January 14, 2015 Marissa ObrienRecovery0

Completing an extended-stay drug treatment program is a huge accomplishment – one that very few individuals battling severe substance dependency are actually able to complete. However, while graduating from an inpatient program is undoubtedly reason for a serious pat on the back, it is by no means the end of one’s journey into recovery. In order to maintain sobriety for years to come, it is crucial that a newly sober individual implement a comprehensive and highly personalized aftercare plan. In most cases, each client will sit down with their addiction counselor before graduating from their treatment center and formulate an inclusive list of future recovery goals and attainable objectives. Listed below are several components crucial to sustained momentum in sobriety and essential elements that will lead you closer towards maintained sobriety and farther from potential relapse.

How To Succeed After Drug Rehab

  • Create a solid circle of sober supports.

Surround yourself with healthy and happy individuals who are content in their sobriety and who are emotionally available at pretty much the drop of a hat. You will undoubtedly need to talk through situations at one point or another, seeing as you will be faced with new circumstances you have never before handled without the assistance of drugs and alcohol. Surround yourself with positive people from who you feel comfortable asking for help.

  • Join a fellowship.

Joining a 12-step fellowship is completely essential to maintaining sobriety if you are new to the sober lifestyle. Not only will you instantaneously have 20 friends to call if you find yourself in a sticky situation, you will have the opportunity to learn from the experience, strength, and hope of those who are just like you.

  • Work a “safe” job.

Even if you have ample experience bartending, it might be best to steer clear of that scene until you are entirely comfortable in your sobriety. Work a job that will humble you, one that will not trigger you, and one that you enjoy.

  • Learn to love yourself.

Spend time learning to love yourself! Discover your personal interests, passions, what makes you tick. It is important to remember that you will not be able to properly love anyone else until you learn to adore your own mind, body, and soul.

  • Continue with therapy.

Just because inpatient treatment is over, it does not mean your therapeutic process has come to an end. In fact, you are most likely just beginning to scratch the surface. If you cannot continue with your therapist from treatment, find a new one and meet for weekly sessions.

  • Work on rebuilding family relationships.

If the timing is right and you feel comfortable doing so, it may be wise to slowly begin mending familial relationships. Family will play a big role in your overall recovery, and family therapy (if it is not already) should be incorporated into your aftercare plan at some point down the line.

  • Remember that abstinence is key.

No matter what, don’t pick up.

The rates of relapse are unfortunately high amongst those who graduate from drug rehab without a carefully planned aftercare program. If you have recently completed a treatment program and are looking into aftercare options, feel free to contact one of our licensed representatives to find out what steps to take to ensure your sobriety remains intact and you continue to flourish in the journey of recovery.

January 7, 2015 Marissa ObrienAftercare0

After completing any extended-stay inpatient treatment program, a comprehensive aftercare program will be necessary to continued success in recovery and maintenance of prolonged and meaningful sobriety. Committing to several months at a halfway house may seem like the last thing you want to do after completing residential treatment, though if you are serious about your recovery it is, without question, the best option. You may have several ideas in mind regarding what exactly attending a halfway house might entail based on media portrayals or your experiences in sobriety so far. The reality is that you most likely have no idea what to expect, and every horror story you are imagining in your head is probably pretty far from the truth. Here is a list of several probable situations and circumstances that will help you to better prepare for the journey ahead. And don’t worry! No matter what, as long as you stick it through and put in the work it will be a good one.

What To Expect From Sober Living

  1. Expect a “zero tolerance” policy

A “zero tolerance” policy entails absolutely no use of mood or mind-altering substances of any kind. Stay away from everything and you’ll be fine. If you have to ask, just don’t do it.

  1. Expect inconvenient house meetings

You will be asked to prioritize weekly “house meetings” above literally everything else. Make sure your schedule is cleared on Sundays at 5 (or whatever) so you won’t have any issues. Meetings are mandatory. Make them.

  1. Expect missing (stolen) food

Your housemates will not feel badly about eating the last slice of bread, nor will they replace your peanut butter. Accept this and move on. Handle situations with grace and remember – it is just food. If things get too out of hand, buy a lock for $5 at Walmart.

  1. Expect chores, chores, and then some more chores

Be prepared to get down and dirty. The best way to go about completing your assigned chores is very simply to grin, bear it, and don’t miss any spots!

