When it comes to drug rehab, the two most difficult parts are going into treatment and everything that comes after. If you’re close to finishing your treatment, you might be intimidated by going back to life as normal and it’s understandable. Being properly prepared will help, but you should also know that you will still get assistance and won’t be left to your own devices. Here’s what you should expect after drug rehab. (source: Reco Intensive)
Expect the first days to be tough after returning home, especially if you went for inpatient rehab. In many cases, this means that you’ll be coming home to all sorts of triggers. These can be things like paraphernalia, but also friends you used to hang with, or certain stressors.
The first thing you should do is get rid of all the paraphernalia and let people you used to do drugs with know that you’re cutting ties with them. You won’t be able to eliminate all triggers, however, so you will have to use the training you received in rehab to cope with those. Your therapist may have recommended that you distract yourself by taking a walk, speaking with members of your family, or reading. You can also use self-talk or call your sponsor.
If you feel like your home is just too much, know that you can live in a sober home for a while. Sober living communities are like an extension of rehab and provide additional support to those just coming out of treatment. They will also have regular drug tests and additional resources like 12-step programs, job placement, support groups, and recreational activities.
Reconnecting with Your Close Ones
One thing you shouldn’t expect when you come home from rehab is for your family members to throw a party for you. They know that this is just the start and they may still remember some of the things you did.
Rebuilding trust takes time, so you will need to be patient. In the meanwhile, you have to work on improving your life. Once they see that you are making real changes, they might be more inclined to welcome you back.
The most important part is committing to sobriety. You will then need to rebuild your life from the ground up and adopt new habits. Get healthy and start a fitness regimen. You should also continue therapy or counseling if you need to work on yourself.
If you feel you’ve wronged anyone, try to make amends with them. Also, remember that you can’t change people, only yourself, so don’t worry too much if some people are still reluctant to reconnect with you.
Socializing After Rehab
Socialization will be very important going out of rehab, but could also be your downfall. The most important thing will be to build a new group of friends and be careful about which environments you’ll be in.
If you want to eliminate the risk for triggers, connect with people who care about health and wellness. Join yoga classes. Or you could join an amateur sports league. Another great option would be to do charity work. If you’re religious, connecting with religious groups can be a great way to stay away from temptations and find a higher purpose.
If alcohol and drugs are connected in your life, social events might be difficult. The first thing you should do is check if you can find one or a few sober friends to come with you. You should also attend a 12-step program group session either before or after the event to help with motivation.
Returning to Work
Work can bring a sense of stability and structure into your life. It will help you fill up your time, offer socializing opportunities, and will bring a sense of duty.
A lot of people are intimidated about going back to work, however. They may feel embarrassed if co-workers or their boss finds out, or they may be scared of what will happen if people ask them questions they can’t answer. It will be up to you to decide whether, to be honest, and upfront, or more guarded. It’s better to prepare for this ahead of time so you won’t feel as stressed.
You should also know that work can be a stressor, so, if your current job is too stressful, try to find something that will be easier on your nerves. You will also need to use some of the stress management techniques you’ll have learned during rehab like mindfulness/meditation techniques and deep breathing.
Taking walks when situations get too stressful or going for frequent, short breaks could also help. This is why we would suggest that you at least let management know of your situation so they can accommodate you.
If you were wondering what life would be like after rehab, we hope we were able to help. The most important part will be to restrict your exposure to triggers, reconnecting with the people you love, and rearranging your life to promote sobriety.