21 Aug What Is Recovery Beyond Treatment?
Getting treated for substance use disorder (SUD) is often just the first step on your long journey to sustained wellness. After detox and rehabilitation comes the difficult transition back into everyday life. Outside of the treatment center, you’ll be exposed to potential stressors such as work and family. These stressors, along with the lack of constant support and structure given at treatment facilities, can sometimes lead to relapse. While relapse does not mean the end of your recovery journey, maintaining sobriety and wellness is the long-term goal. Certain habits and resources can help keep you on track for recovery beyond the treatment space.
Resources for Recovery Beyond the Facility
After leaving a treatment facility or program, it’s essential to stay focused on your recovery despite the distractions of everyday life. You can do this by creating a network of people and resources that will support your continuing journey. Depending on the program, you may have been set up with an aftercare plan by a case manager or team to provide you with those resources.
Therapy can be a valuable tool both during and after SUD treatment. Whether through individual or group sessions, therapy allows you to continue to heal from the trauma of addiction and find support in others. Many people facing SUD prefer group therapy because it reduces feelings of isolation and allows them to witness others’ successful recovery. Individual therapy can also be a useful tool, especially for those with co-occurring conditions. Whatever the type, therapy can expand your support network. It offers positive socialization with people who understand what you’re going through.
If therapy was something you found helpful in your treatment program, you should try to continue it in your recovery beyond treatment. By continuing the routine that you built while in treatment, you decrease the chance of relapse. You also stay on track for a life of maintained wellness.
Involvement With a Sober Community
Lack of a substance-free environment can be a hurdle for those in recovery from SUD. To combat that obstacle, a helpful resource may be getting involved with a sober community. A sober community is simply a group of people with the shared intention and goal of living substance-free lives. This community can take many forms. Your sober community may be your therapy group or the people from your local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. If your home is not a good place for your sustained sobriety, you can even choose to live in a sober living home specifically dedicated to those in recovery. There are even online sober communities so you can stay connected to a support system wherever you are.
The benefits of having a sober community are similar to the benefits of group therapy: connection, understanding, support, accountability, and structure. By talking to people who understand your situation, you can learn to let go of any shame or guilt that is holding you back in your recovery.
An added benefit of in-person sober communities is that they may organize group activities or community outreach events. By participating in those events and activities, you can maintain your sobriety and have fun doing it. Participating in outreach events can also give you a sense of purpose, which can only help you in your recovery beyond the treatment program.
Utilizing Your Alumni Network
Similar to sober communities, alumni networks are organizations of people who have completed treatment successfully and are now navigating recovery. After rehabilitation, joining an alumni network can be a good way to help you transition back into everyday life. Through the organization, you’ll gain access to activities, events, and resources that you otherwise may not have been aware of. Your fellow alumni are there to offer emotional support and information on how to maintain sobriety and wellness.
At alumni events, such as reunions and workshops, you’re offered the opportunity to learn from those around you who may be further along in their recovery journey. This can also be a great place for sharing and practicing coping skills. Some events are even open to family members so that you can learn and grow together in a safe environment. This network can also allow you to stay in touch with people you might have connected with during rehab. Those sustained support systems can be invaluable throughout your recovery.
Giving You the Framework for Recovery Beyond Treatment
It can seem daunting to take full advantage of all the resources for your continued care. With the added stressors of everyday responsibilities, maintaining sobriety after treatment can feel more challenging than the treatment itself. To take some of the pressure off of you, you may need a helping hand. Many resources are available to help you organize your recovery beyond the treatment program.