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Understanding the Transition to Home Life After Residential Treatment

When you finish a rehab program, the prospect of going home evokes mixed feelings. While you’re happy about reaching this milestone, you’re also wary. You think, “I hope I have what it takes to stay sober after treatment.”

We want to reassure you. You’ll have skills and strategies for lifelong success during discharge. Here are tips for continuing your recovery after inpatient care.

What are the benefits of transitioning home after completing a treatment program?

Upon returning home, your personal growth will continue. For instance, you’ll have these exciting opportunities:

  • applying the life skills you learned during inpatient treatment
  • developing close friendships with non-users
  • resuming parenting if you’re a mom or dad
  • exploring new hobbies
  • adopting a recovery lifestyle of healthy choices
  • returning to a job or pursuing a new one
  • saving money by remaining sober

As you gain experience in resisting drug or alcohol cravings, you’ll get stronger. Moreover, with every goal you reach, your self-esteem will build.

What challenges can arise as you navigate recovery after treatment?

After rehab, you’ll learn to handle stress without resorting to drugs or alcohol. Now, you’ll take a direct approach, dealing with tension in better ways. Here are the effects of doing so.

You’ll need to fend off addiction triggers.

Triggers are the temptations that fuel substance use. Common ones are:

  • driving past a pub or drug pick-up location
  • being around other users
  • attending events where the hosts serve alcohol
  • seeing liquor, drug paraphernalia, or prescription pill bottles

Life after rehab can prompt insecurity.

In a treatment center, you have safe boundaries forged by the structured program. At home, you face establishing and following a schedule independently. Still, that’s one of the keys to staying on track during life after addiction.

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Mood swings can be unsettling.

As you encounter trying situations, intense emotions can surface. Moreover, they can fluctuate from moment to moment. Such feelings can be tough to manage without support.

What strategies can make the transition smoother after treatment discharge?

First, write up an aftercare plan that will help to keep you sober. Then, promise yourself that you won’t give up on your mission. Here are the goals to include in your agenda.

Create a reliable support network.

During inpatient treatment, you’ll enjoy the camaraderie of others in recovery. Likewise, after discharge, connect with people who will uphold your sobriety. For instance, you can reach out to:

  • members of a rehab support group
  • a church pastor or youth group leader if you’re a teen
  • your primary care doctor
  • close friends and family members
  • fellow attendees of A.A. or N.A. meetings
  • an outpatient therapist

Prioritize maintaining your health.

After completing a detox program, continue improving your well-being. When you feel good, it’s easier to resist cravings for drugs and alcohol. Meanwhile, a sound recovery lifestyle will give you energy and mental clarity. Here are practices that can help.

Daily Quiet Time

Begin each day with a period of turning inward. Reserve at least 10 minutes for connecting with your intuition.

You can do this in several ways, such as meditating, praying, reading scriptures, or keeping a gratitude journal. If you have a picturesque yard, gaze at it through a window. Or sit outside in nice weather. By stilling your mind, your inner wisdom will shine forth.

Wholesome Diet

You’ll have a tasty, nutritious eating plan at a rehab center. You can duplicate it at home with daily servings of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. Also, drink at least five cups of water per day. Meanwhile, avoid foods high in sugar and saturated fat.

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Enjoyable Exercise

Include fun types of exercise in your schedule, aiming for three days or more per week. Moderate physical activity releases stress and pressure during life after addiction. Here are some examples:

  • biking
  • walking in a park
  • gardening
  • hiking
  • yoga or tai chi
  • gym workouts
  • sports

Ample Sleep

During the deep stages of slumber, your body repairs and renews its various systems. Most people need seven or eight hours of sleep to function well.

Set the stage for good sleep with a relaxing bedtime routine. For instance, take a warm bath or spend 15 minutes reading a comforting book. Also, stop using electronic devices 30 minutes before heading to bed. The blue light they emit blocks melatonin, the hormone that ushers nighttime drowsiness.

What are some tips for preventing relapse during life after rehab?

Commit to sustaining your health, as detailed above. Still, be patient with yourself. It takes time to replace unhealthy habits with beneficial ones. Here are ways to safeguard your sobriety.

  • If fierce cravings or emotions threaten your stability, contact your support network. Be sure to act quickly. This way, you’ll continue making progress.
  • Avoid your personal addiction triggers.
  • Attend a support group every week. Between meetings, work through a 12-Step Program book.
  • Explore new hobbies, especially those where you can acquire friends. Examples are taking a class in meditation, yoga, tai chi, or gardening.
  • Volunteer at a local church, soup kitchen, camp, or school. You’ll find helping others deeply rewarding while underscoring your self-worth.
  • Stay motivated by reading success stories, and recovery quotes online. Also, turn to inspirational books.