to cope with the challenges of adult life without turning to drugs and alcohol. No matter what, reentering the “real world” after treatment can be daunting. 

That’s where step-down programs and transitional housing can help. If you went to an inpatient treatment program, it can be shocking to go from a structured environment to being on your own. To ease that transition, “step down” through treatment options, including outpatient and evening programs. Consider living in transitional housing, where you can pursue a job or education while still having some structure and accountability. 

Grow Your Sober Community

After you leave treatment, you might feel a bit lonely. Many of the people that you spent time with during active addiction aren’t safe to be around now that you’re building a sober life. Your friends who didn’t experience addiction might still be hurt by your past actions, or cautious in reestablishing their relationship with you. 

Your new sober community can help fill the gaps. Attend meetings, go to alumni events at your treatment center, and make friends with others at your sober living. Although putting yourself out there can be scary, the benefits of having sober friends invested in your success are well worth it. 

Focus On The Long Term

When you’re in treatment, your attention is on the next 30 days. However, to stay sober over a lifetime you have to focus on the big picture, one day at a time. You might experience days where you’re coping with cravings. You’ll likely have frustrations that your life isn’t coming together as quickly as you would like. By staying focused on your long-term goal of surviving and thriving in recovery, you can better handle the ups and downs of early recovery. 

Staying sober is a lifelong commitment. During early recovery, you can set the foundation for that, by building your community, establishing healthy habits, and learning which practices are most helpful for you. You’ll learn to recognize triggers and how to avoid them. And you will realize the importance of reaching out for help. Over time, all of this will strengthen your sobriety and help you live the life that you want live, without drugs or alcohol. 

Learn more about Oceanside Malibu at Reach Oceanside Malibu by phone at (866) 738-6550. Find Oceanside Malibu on Facebook.

By: The Fix staff
Title: What Happens After Treatment?
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Published Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2020 06:50:26 +0000

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