  1. Expect attitude from the higher ups

If your house managers are easy to get along with, you really lucked out. Don’t expect to be buddy-buddy with the men or women in charge – expect a little attitude and a lot of compliancy on your end. Again… grin and bear it. Keep in mind that being yelled at by a 21-year-old about leaving a mug on the dresser is only temporary.

  1. Expect regular drug testing

You will be drug tested on a very regular basis. So don’t do drugs, and stay hydrated.

  1. Expect to go to a meeting every day

You will most likely be asked to attend a 12-step meeting every day, and to have a sheet signed by the chairperson. Avoid having your friends forge signatures, despite how convenient that may seem. You will ultimately only be cheating yourself.

  1. Expect a crappy job

You won’t land a brilliant job on Wall Street while living in a halfway house. In fact, your days may be filled with serving chimichangas to obese Americans or spinning signs advertising super deals on used mattresses. But hey, you have to start somewhere. Again, this job is only temporary, and as you save up money for future endeavors you will learn more about where your passions truly lie and what you want to do with your future.

Overall, expect that if you dedicate yourself to further self-discovery and stay uninvolved in the drama, you will reap amazing benefits from your stay at sober living.

December 24, 2014 Marissa ObrienAftercare0

Without the slow and assisted transition from an inpatient treatment center into a halfway house, it is significantly more difficult for a newly sober individual to maintain sobriety. The rate of relapse amongst addicts and alcoholics who graduate from a residential program and return back to their initial environments (without extended stay at a sober living facility) is far higher than it is amongst those who complete a comprehensive aftercare program after completing treatment. Without a solid support system, which is essentially included when one moves into a sober living house, feelings of loneliness and isolation are likely to consume the addict and lead to eventual relapse. In many cases, sober living houses will provide transportation to and from outside meetings, which works to instill a daily routine conducive to recovery that many clients will continue with long after they transition out of halfway. In fact, many positive habits are instilled, such as cleanliness, living with and getting along with others, and maintaining a daily routine complete with responsibilities and commitments. Structure is a crucial component of sobriety.

Why Sober Living?

Sober living homes are intended to occupy the space between being released from inpatient treatment and returning home – a vital link back into the community as a fully functioning member of society. Standard sober living residences will require each client get a job within a given amount of time, attend 12-step meetings on a daily or near-daily basis, and acquire a sponsor sometime within the first two-weeks. This kind of accountability is essential in early sobriety, especially when the newfound freedom is a bit of a shock to the system after several months of inpatient. Aside from the obvious accountability and reduction of the risk of relapse, why would one choose to commit to an extended stay at a sober living facility?

  • Overwhelming obligations at home.

Returning home after residential addiction treatment means returning to the hectic lifestyle you lived before – bills, work, maybe children to attend to. The stressors of everyday living are often too much for one in early sobriety. There is nothing wrong with prolonging your return home until you are you sure you are mentally prepared.

  • Instant friends/sober supports.

The men or women you live with will inevitably become sources of strength for you on your journey into sobriety. Of course, you are not liable to become best friends with everyone you encounter – but sharing your space with people you don’t particularly favor will inevitably make you more tolerant.

  • Extra “you” time.

It is important to remember that your well-being and your recovery are more important than anything else – your family, your career, your finances. Everything you put before your recovery you will lose.

  • Continuation of therapy/support groups.

In many instances, a personal therapist will be paired with each individual client in an inpatient setting, and it is highly advised that therapy is continued after the client graduates from the residential treatment program. Committing to an extended stay in a sober living house allows each individual to continue with a comprehensive and effective aftercare program.

You’ve just graduated from a 90-day drug rehab – been “coined out” by a group of peers who wish you well and remind you they’re there if you ever need help. Your plane leaves tomorrow – you can’t wait to return home and see your friends and family. You’ve missed them, and you want to show them how far you’ve come in just several months. Therapists and counselors have warned you about the temptations that will likely await you at home, but you aren’t worried… after all, you’re cured! You will no longer want to drink and use drugs, for you’ve uncovered underlying causes of your addiction and addressed them with the assistance of a professional. Right?

Drug Rehab Is Just The Beginning!

