These days, an addict who seeks help is in good company and care. Rehab professionals now understand that, while addiction is a severe disease, anyone can battle it if they have help1. True, the ability to recover from or manage an addiction varies by each patient’s strengths, talents, coping abilities, resources and values. The extent to which someone follows the following five suggestions can buoy her recovery experience.
Focus on Health and Strength
Overcoming the symptoms of addiction means you must avoid drugs. You will easily avoid drugs in rehab, but health professionals will create a unique plan about how to stay clean once treatment ends. From that point onward, it would be a great idea to take an active interest in your general health. This idea does not mean becoming a health nut, as making good health choices for physical and mental wellbeing can be easier than you might expect.
Ask what your individual strengths are. If you are athletic, then you can improve your health by exercising more, even inviting family members to participate. If food is of interest, then plan healthy menus for the family to improve their interest in staying healthy. Maybe you are good at organizing events, so you can create a schedule to get more sleep, rearrange a part of the house to ease chores or something to the like. Each person has a different strength, and family therapy can help all family members develop behavioral goals that will discourage relapse with their strongest personality traits2.
Develop Talent at Home
Recovering addicts need a safe and stable environment in which to live, so community-based nonresidential services are specifically designed to help people make behavioral changes while staying at home3. Patients can find joy and security in their own homes by developing a talent there that helps them enjoy life. Some recovery programs build members’ talents, so going back to school or considering a career that fits individual needs may help sobriety for the long haul. Addiction and substance dependence often cloud thinking and judgment, so it is often difficult to use talents fully while addiction takes over. However, sober living allows individuals the opportunity to maximize their abilities.
Add Purpose to Values
Rehab programs often mention that addicts must participate in activities that will give them a sense of purpose. Sometimes this idea is termed the reason to live, so volunteer service is often suggested. Helping other people makes helpers truly happy, as it shifts their focus off of their own problems. Another benefit of community service is that it enables patients to develop coping skills. While you reach out to help others, it will become obvious that everyone faces challenges. In fact, looking objectively at other people’s trials and encouraging them to make it thorough will build mental stamina to endure one’s own issues.
Sort Through the Community for Emotional Needs
Love and support are essential to mental and emotional health. Every community has at least some friends and social networks to keep people in good associations. Friendship, hope and love stand to be gained for those who are willing to look for them. This fact may highlight the value of an alumni group—just as a recovering addict may need to take her addiction one day at a time, she can also take friendships one person at a time to ensure that everyone she knows promotes recovery, not relapse. Friends are much more than cliques, so seek close companionship with people who make you feel and act well.
Find Endurance with Creativity
Developing creativity certainly adds purpose to life. Perhaps by drawing, painting or playing an instrument, you will probably experience learning curves and setbacks as you cultivate creativity. Your patience and coping abilities will carry into more apparent areas of life as time goes by.
New hobbies can replace substance use. Perhaps exercise, dance, theatre, painting or craft projects may distract you, as your talent could be simple, perhaps by arranging a beautifully set table. Gardening, repairing broken items, cultivating cleanliness and even leaving a little gift on a family member’s bed can bring joy into the home. Working on creative pursuits has many benefits. Youths will likely find it easier to complete homework, and adults can develop reasons to finish their own goals. Also, your loved ones may receive joy from giving to people even if their work goes unappreciated. For example, an aspiring artist will likely enjoy his work even when he receives occasional criticism. These are positive developments for a recovering addict who must learn that setbacks are a part of life!
Never lose hope that addiction recovery is possible. Resilience develops over time, so a relapse is a brief and small slip. Personalized treatment and continued growth will bring positive results. Reach out for help right now by calling our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now4.
1 http://www.samhsa.gov/recovery Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration “Recovery and recovery support” Last updated: 10/05/15 Retrieved 12/10/15
2 http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment/behavioral-5 National Institute on Drug Abuse, Family Behavior Therapy, Last updated December, 2012, Retrieved 12/10/15
3 http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/95/n/115 Department of Health and Hospitals State of Louisiana, Addictive Disorders Services, Retrieved 12/10/15
4 http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/pdf/postcurriculum_session11.pdf Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lifestyle Coach Facilitation Guide, Preventing Relapse, Retrieved 12/10/15