Completing a treatment program is an important accomplishment; however, it’s only the first step on your recovery journey. Rebuilding your life after addiction treatment requires many changes and adjustments, but a few tips and strategies can boost your odds of success. In this article, we’ll share some suggestions for making the transition to life after addiction treatment.
Transitioning to Life After Addiction Treatment
The early weeks and months of recovery are filled with changes, but certain actions can help you stay on track:
Build healthy friendships: You’ll need to distance yourself from the people you used to drink or use with. Moving away from these relationships can be hard, but it’s important to avoid people and situations that can act as triggers.
Finding friends who support your sober lifestyle is essential. Support groups and 12-step programs are good places to meet people who share your goals and values.
Pursue new activities: When you were struggling with active addiction, a big part of your life was probably consumed by drinking or using. In this new phase of life after addiction treatment, you’ll find that you have more free time. This is a great opportunity to try out a new hobby or volunteer activity, or to take a class in a subject that interests you.
Get into an exercise routine: Getting sober is just one part of improving your health. A regular fitness routine can do wonders for your energy levels and overall feeling of well-being, and it may even help you avoid relapse—studies have shown that people who engage in regular exercise are less likely to abuse drugs.1
Define your goals: Now that you’ve completed treatment, you can view your future as full of options and possibilities. What do you want your life after addiction treatment to look like? Identify some key goals and figure out what you need to do to accomplish them.
During active addiction, you probably did—or didn’t do—things that damaged some of your personal relationships. Even though your loved ones are thrilled to see you recovering, they may still be hurting from your past actions. You can’t rewrite history, but you can work on mending these relationships and moving forward. Go above and beyond to restore trust with the people you love. Ask them what they need from you, and be patient in your efforts.
Slow and Steady
Many recovering people feel inspired and invigorated after completing addiction treatment—they’re ready to take on the world. While that positive attitude is healthy, it’s important to pace yourself and avoid taking on more than you can reasonably handle. Recovery isn’t a race, and real progress can only be made one step at a time.
If you’ve completed treatment for addiction, you’ve already gotten further than many people who are struggling with the same condition—studies show that less than 12 percent of individuals who could benefit from addiction treatment end up getting the help they need.2
Returning to the routines and responsibilities of everyday life after addiction treatment isn’t always easy, but these tips and suggestions can help make the process go more smoothly. With a good support system and a solid action plan, you’ll be ready to move forward in your new life.