Very, very wrong. It is very likely that one has not engaged in any sort of aftercare after inpatient will relapse within a short period of time. The vast majority of inpatient drug rehabs will strongly recommend a comprehensive and extended aftercare program effective immediately after one graduates from residential treatment. In most cases, such programs will include attendance at an IOP (intensive outpatient program) for a period of time, as well as continued daily attendance at a 12-step meeting such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Usually continuation of one-on-one therapy sessions is recommended as well in order to address underlying emotional issues as well as the addiction itself.

It is a common misconception that completing a stay at an inpatient rehab facility is about the extent of treatment – that once your inpatient stay comes to a close you are essentially cured of your addiction, free to return to your old life and pick right back up where you left off; without the use of drugs and alcohol, of course. In fact, graduating from a residential drug rehab program is only the beginning of your journey into recovery. It will be strongly recommended that immediately upon graduation that the newly sober addict or alcoholic maintain sobriety by entering a halfway or sober living house. This will allow him or her much more freedom while still managing accountability by means of frequent drug tests and a set of strict rules (curfew, cleanliness, etc). A careful transition from inpatient to halfway and finally back into total independence has been proven most successful in prolonged abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

Recovery Begins “In the Rooms”

It is often said that real recovery begins “in the rooms”. This refers to the fact that it tends to be difficult for addicts or alcoholics to maintain meaningful sobriety without getting involved in a 12-step program of their choosing. Regular attendance at meetings is usually essential to sustaining sobriety based on several differing factors – one of the most important is being surrounding with sober supports, friends who can relate to the struggle and are available to help if need be. 12-step meetings tend to be a crucial aspect of every aftercare plan, as does continued one-on-one therapy in order to continue resolving emotional problems and underlying causes of addiction. Don’t be fooled by the common misconception that rehab is the end of the road! Recovery is a lifelong process, and sobriety requires continued maintenance. But there is no question that all of the hard work you put in will be more than worth it in the end.

November 14, 2014 Marissa ObrienAftercare0

Recovery is a process that continues long after an individual graduates from an inpatient treatment program – recovery is a process, in fact, that lasts a lifetime. Early sobriety revolves around an individual learning to re acclimatize to society without the use of drugs or alcohol, a process that often takes somewhere near a year depending on how severe their past substance abuse was. After completing detox and graduating from a treatment program at a drug rehab, it is highly suggested that a patient transfer directly to a sober living facility in order to maintain sobriety while growing more accustomed to a higher level of freedom.

The most important factor in maintaining sobriety after completing a treatment program is the type of living situation one will be entering immediately after the program has been completed. Of course, moving into a sober environment with a strict drug and alcohol-free policy is more conducive to prolonged sobriety – especially because many addicts and alcoholics come from dysfunctional, chaotic households in which substance abuse is common and condoned. Most sober living houses emphasize a daily routine that reteaches the newly sober individual how to live efficiently and successfully, while working a job and maintaining other staples of everyday life. By moving into a sober residence after completing treatment, an individual intensifies their chances of prolonged recovery immensely.

The majority of houses greatly emphasize a social model of recovery, strongly recommending and often requiring integration into a 12-step organization (either Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or another variation). Clients are usually required to find a sponsor within the first couple of weeks, and communicate with their sponsor on a daily basis. This is important because it forces accountability, and also helps clients form a relationship with another human being in sobriety – something that will undoubtedly be unfamiliar and require some practice. 12-step meetings also instantaneously provide an extensive support system for newly sober individuals, and sober supports are one of the most crucial elements of maintaining early sobriety.

Additionally, sober living houses require clients to participate in daily activities that they may have neglected while using, such as household chores, cooking, and holding down a regular job. Clients will also be drug tested regularly to ensure the house remains safe for all of the residents. The transition out of drug rehab can be filled with obstacles and setbacks. It is essential that the newly sober addict of alcoholic have immediate support available. The house manager often acts as this support, usually on the premises close to 24 hours. The house manager will also be sure clients are home by curfew – again, instilling accountability and also making sure no relapse-prone behaviors are taking place late at night. For these reasons amongst many others, sober living is extremely crucial to maintained sobriety, and acts as a pertinent step of the overall journey into recovery.

The Hope Center

The Hope Center for Rehabilitation offers a full range of services both leading up to, during and following treatment, including professional interventions, a luxury, medically assisted detox program, inpatient rehabilitation (30-90 days), intensive out-patient rehabilitation and out-patient services. Each of our clients become a part of our alumni program at the completion of their treatment to help foster a continued community of recovery.

Copyright by The Hope Center 2016. All rights reserved.