Building your support network and joining a support group are two things that can be a big help in recovery.
When fighting alcohol dependence, many individuals need to spend at least 60 days in a rehab facility, sometimes more. Rehab is one of the most important parts of treating alcohol addiction, but it is not the final step. After leaving the facility, the individual must be able to transition well into daily life, or much of the work done in rehab will be undone. Here are some tips for transitioning back after alcohol rehab.
One of the most important things to remember, especially right after leaving rehab, is to take things one step at at time and not to take on too much, too fast. The purpose of rehab is to help someone fight addiction in an environment that removes many of the distractions of daily life. Returning from rehab and immediately trying to go back to an old life exactly as it was may be a huge mistake. According to Alcoholrehab.com, “those individuals who leave the treatment program convinced that their problems are over are on shaky ground.” It’s important to take life one step at a time and to not become overwhelmed.
Relationships are Important
When a person comes home from rehab, he or she is likely to want to reconnect with friends and family and be supported by them. As a friend, family member, or significant other, Columbia Health suggests that one must remember that the transitioning person will most likely go through “periods of emotional ups and downs.” These may include:
Anger (whether at someone specifically or just in general)
When this occurs, try and talk to the individual about feelings, but above all, be supportive. And when transitioning, know that this behavior is common but still difficult on loved ones.
Remember:surrounding oneself with supportive and helpful people is the most important thing. If someone is destructive to the continued success of your fight against addiction, then they should not be in your life during this difficult time.
A good way to ease into life at home is to visit outpatient centers for continued treatment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse lists several possibilities for outpatient treatments, including:
Counseling (individual or group)
Outpatient programs help the individual remember what he or she learned in rehab and provide continued medical or group support when necessary.
Here are a few other important things to remember after leaving rehab:
Know your triggers: Whether they are feelings, people, places, etc., it’s important to know what factors feed an addiction. Relapse is a “hallmark symptom of addiction” and knowing these stressors will help one prevent it.
Accept change: Some things in an old life of addiction won’t fit in with a new, sober life. That’s all right. Accepting change is a big part of transitioning.
Be honest: For all parties involved, honesty is best when it is practiced with mindfulness.
The transition is a difficult one, but with support from loved ones and other programs, as well as the knowledge of how far one has come paired with acceptance of what still must be achieved, the change can be made more smoothly, leading to a healthy life after rehab.
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