Over 20 million Americans aged 12 years and over suffer from a substance use disorder, of which very few seek appropriate treatment. But even though rehab is a billion-dollar industry in the US, simply going to a treatment center doesn’t guarantee effective treatment. Many people who start rehab end up relapsing. Of course, the proper support and professional guidance can go a long way in ensuring a successful recovery. Here are 8 ways to ensure a successful rehab journey.
1. Keep Yourself Healthy
Addiction recovery never happens in a vacuum, and it’s not entirely dependent on abstaining from the desired substance. Instead, it depends on several other factors, one of which is long-term health. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association, you have to make informed decisions that improve your physical and mental health. This can include healthier food choices, such as incorporating fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet.
Addiction can prevent many people from being able to afford high-quality food. Unfortunately, this can lead to malnutrition and deficiency-related diseases. Studies indicate that eating healthier can improve your chances of recovering from addiction, which is why it’s so important.
2. Building Healthy Relationships
Poor mental health is often a symptom of substance abuse disorder; in some cases, it can even exacerbate it. The people you surround yourself with can significantly impact your mental health and chances of recovery. It becomes very difficult to manage addiction when you’re surrounded by influences that enabled self-destructive behavior.
To ensure a successful rehab journey, you must identify and compartmentalize such relationships. Once you start surrounding yourself with supportive people who understand your struggles, they will respect your boundaries and positively influence you. Thus, you’ll be more committed to recovery.
3. Know Your Triggers and Avoid Them
In most substance abuse cases, people have specific triggers, like events and interactions, which urge them to drink. When presented with these triggers, people have the inescapable urge to have their desired substance.
When you understand your triggers, you can effectively avoid them. This means you won’t be consumed by an overwhelming urge to have a drink at random times. Some of the most common triggers include emotional distress, insecurity, stress, and boredom. When you’re seeking treatment at a rehab center, you can work with a counselor to help you understand your triggers.
4. Work on Your Habits
For many people struggling with addiction, substance abuse makes up a big chunk of their routine. So, it becomes difficult to fill that void when they’re trying to recover. That’s where it helps to work on your habits. Think about how you’ll replace previous substance abuse behaviors with something new. A simple example is that you can go for a walk whenever you feel the urge to drink.
When you eliminate drugs and alcohol from the thought process, you build a new response to the trigger. As you continue to replace old behaviors with new ones, you can stay in recovery for longer. Many cases of relapse occur primarily because the person didn’t replace the old behavior with a new one.
5. Keep Expectations in Check
For some people, achieving different milestones in their recovery journey can be very satisfying. They may see a sudden shift in their lifestyle and routine. You feel healthier, look better, and are more productive – you’re the best version of yourself. It’s only natural to feel a sense of accomplishment after struggling for so long.
However, keeping these feelings in check is essential, as they could be signs of pink cloud syndrome. This is when you experience euphoria during the early phase of addiction treatment. While it lasts a short time, it can contribute to overconfidence, which puts you at risk of experiencing delusions, unrealistic expectations, and, eventually, disappointment. This makes for a dangerous combination that can lead to a relapse. Hence, it’s vital that you continue focusing on getting better instead of how getting better makes you feel.
6. Try To Maintain Stability
It becomes harder to manage a substance abuse disorder when you’re living in an unstable home environment. To improve your chances of a successful recovery, live in a household where others don’t struggle with substance abuse disorders. Similarly, economic instability can lead to financial stress and strain family relationships. This, in turn, can lead to a relapse. It’s crucial that you focus on maintaining a consistent income to ensure that you can maintain a stable lifestyle and family life.
7. Continue Treatment
People in rehab often discontinue treatment once they start seeing some progress. You may feel like you no longer require therapy at United Recovery CA. Or, you may feel like you can implement the lessons learned in rehab without consulting a therapist first. However, this can be detrimental to the progress you’ve made so far. Unfortunately, going through detox only addresses acute withdrawal, which includes uncomfortable physiological symptoms. After that, you start experiencing protracted withdrawal. This includes emotional symptoms that can last for months or even years.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most people who enroll in rehab must continue receiving treatment for at least three months. In some cases, people require an additional month of therapy. It’s vital that you discuss your long-term plans with your therapist, so they can assess your progress. Ideally, you should remain in treatment until your therapist believes that you’ve met all the goals of your rehab treatment.
While exercise doesn’t directly impact recovery, it’s one of the most effective ways to restore your brain’s natural chemical balance. That’s because exercise’s stress-relieving effects help introduce naturally-produced endorphins into the system. Not only do you feel better, but your brain starts relearning how to regulate levels of neurotransmitters. Thus, it does so through natural ways instead of relying on substances.
Overall, it’s important to remember that rehab isn’t the only necessary factor for recovery. Taking care of critical aspects can help ensure a successful recovery at your desired rehab center. These include looking after your long-term health, finding supportive friends, and building better habits. While these may seem small, they can add a significant impact. Moreover, knowing these things beforehand can help you make informed decisions about your lifestyle and remain committed to recovery from addiction.