Successful Drug and Alcohol Recovery After Rehab
Everyone who has completed a drug and alcohol recovery program understands that the real challenge begins once the program has ended. The real test begins once the individual is out-patient and has re-entered the real world.
There are some basic principles that can help ensure a continued successful recovery. The last thing anyone wants is for the individual to backslide and return to drugs and alcohol. These are the principles that I followed after I completed a drug and alcohol recovery program. Because I followed these principles, I have remained successfully clean and sober.
The principles for the first year following graduation from a drug and alcohol recovery program should include:
(1) Accountability.It is extremely important that the recovery program graduate has someone to whom they are accountable during their first year. This should be a person who lives nearby, and it could be a family member, a close friend, someone at church, or even someone who counseled them in the recovery program. Accountability ensures that the individual has someone that they feel free to talk to when they are struggling. Accountability also means that the individual has someone that they answer to about how they are spending their income. This helps ensure, for example, that they do not procrastinate paying bills or otherwise misuse their money, which could ultimately lead to feelings of being overwhelmed, depression, and susceptibility to returning to substance abuse.
(2) Involvement in recovery meetings or church.Involvement in recovery meetings or in church is of significant importance because this allows the recovery program graduate to stay connected to positive individuals who are living according to high-level principles. The people in these communities can serve as role models for the individual who is working to re-establish themselves in the world.
(3) Work.For the recovery program graduate, work is of utmost importance. Work provides a structured environment that results in healthy self-esteem, the ability to pay one's bills, and ultimately leaves little time to think about returning to the old lifestyle. The individual has worked too hard to achieve recovery to risk backsliding once again.
For the individual who has graduated from the alcohol and drug recovery program, it is certain that following these principles for the first year will assist in staying clean and sober. They can develop new habits for living that will result in successful re-entry into the community.
There are various types of recovery programs available. I attended a faith-based drug and alcohol recovery program that was a 9-month, inpatient program. This program was highly effective in allowing me to overcome my addictions. However, what worked for me might not work for others. It is important to examine the various programs before making a commitment to any specific program.
When researching recovery programs, there are various questions that should be considered before choosing a program, including:
(1) Does the individual prefer a faith-based program or one that is based on the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Step program?
(2) Does the individual prefer in-patient or out-patient treatment?
(3) What is the cost of the program, and does the cost (for in-patient programs) include meals?
(4) For programs that are in-patient, it is necessary to determine what the individual needs, and what they are allowed to bring with them to the program;
(5) When is family allowed to visit? On which days and times do visitation takes place?
For the individual who truly desires change, alcohol and drug recovery programs can be very successful. Ultimately, it is the individual's deep desire for change that determines the success of any recovery program.