There are millions of young adult Americans each year that suffer from addiction. Though some realize their condition and seek help, others fall victim to their addiction and end up spiraling downhill fast. The fact that you’ve come as far as going through an addiction recovery program and are nearing the end is a commendable first step into your new sober lifestyle. While making it this far is remarkable, it is important to understand that you’ll need to “restart your life” to avoid ruining the progress you’ve made.
After attending a rehab program that offers substance abuse treatment for young adults, you’ll need to do everything in your power to avoid relapsing. Although it is not necessarily the reversal of recovery, relapsing can trigger your addiction sending you back to the dark place you no longer want to be in. You’ve likely been provided with a plethora of resources to help you stay on track. However, here are three key things to remember:
- Avoid Triggers – During your therapy in rehab, you were probably taught how to identify your triggers. Maybe you started using drugs because you were stressed out about your financial situation or you drank alcohol because it was simply part of your social life that just spilled over. Whatever the case is, you’ll need to avoid these triggers at all costs. If this means budgeting better or steering clear of parties for a while, so be it.
- Remove Bad Influences – If you have friends or relatives that are still using, or will influence you to use again, you need to remove them from your life. No matter how much you might love and care for them, you’ll have to do this from afar to keep your health and sobriety intact.
- Continue Therapy – You’ll want to continue therapy after leaving a rehab program to ensure that you stay on the right path psychologically. As you adapt to the “real world” through sober eyes, you’ll need a therapist or support group to help you through the tough times.
Take Care of Your Health
The drugs and/or alcohol you were consuming have done damage to your body and you’ll want to help strengthen it as much as possible. Here are some suggestions:
- Eat Healthy – This doesn’t mean you have to eat a salad every day, but you should try to incorporate more balance into your diet. The foods you eat essentially fuel your body and help to make it stronger.
- Exercise – Exercise is great for maintaining a healthy weight, but it is also a great adrenaline boost, which is ideal for those who are recovering from addiction. Whether you hit the gym, take a walk daily, or play a sport, you need to make sure you’re physically active at least five days a week.
When you were suffering from addiction, you likely isolated yourself from everything and everyone. Now that you’ve recovered, you’ll need conversation, companionship, and support of others to stay on the straight and narrow. Here are some suggestions on how to improve your social life:
- Rebuild Your Relationships – Broken relationships as a result of your addiction can be mended with time. If you’ve burned bridges with your loved ones, children, or friends, you should try and rebuild. While you may have to go to counseling, in most instances you can rekindle some form of a relationship with them.
- Get a Hobby – Idle time is never a good thing when you’re recovering from addiction. You need to find something that interests you and get involved. When you have other passions to turn to, the urge to use will be less frequent making it easier for you to remain sober.
Get Your Finances in Order
Poor financial health can bring on stress, anxiety, and depression, which can lead to self-medicating and relapse. To avoid this, it is a good idea to get your finances in order as best you can.
- Talk to Your Employer – If you took a leave from your job, talk to your employer about your completion of the rehab program and when you might be able to restart your job.
- Find a job – If you had to quit your job or were fired as a result of your addiction you’ll need to hit the ground with applications to try and find a new one.
- Set a Budget – Whatever income you have currently, you’ll need to budget it out accordingly so that you can compensate all of your bills and survive until you’ve started working again.
It will take a lot of effort and hard work if you’re going to truly conquer addiction. Long after you’ve left your rehab program, you will need to apply yourself daily to see through to brighter days. There will be ups and downs along the way, but as long as you’ve come up with a plan, continue therapy, and surround yourself with people who care about you, you can beat it one day at a time.