Life After Drug Rehab

Life After Drug Rehab

Entering drug rehab can feel like a whirlwind in which you have no control. Whether external or internal circumstances lead you to treatment, the feeling of powerlessness and fear is present in most addicts who go into addiction treatment. Addicts begin their anticipation of life after drug rehab once alcohol or drug detox is complete and inpatient addiction treatment begins.

Life Before Drug Rehab

When an addict decides to go to drug rehab, he or she has made a decision that to regain life control and stop using drugs and/or alcohol. An addict’s life decompensates over time due to addiction and the addict feels like he or she is in an endless fight to regain what is being lost because of the disease. Life in addiction becomes an empty shell and feelings of loneliness become overwhelming.

Some characteristics of life for addicts prior to entering treatment are:

  • Chaos
  • Ruined Relationships
  • Loss of Trust
  • Financial Difficulties

Chaos is the hallmark of an addict’s life and can be the result of relationship issues, poor conflict management, lies, betrayal and mismanagement of finances. The addict attempts to balance each of these, but when more than one happens at once, it becomes more difficult. The negative consequences of drug abuse can be the reason why the addict seeks addiction treatment.

In Drug Rehab

When an addict goes into drug or alcohol detox, he or she may be physically sick and emotions are put on the backburner until sickness subsides. Once the body is stabilized, the addict will experience emotions that, at first, seem unfamiliar. This flood of emotions can be from thoughts related to the past, present and future and is often overwhelming. Many addicts relapse during this process and are safest exploring these feelings while in a residential treatment center.

Some main topics covered in drug rehab are:

  • How to cope with floods of emotions, relationship damage, financial issues and rebuilding trust
  • How to deal with anticipatory anxiety of leaving treatment
  • Learning new skills to manage cravings without substance abuse
  • Relapse prevention

Each of these topics will be discussed as it relates to the specific needs of the addict. Primary counselors in drug rehab will begin helping the addict with mending relationships, modifying unhealthy behavioral patterns and developing healthy coping skills. Once drug rehab is complete and new skills have been learned, the addict will choose a discharge plan from suggestions that his or her treatment team has provided.

Life After Drug Rehab

A relapse prevention plan should be in place and include an outpatient addiction treatment program to give the addict a support resource after discharge. Upon initially leaving treatment, the addict will feel a simultaneous sense of freedom and anxiety. He or she will be looking forward to returning to a familiar environment but have trepidation about his or her sober changes that need to be made. After completing treatment in our drug rehab center, the addict will be discharged either to home, sober housing or a halfway house. When returning home, the addict will have to incorporate sober living into his or her home life. Making changes will be a slow process and consistency will be a determining factor to remaining sober.

Some areas where changes need to be made are:

  • Priorities
  • Relationships
  • Communication
  • Finances
  • Time management
  • Health

Adjusting to life after drug rehab may take time. It is important to continue incorporating changes and avoid becoming discouraged when things do not seem to be moving quickly enough. Instant gratification is part of addiction and most recovering addicts need to work on patience once they become sober. Some addiction therapists utilize cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help addicts transition smoothly into sobriety. CBT addresses thoughts, feelings and behaviors and, more specifically, how they contribute to patterns. It also examines how thoughts can influence feelings, which impact behavioral changes. Understanding the dynamics behind actions helps the addict make changes smoothly and with little resistance.