So you've finished treatment…now what? This is a common question people ask themselves after finishing drug and alcohol rehab. Statistics show that the days, and even hours, after leaving treatment are incredibly crucial to long term sobriety. Addiction treatment centers provide a safe, structured environment where someone is removed from their triggers and the pressures of everyday life. Leaving the safety net of rehab can be intimidating and even frightening to some individuals although it doesn’t have to be. There are many things newly sober people can do following treatment to ensure they maintain the sobriety achieved in treatment.
Here are 5 tips for maintaining sobriety:
1. 12 step meetings: Statistics show individuals who continue going to 12 step meetings after treatment are more likely to stay sober than those who don’t attend. Many counselors and therapists recommend going to 12 step meetings immediately following discharge from treatment. Going to meetings, as well as working with a sponsor, are two of the most important aspects of sobriety after leaving treatment.
2. Making the most of your time: Many individuals aren’t in a hurry to return to work or school after finishing treatment but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to have a completely open schedule. Many people report boredom as being one of their biggest triggers. That’s why a well thought out schedule is a valuable tool to have. Committing to daily meetings and doing service work are great ways to help schedule your time so you don’t find yourself with excess down time.
3. Stay connected: Staying connected as a member of Alumni to your treatment center is a great way to stay in touch with those who were part of your early recovery and it’s also a way for you to practice accountability. Many rehab centers offer Aftercare groups and alumni groups for those who are leaving treatment.
4. Helping others: Someone with ten years of sobriety can help someone with 10 days equally as much as someone with 10 days can help someone with 1 day. Great ways to start helping others would be doing volunteer work or service work. No matter how long you’ve been sober; helping others in recovery will be a cornerstone of your recovery.
5. Make a plan: Take it one day a time but always have a safety plan. What do you want to achieve in sobriety? Make a list of realistic goals as a way to help you stay motivated and active. Perhaps you want to go back to school or take up a new hobby. In recovery, you have the opportunity to pursue those interests where prior to that your addiction was getting in the way.
What you experienced in treatment doesn’t have to end when you walk out the door. Discover what works for you and move forward with it. Making the most out of those first few days after treatment will surely carry over into the rest of your recovery.
Get out there and start working the program you desire!
New Hope Recovery Center offers volunteer opportunities for their Alumni. If you want to find out more click here!
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