Overcoming a serious addiction to prescription medications, alcohol, or illicit street drugs is never an easy accomplishment. Maintaining sobriety even after completing an addiction treatment program is necessary to prevent relapsing or giving in to the temptation of life-threatening substances. Understanding why it is essential to have an addiction treatment rehab discharge plan in place is a way to prevent high-risk situations that may lead to a relapse altogether.
Minimize the Risk of a Relapse
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 40-60% of individuals who have addictions are likely to relapse at some point throughout their journey to a life of sobriety. Because addiction is often hardwired in the brain, it is important to stick to a rehab discharge plan at all times after completing an addiction treatment program (inpatient or outpatient).
Setting up a treatment discharge plan is possible whether you have recently completed an inpatient rehabilitation program or an intensive outpatient program. Most rehabilitation programs have additional resources available to those who have successfully completed their designated programs without issue. Once your inpatient or outpatient program is done, a coordinator, counselor, or addiction specialist will provide you with additional details regarding your treatment discharge plan and who to speak to while living independently again.
Stick to Your Goals
Overcoming an addiction long-term requires the ability to envision a future that is complete without the use of drugs and alcohol. Working together with a therapist, counselor, or even a group meeting coordinator is a way to set goals that are optimal for you both immediately and for your desired future. When you continue to meet with professionals and other individuals who have experience with addiction and assisting others through their journey, avoid feeling tempted to use alcohol or drugs. Sticking to your goals and maintaining healthy and fulfilling relationships with the professionals who are motivating you to remain sober is a way to ensure you do not give in to the temptation that may surround you.
Maintain Proper Mental and Emotional Support
Quitting a severe addiction requires the ability to remain determined and motivated at all times. Without proper mental and emotional support, you may find yourself feeling hopeless and helpless, especially when you are faced with the temptations of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication you have used in the past. Building a sense of support and security is necessary for anyone who is struggling with a serious addiction or for those who have relapsed after completing a treatment program in the past.
Reach out to family members, close friends, and others you trust in your life to open up while garnering the support necessary to move forward with your drug and alcohol-free lifestyle. Surround yourself with others who are not interested in using drugs or alcohol or will avoid doing so when in your presence. Avoid spending time with friends and family members who are not supportive of your decision to get sober, as this may lead to a quicker relapse (especially if you find yourself in the presence of drugs or alcohol). Create a support group that is supportive and genuinely wants the best for you and the future you envision for yourself.
Remain Open With Your Counselor or Therapist
After you have completed an inpatient or outpatient treatment program, you may have a desire to stop scheduling and attending counseling sessions with your counselor or therapist. However, it is important to remain consistent with appointments as you begin living on your own again and without the assistance of a rehabilitation treatment center nearby.
Communication is a key element involved in overcoming an addiction, which is why it is essential to continue scheduling appointments with your addiction counselor or therapist. Opening up to your therapist or counselor is a great way to share the challenges and obstacles you are facing each day, especially after you are discharged from a short or long-term rehabilitation program. The more willing you are to communicate your emotions and your current outlook, the easier it becomes to create a plan of action that prevents you from finding yourself in risk and tempting situations that involve the very substances that triggered your addiction.
Working together with an addiction counselor or therapist is a way to unburden yourself from feelings of shame, guilt, and judgment. Additionally, an addiction therapist or counselor provides moral and emotional support as you work through rebuilding your life, current relationships, and the future you want for yourself and your family.
Stay Motivated to Remain Sober While Giving Back to Your Community
Many rehabilitation facilities for addiction provide volunteering programs and resources for those who have completed a program and want to give back. Sticking to a discharge plan that has been individualized for you personally is a way to stay on track with your current and future goals. Seeking resources to give back and to become a sponsor is a great way to stick to your plan of sobriety after completing your rehabilitation treatment.
Attending local NA (Narcotics Anonymous) or AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) group meetings is another solution that lends both mental and emotional support necessary to prevent relapsing. Connect with others who have struggled with addiction in a safe space that is welcoming and understanding. Learn to better communicate openly and honestly about your feelings, temptations, and struggles with day to day life. Spend time listening to the stories of other individuals who have been in similar situations as yourself. Reach out to become a sponsor or to obtain a sponsor for even more support.
Understanding the importance of sticking to an addiction discharge plan is imperative to prevent potentially life-threatening relapses or overdoses. With the help of the right professionals and enough mental and emotional support from those in your life, move forward without feeling helpless or unable to do so on your own. Having a treatment discharge plan in place is a way for you to continue living a life of sobriety while minimizing the risk of allowing drugs or alcohol back in ever again.