The people that are most successful in recovery are the ones who go into it accepting the reality of the situation: a 30-day stay in rehab doesn’t “fix” you and an aftercare plan is essential. There’s no shortcut or magic pill for addiction recovery. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to addiction treatment or the recovery plan. Because addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease, like diabetes or heart disease, the individual must realize there is a lifetime commitment of care and maintenance involved.
The Work Begins in Treatment
The brave first step toward sobriety is recognizing the problem and entering treatment. This is where the work begins, first by ridding the body of the abused substance or substances through detox and then diving immediately into a number of therapies to address the root cause of the addiction. Addiction is often linked with co-occurring disorders such as depression or PTSD, so the key is to stabilize the addiction and the co-occurring mental health issues simultaneously to reduce the chance of relapse. Through individual, group, and experiential therapies, patients are guided through the emotional work needed to begin healing. They’ll also develop the coping skills necessary to return to their life outside of treatment.
The Work Continues During Aftercare
It might feel a little scary, walking out of the doors of a treatment facility. After all, you’ve been in a safe, drug-free, controlled environment for several weeks and you’re returning to your life while at the same time working toward a new life. Without proper attention to an aftercare plan, the chances of relapse increase. Just think, if you’re on a diet and don’t have a daily plan for meals and exercise, the chance of veering off-path is far greater.
Tips for Aftercare
Take Care of Your Health
Mind, body, and spirit—they have all suffered during active addiction. Many of our patients arrive utterly exhausted from drug-induced binges and sleepless nights. Their bodies are reeling from the physical effects of the drugs, and their diet has been anything but nutritional. Once leaving treatment, it’s important to restore the body to good health by incorporating nutrition, a regular exercise plan, and plenty of rest.
Recognize Your Triggers and Warning Signs of Relapse
Relapse is a return to substance use after a period of sobriety, and unfortunately it is quite common. The good thing, however, is that there are some warning signs and ways to avoid triggers. It could be very easy to fall back into old routines once leaving rehab, but being proactive in listing the possible triggers and planning your response to these triggers can be incredibly helpful. Some triggers can be avoided altogether, others may appear out of nowhere or may be an emotional response to something (anger, sadness, grief) that drives the urge to use. Everyone is going to experience these emotions at some point, so the key is to manage them in a healthy way. This is where having strong group support is imperative. Always have someone you can call when you’re struggling. Continue to take care of your mind by utilizing meditation exercises to stay focused and present. Check your insurance to see if you can utilize therapy outside of treatment to continue learning coping strategies.
Utilize 12-Step/Recovery Meetings
Whether it’s AA, NA or JourneyPure Bowling Green’s alumni program meetings, stay connected with others in recovery. These meetings offer the support you need from people who have experienced similar struggles. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and lean on others in times of need.
How We Prepare Patients for Sobriety at JourneyPure Bowling Green
During treatment, we work with each patient to develop a nutrition and exercise plan that will set the precedent for a post-treatment routine to keep the body healthy and strong. Each patient leaves treatment with the tools necessary to maintain a sober life. We utilize technology to help patients track daily wellness and recovery goals with the free JourneyPure Coaching™ app. We also assign a personal, state-certified recovery coach who provides a weekly touchpoint to offer support. If you’re ready for treatment that takes a proactive approach to relapse prevention, contact us today.
Chris Clancy is the in-house Content Manager for JourneyPure’s Digital Marketing team, where he gets to explore a wide variety of substance abuse- and mental health-related topics. He has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist and researcher, with strong working knowledge of hospital systems, health insurance, content strategy, and public relations. He lives in Nashville with his wife and two kids.