There is so much more to addiction recovery than finding the right alcohol and drug treatment center for you or a loved one. Of course knowing you truly want to make a change, is what addiction recovery is about. You have to want it because no one else can do this for you. You make the choice because you are in charge. Picking up the phone and making a call for help is a true sign of wanting help.
So, let’s say you do that. Let’s just say you make the call, you arrive at the alcohol and drug treatment center and receive the detoxification and rehabilitation you need to start. After all, you need to remove alcohol and drugs from your system if you are going to make more concrete decisions, right? This is another frightening time because you’ll soon be entering mainstream society. There will be outside influences; triggers that might make you slip. You’ll need to make a plan to stay sober after you’ve left detox and rehab.
There are, of course, many ways to stay sober, and here are a few that’ll surely help you.
- Aftercare Program: All good alcohol and drug treatment centers will talk to you about half-way houses, sober living, and other programs before you leave their facility. They want to make sure you’re thinking about what your life will be like. You might have been living with another active addict and going back to that environment could be dangerous for your sobriety. Would sober living be the best bet? Make sure you’ve spoken to your counselor.
- Make a New Life: In many cases, once you’ve arrived to treatment you have probably burned most bridges of support, and also only have friends who are using alcohol and drugs like you did. So, the best thing to do is find support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, or another 12 Step program that will allow you to come into contact with people who are of like mind. They’ve gone through a lot and have the desire to stop drinking or using drugs. Stick with them, find a sponsor, and find a new life.
- Relapse Prevention: Many of us, when first getting sober, slip up. We tend to forget the tools we’ve been taught to stay sober. In essence, we forget to grab our tool belt before leaving the house. So, if a slip does occur, don’t despair. Stop immediately and seek help, call your sponsor or sober friend, and get to a 12-step meeting that will help support you. Remember that staying sober is a life-time commitment and it’s a program of action. Don’t beat yourself up if something happens.
Attending an alcohol and drug treatment facility is not the end all to your long term sobriety. Listen to what’s being shared, take it, make it your own, and remember that no single suggestion will ensure that you’ll always stay sober. Simply do the best you can today, and then when you wake up the next day, do the best you can that day as well.