Life after addiction is rarely a clear-cut process. After all, quitting your drug of choice is only the first step. True addiction recovery can also require a change in your mindset, habits, and even your social circle.
When so much change is necessary for overcoming drug addiction, we know that the future can feel lonely and uncertain. But, whether you’re working up to admitting your drug addiction, asking yourself, ‘do I need rehab?’, or you’re about to check out of drug rehab, remember, you’re not alone.
With patience, commitment, and a strong support network, a new start is within your reach. Read on to find out our tips for recovery after addiction.
Life after addiction is tough. You must remember, you are not alone. Read our guide for five tips for a new start after addiction.
1. Arrange an Aftercare Plan
Drug rehab centers are hands down, the best place to kickstart your journey to recovery. But, you’ll still have a lot of work to do after your stay, making an effective aftercare plan a must.
Luckily, whether you check into a local rehab center or one that’s out of town, your drug and alcohol rehab facility will usually help you arrange an aftercare plan that suits your needs.
If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction, this plan might involve regular support meetings with groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. These meetings enable you to connect with others in recovery. Often, members who are further along in their recovery journey can help support and inspire you in your new start after addiction.
Another option for connecting with others in a similar position is a rehab alumni program. This can help you and those who graduated from the same rehab facility to stay in touch and support each other.
Your aftercare plan should also involve regular therapy sessions. Because, while peer support is helpful, combining this with ongoing professional help ensures a better chance of recovery.
Most drug and alcohol rehab centers encourage exercise and healthy eating alongside therapy sessions and meetings as part of your rehab treatment. Continuing to prioritize your health beyond rehab helps give you a new focus and also helps repair the damage of addiction.
The lasting physical side effects of alcohol and drug addiction can take months or even years to resolve. But, you can help the healing process by taking care of your physical and mental health. This includes getting regular exercise, sleeping at least seven hours every night, eating regular and nutritious meals, and reducing your stress levels.
Nourishing foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can help restore essential nutrients to your body. Foods high in tyrosine like bananas, soybeans, and sunflower seeds help boost dopamine levels to help with withdrawal symptoms like depression.
Likewise, exercise helps restore your brain’s chemical balance by promoting the release of endorphins. Exercise is also great for relieving stress and helping you sleep better. And, having a healthy outlet for the nervous energy that’s typical in long-term withdrawal means you’ll be less likely to give in to cravings.
3. Continue Making Amends
Alcohol and drug addiction can make even the kindest people do terrible things. And often, it’s those who are closest that get hurt the most.
If you know you hurt people or let them down, it can be tempting to write bad behavior off as the actions of a drug addict. But a new start isn’t worth anything if you don’t at least try to make amends. Recovery requires a steady foundation, and that begins with you repairing any damage you may have done.
Making things right takes time and dedication. As such, it’s something you’ll need to work on after drug and alcohol rehab and throughout the transition period into your new sober life.
4. Find New Friends and Hobbies
As a recovering drug addict, it might feel that removing your substance of choice has left a hole in your life. If your old friends are still abusing drugs and drinking, avoiding them is a wise, yet also isolating experience. In combination, that’s a lot of time to spend alone with nothing to fill it with.
For this reason, a lot of addiction therapy includes supplementing your treatment with complementary activities like yoga, painting, and massage. These activities help to occupy your body and mind, while also filling the time you used to devote to getting high and thinking about your next fix.
Taking up a new hobby is one of the most effective ways to establish your new life after drug and alcohol rehab. Learn a foreign language, start hiking, volunteer for a charity, take up the guitar. Just ensure it’s a hobby that you enjoy and one that doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol.
Taking up a new hobby is also a great way to meet people. And making new, sober friends is key to your new start full of purpose and positive human connection.
5. Prepare for a Relapse
As an alcoholic or drug addict will tell you, being sober doesn’t mean that they’re not an addict anymore. The addiction is still there, and, given the right circumstances, it can lead you to relapse at any time.
Not that relapse is the end of the world or even the end of your journey to recovery. Instead, it’s a delay. But it’s one that you should be prepared for.
This might sound pessimistic, especially since staying positive can help drive your recovery. But complacency can lead to you missing warning signs and easing back into familiar old ways.
Controlling your stressors and maintaining coping mechanisms make relapse less likely. While having a strong support network can turn a moment of weakness into a near miss. But, awareness of your high chance of relapse will keep you vigilant.
A new start after addiction is a long and ongoing process. Most addicts find that rehab is the turning point that gets them on the right track toward a new life.
Do I Need Rehab for a New Start After Addiction?
A new start after addiction is a long and ongoing process. And, while these tips can help support the progress you make, most addicts find that rehab is the turning point that gets them on the right track toward a new life.
So, if you’re still wondering, ‘do I need rehab?’, contact us to get help and begin your journey toward recovery.
What are your top tips for a new start after addiction?
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