If you’ve ever tried to overcome your addiction with one swift “I’m done,” you probably understand that it can’t be done. No mental health problem is that easy to solve. Just because you’ve completed detox and have gotten the drugs out of your system doesn’t mean you’ve gotten them out of your brain. The physical cravings were only a part of your problem. The drive to use drugs runs much deeper. Now that you have stopped, though, those problems are more isolated than ever, and you’re clear to dive deep and dig.
Completing rehab is like the climax of treatment, but it’s not the end, not even close. You need an aftercare plan as well. Therapy sessions, group meetings, volunteer work—anything sober-minded and productive is good. Remember, idle hands are the devil’s tools.
Most aftercare activities can be found in rehab clinics themselves, so you may not have to search elsewhere once it’s over: you know exactly where you’ll be heading after work, school, etc, from now on.
The transition itself is a lot like moving from high school to college: Your responsibilities are mostly the same, but unless you’ve been court-ordered, you don’t have to perform them. All you have is your own determination and the support of your family, friends, sponsors.
Ask for a plan
By the time your treatment is nearly complete, the staff should have a solid portrait of you and your particular needs. Whether you require psychotherapy, group therapy, family therapy, a stay in a halfway house, social services, and/or help finding employment, the support service team at your clinic will gladly draft up an individualized plan for you.
Document that plan
Once you have an idea of what you’re doing, you should do your best to secure that plan with written words. Ask for referrals for different programs, take note of their locations and meeting times, and go explore.
Inform those around you.
The first next step in creating an aftercare plan is sharing its seed with any potential support: family, friends, professors, pastors—anyone who is both caring and understanding. The more they know and are involved, they can better help you.
Make appointments with counselors
This will ensure that you have a place to stay after treatment as well as an employment plan. Document everything you can to reduce post-rehab anxiety: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE. Define how you’ll prevent relapse by outlining your specific triggering situations.
Stick to it.
Simple as that (but not really): stay on track. What i really boils down to is lots and lots of repetition. You’re replacing bad habits with good ones. Practice your coping strategies by regularly seeing a psychotherapist, keeping a food journal, and sticking to the right kind of people, not just the good ones. Remember: it only gets easier from here. It works.
For help with addiction, call today: 949-637-5499