What Is It Like to Live in Recovery?
In 2003, the Addiction journal discussed one-year outcome rates for treated and untreated alcoholics in a study “How Important Is Treatment?” The conclusion stated that people who received treatment had higher abstinence rates after the first year of recovery. In clinical research circles, it is widely accepted that professional rehab produces more positive treatment outcomes, but engaging aftercare resources is equally important for fostering a lasting recovery. The American Journal of Public Health published a study in 2011, and it found recovering addicts who did not particulate in aftercare were 10 times more likely to relapse. Rehab centers empower patients with a solid foundation for their recoveries, but long-term success or failure rests largely on what people do after leaving rehab facilities.
Aftercare Recovery Goals
Following primary treatment in rehab, recovering addicts are strongly encouraged to utilize the following aftercare resources:
- Commit to a support group and stay actively involved
- Follow a 12-step program or other course during recovery
- Establish a network of recovery partners that can provide support and accountability
- Connect with a recovery sponsor with experience overcoming addiction
- Take action to mend positive relationships and eliminate unhealthy ones
- Make an effort to pursue new hobbies and interests, such as fitness or the arts
Relationships are a key component of a strong recovery. Make smart decisions regarding the people you date, befriend and make a part of your life. Furthermore, lean on recovery partners and sponsors during times of struggle.
Addiction Recovery Pitfalls
While several steps strengthen addiction recovery, it is also important to avoid the following potential pitfalls:
- Overconfidence in your ability to resist temptation in settings with drug abuse
- Attempts to deal with struggles without engaging your support group
- Avoiding support group meetings
- Believing the falsehood that you can have just one drink, pill or hit without repercussions
- Failure to attend aftercare counseling sessions or mental health checkups
Another major pitfall involves relapse. Even with treatment, some recovering addicts have bouts of relapse before finally achieving recovery, but the proper help they can continue recovery. If a setback occurs, speak with your recovery sponsor immediately, and consider the benefits of additional treatment.
Substance Abuse Treatment
Treatment centers typically provide services such as medically supervised detox, behavioral therapies, trauma counseling and integrated care for co-occurring disorders. But, recovering addicts who relapse may need the following additional treatments:
- Determine the factors that contributed to the relapse
- Diagnose any mental health disorder that may have been missed in previous screenings
- Identify cues that triggered cravings, and develop strategies to neutralize those cues
- Strengthen life skills for managing anger, conflict and stress
- Develop a recovery plan that accounts for what caused the relapse
Relapse is not failure if you do something about it. Utilizing support and getting additional help can turn a relapse into a learning experience that enhances long-term recovery.
Find Support for Addiction Recovery
Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day at our toll-free helpline to help you get and stay clean from drug abuse. They can answer questions, discuss relapse risks, recommend treatment facilities and even check health insurance policies for benefits. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction or relapse, please call now.