Setting out to select a quality drug or alcohol treatment program can be a very daunting task. Prospective clients and/or their families are inundated with multiple solicitations once they begin their web based quest. There are many factors to consider such as geography, cost, therapeutic approach, Abstinence based vs Harm Reduction model, etc. Once a selection is made and the client subsequently arrives in treatment, it is vitally important that the client makes the most of the valuable resources offered. Drug or Alcohol Detox and Treatment provides addicts and alcoholics with the building blocks necessary to build a solid foundation in early recovery.
While safely in the cocoon of drug or alcohol treatment, clients will not encounter “real world” temptations like hanging out with old using or drinking buddies or driving near places where they used to use drugs or drink. During the treatment program, other clients and staff anticipate abstinence as it is difficult to become inebriated in a well managed program. However, once a client leaves treatment, the normal stresses of life and frequent temptation may return. So, what things can someone do to stay clean and sober after leaving drug or alcohol treatment?
Typically, an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) consists of 9 weekly hours of drug or alcohol treatment programing. The majority of that time is spent in group therapy and psychoeducational sessions. Clients also get one on one time with their primary therapist at least once a week. An IOP Program is a critical part of the client’s continuum of care not only for the sustained therapy, but for the accountability of ongoing drug and alcohol testing and for the support they are able to get from their peers.
Returning home immediately after leaving drug or alcohol treatment can be very dangerous. A newly recovering addict or alcoholic is extremely susceptible to triggers like people, places and things that remind them of using or drinking. Recovery Housing also known as Sober Living offers those new to recovery a structured environment in which to learn valuable life skills. While this environment is structured, it is much less restrictive than a Residential Treatment Program. Those new to recovery will hugely benefit from the positive peer influence obtained in a Recovery Housing setting.
Counseling is an essential part of continuing care for recovering addicts and alcoholics. Cognitive behavioral therapy, family counseling, and other therapy approaches can help people recovering from addiction stay clean and sober. Psychotherapy can also treat the other mental health conditions that often contribute to drug and alcohol abuse. Addiction is more than a physical dependence on drugs and alcohol. Even after detox, when physical dependence has resolved, addicts and alcoholics are at high risk for relapse. Psychological and social factors are often powerful stimuli for relapse.
12 Step Program or Smart Recovery
Both the 12 Step Program and the Smart Recovery Program offer continued support and growth through a philosophy of mutual aid and reliance on believing in a power greater than one’s self. Each program offers in person and online meeting options to help you connect with others in recovery. The crux of the 12 Step Programs and Smart Recovery is growth achieved through continued work on one’s self. Through regular attendance and adherence to spiritual principles espoused in these programs, lives continue to change for the better.
Possibly the most critical piece of the aftercare puzzle is the development and maintenance of a peer support network. Most clinicians will say that human interaction and connection via sharing of personal experience fosters feelings of belonging and inclusion. Addicts and alcoholics tend to come from lonely dark places where isolation occurs. Isolation is the enemy of those in recovery. In early recovery, one’s support network becomes their social circle. It’s important that recovering addicts and alcoholics come to the realization that life in recovery can be fun and enjoyable.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic pill to take for achieving lifelong sobriety. However, when combined, these five suggestions have shown to increase your chances for a successful recovery.
If you or a loved one needs help or is struggling with drugs or alcohol, Waters Edge Recovery can help. Please call or chat with us now.