Completing a treatment program is a major accomplishment worth celebrating. However, assuming treatment can fix your problem vastly underestimates what you’re going through. It can take some time to get back to where you were before your addiction or mental health problem and completely transform your life, which is why life after treatment is important. Creating a life for yourself outside of treatment will help you take control of your future and be proactive.
Different Types of Aftercare
After treatment, there are several excellent options for aftercare, all of which encourage a healthy lifestyle. These may include:
- Individual Therapy: Addiction stems from mental health issues, such as stress, trauma, and other triggers that lead a person to use drugs or alcohol. Individual therapy allows people to delve deep and uncover why they have certain emotions and address trauma, so an individual doesn’t feel the need to return to substance use. Therapy can also help individuals work through the problems and concerns they have with their mental health issues.
- Check-Ups: It is essential to have regular check-ups with a physician. Check-ups can be as infrequent as four times a year and involve a medical professional conducting exams to check vital signs. Exposure to some substances can cause a person to develop side effects such as breathing and heart problems, sleeping problems, weight loss or weight gain, and muscle twitching. Ensuring you are healthy is a start to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Mental health can also worsen physical health, making check-ups essential.
- Support Groups: Support groups can help many people, but it’s important to recognize they aren’t the only option for healing. There are many 12-Step and non-12-Step support group formats available. SMART Recovery is one of the most popular alternatives to 12-Step groups. SMART is based on research-proven methods for recovery and teaches people that they can take control of their recovery. Finding a support group can help individuals find a group of like-minded people seeking recovery to support one another.
Building a New Social Life
Recovery opens up many new possibilities and achievable goals that may have once seemed impossible. However, the type of recovery you choose may come with changes in lifestyle that can affect your social life. Luckily, many activities can provide a mental and social outlet. Some hobbies you can pick up include:
- Taking a class
- Playing sports
- Taking dance lessons
- Playing video games
- Learning to play an instrument
Meeting other people in recovery can help you begin taking steps towards a new social life. You can meet people through support groups, sober meet-ups, online, and more. People who are committed to their own recovery can help you remain in a positive state of recovery. You can draw on their wisdom and lived experience when you need a powerful reminder that there is life on the other side of addiction and mental health concerns.
Career Life in Recovery
The fact that you’ve chosen a new start has probably transformed your life, but it often means you’ll have to repair or rebuild your career. With that said, you shouldn’t feel pressured to land a career occupation right away. There are many fulfilling ways to make a living as you build your career, including pet-sitting, teaching lessons, and more.
If you’re intimidated by the idea of trying to find a job after treatment, there’s less you have to worry about than you think. Know that the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act keep most employers from refusing to hire anyone because they’re in recovery from addiction unless it would prevent the applicant from performing their job safely and competently. Furthermore, employers are not permitted to ask whether or not a job applicant has ever used substances, has had an addiction, or has been through treatment.
You may also be returning to a career after treatment. Going back to work can be scary. After spending significant time in a recovery program, you must now face the stressors of daily life and juggle the demands that come with work and family. However, returning to work after rehab is a crucial step in recovery; this step is the start of a new chapter in your life. A few tips for returning to work include:
- Decide what to say to coworkers in advance
- Discuss the transition with your employer
- Have a plan to handle work-related stress
- Follow through with aftercare
- Utilize any employee assistance programs
- Beware of burnout
- Create a return-to-work agreement
Setting and Accomplishing Goals
The most crucial step to take after treatment is to figure out your life goals and set about following them. Doing this will help put other positive things in motion. Now that you’re headed along a solid path towards your dreams like exercising, getting plenty of rest, and being good to loved ones will eventually fall into line.
Setting goals and accomplishing them is an especially significant step to practice; you’ve probably not set any meaningful goals due to your substance use or mental health problems. However, now, your new future is a blank slate, and you can decide who and what you want to be, accomplish in life, but you must make that decision and carry it out.
Life after treatment can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You can find continuing support after treatment, including individual therapy, check-ups, and support groups. Post-treatment life also gives you the option to rebuild who you are. Building a new social life, finding or rebuilding your career, and setting and accomplishing goals can help you along the journey of discovering who you are post-addiction and mental health concerns. You have a problem that needs a solution, and with a bit of support, you can find that answer. Rickard Elmore Treatment Strategies can help you find and connect to the services that will best help you along your journey. We help people achieve long-term goals and take away much of the guesswork and overwhelm that comes with recovery. Many of our clients describe Rickard Elmore Intervention as a transformative, life-changing experience. With Rickard Elmore, you can create a brand new life. To learn more, call us today at (877) 387-7197.