Addiction to any mood-altering substance is difficult to overcome; it typically involves a programme of detox and rehabilitation to break both the physical and psychological addiction. If you are addicted to drugs and have been considering a programme of recovery, you might also be wondering what happens after drug rehab? Are you expected to simply go back to your old life and carry on as normal?
This is a question that many individuals contemplate before starting a programme of recovery. Many believe that there is no point in trying to quit drugs because as soon as they finish their treatment, they will be right back where they started, and it will only be a matter of time before they succumb to drugs once more. But this is not what recovery is about.
Overcoming a drug addiction is not just about learning how to quit the substance to which you are addicted. It is also about learning how to live without drugs going forward. You will be expected to commit fully to a programme of recovery and to be prepared to make changes to your current life. Moreover, you will not be left to fend for yourself when treatment is over. So, if you have been wondering what happens after drug rehab, we enlighten you in the following paragraphs.
What Do You Do After Drug Treatment?
Whether you have been having drug rehab in a residential clinic or on a day care basis with regular counselling at an outpatient facility, when the time comes for your programme to end, you will have to get back to normal everyday life. For some, this can be a worrying time.
After all, it was within the context of daily life that you developed an addiction to drugs in the first place. It is natural that you might feel apprehensive about what happens after drug rehab. You might be worrying that you are going to fall back down the path of addiction again now that you do not have that support from your counsellors or therapists.
What you should know, however, is that there is plenty of support within your local community and accessing it is highly recommended. Fellowship support groups such as NA are often regarded as a vital part of the recovery process, so you should definitely consider joining.
By joining a fellowship support group, you will have a group of people who will be there for you when you are in need of help and support. You will know that you are not alone and that you can always talk to others who are in the same situation that you are in. You will be able to learn from those who are further along in their recovery than you are and, as you get stronger in your own recovery, you can start to help others too.
How to Avoid a Relapse?
Avoiding a relapse is a major part of recovery from any addiction; furthermore, it is something that you will no doubt learn a lot about during your rehab programme. But back in the real world, you will be expected to put what you have learned into practice.
You are undoubtedly going to be faced with temptations and triggers but avoiding these if possible and knowing how to deal with them when they arise is the only way for you to keep your recovery on the right track.
It will be tough for you to stay clean, especially during the first few weeks and months when you are still coming to terms with your new substance-free life. It will have been much easier to be motivated while in the clinic with the support of professional counsellors, but now that you are back living an independent sober life, it is going to be a bit harder – but not impossible. And remember, you will have been well prepared for this.
Keep in mind that it is your responsibility to keep your recovery on track, so you need to remind yourself of all the hard work you have put in and why you wanted to get sober in the first place. You will have to be prepared to avoid the people, places and things that used to form a huge part of your life when you were addicted. This is an absolute must if you want to maintain your sobriety.
You will also have to stay vigilant and alert to the triggers and cues that could spell a return to drug use. If you take things one day at a time then you can do this, and you will find that staying sober becomes as natural to you as taking drugs once was.
When Does a Relapse Begin?
Most people assume that relapse begins when you return to drug use, but the reality is that it begins long before that. It is unlikely that you will just decide on the spur of the moment that you are going to take drugs. What is much more likely is that you will start thinking that it might be okay for you to take drugs for some time before you actually do it.
Complacency in recovery will be your enemy, so you need to be alert to it. Some individuals do so well in recovery that they almost convince themselves that they never actually had an addiction in the first place. Thoughts of taking drugs again might start creeping into their mind and they believe that because they have overcome a drug addiction once with ease, they will be able to do it again. This is a huge mistake. If you were to return to drugs, even once, it could send you hurtling back down the path of addiction and you will almost certainly find it much more difficult to pull yourself back off it again.
Common Misconceptions about Relapse
There are many misconceptions about relapse that can cause some people to have a slip-up. For example, there are those that believe everyone has a relapse at some stage; that it is somehow inevitable. And while relapse can be an important part of recovery for some individuals, it is better to avoid it if possible.
Relapse is not inevitable – you can get sober and stay that way for the rest of your life if you are determined and motivated to stay substance-free. Many people who have managed to overcome their addictions have never relapsed. It is better for you if you do not even consider relapse as an option and if you avoid it completely.
You might also have heard that you cannot prevent a relapse. Again, this is not true. Relapse really is a choice and one that you have full responsibility for. You can choose to avoid a relapse and there are many things that you can do to prevent it from happening once you recognise the signs of an impending one. It is important that you can recognise the signs and your cues and that you know how to avoid them.
You should also know that just because you were addicted to drugs and not alcohol does not mean that drinking does not count as a relapse. A major part of recovery from addiction is staying substance-free, and that includes alcohol. The use of any mood-altering substance after a programme of recovery from addiction is a relapse. A relapse means a return to the behaviours and ideas of addiction; this is why drinking alcohol should be avoided.
So if you have been wondering what happens after drug rehab, then the answer is quite a lot. You will have a lot of work to do to stay sober and healthy and you are going to need plenty of support to do this.
If you are determined not to fall back down the path of addiction, then accessing support within your local community is important. For more information on overcoming addiction or how to access a local support group, please contact us here at Primrose Lodge. We can answer any queries you might have, and we can help you to find a suitable support group in your area. Call today to find out more about us and what we can do for you.