It’s not uncommon to feel a sense of discomfort as you prepare to leave rehab. You’ve just spent weeks in a structured environment that’s free of temptations and triggers related to your substance use disorder.
As you re-enter your day-to-day life, there are the realities and responsibilities that come with it. You may be returning to work or school or need to look for a new job. You are probably healing fractured relationships. You have the stress
of establishing new patterns. You’ll need to fit support meetings into your schedule. You’ll need to find time for self-care. There is a lot to consider.
We’ve Got You, Even After Discharge
Here’s the good news. We get it. We anticipate these challenges and will work with you to create a personalized plan well in advance of discharge. Here’s a preview of what you can expect during life after Pinelands:
- Discharge plan: Before you leave, we will work with you to create a schedule for your first days back home, which includes times, dates and locations of meetings. We’ll have an appointment set up with your outpatient treatment team. Lastly, you’ll have a plan for how to ease back into your daily life, including how to fit self-care into your day. You’ll leave us with a clear road map on how to sustain structure and sobriety as you continue to work on your recovery.
- Alumni events: We will continue to be a meaningful part of your life. We host monthly and quarterly alumni meetings and events, such as ice skating and sports outings, that provide the opportunity for you to reconnect with the commitment you made to your sobriety while at Pinelands. You’ll get to converse with fellow alumni who have been through the same program.
- Closed Facebook group: You can stay in touch any time through our closed group that’s just for alumni. There, you can give shout-outs to one another, confirm that you’re attending an event and much more.
- Mentor program: While at Pinelands, you’ll be paired with a peer mentor who you’ll continue to work with after treatment. Studies show that mentorship vastly decreases the relapse rates. The mentor program is covered by insurance.
You’ve Got This
Maintaining recovery is hard work, which is why we plan so carefully with you. You don’t have to go it alone. There’s an entire network of support available to you as a Pinelands alumnus.
Warning Signs of Relapse
Entering recovery after successfully completing treatment is a huge milestone and marker of success. Unfortunately, relapsing in recovery is a reality for some individuals. Relapse should never be seen as a failure but instead as another opportunity to be successful in recovery.
Cravings, urges and relapses are signs that you may need to re-enter treatment. Relapses occur for many reasons and there are three primary phases associated with relapse: emotional, psychological and physical.
Phases of Relapse
Emotional phase: This is the first stage of relapse and often involves challenges and triggers that bring upon the urge to use. Sometimes individuals cannot overcome these triggers for many reasons. Perhaps they did not develop healthy coping mechanisms, they did not have a plan for overcoming these triggers or they did not realize these triggers would appear in recovery. The emotional urge to use can be incredibly strong and this initial stage is the decision-making stage for many individuals.
Psychological phase: This is the second phase of relapse and involves bargaining or convincing yourself that you will only drink or use just this one time. Your mental strength is compromised in this stage.
Physical phase: This is the final stage where you use drugs or alcohol. You may only have just one sip of wine or choose to drink the entire bottle of vodka. Regardless if you indulge in a little or a large amount, or if you relapse in a social situation or by yourself, this stage can continue the cycle of your substance use disorder if you do not seek professional help. You can choose either the path to recovery or the sequence of relapse.
If you have relapsed or are currently having cravings or urges, it may be wise to contact your alumni program to re-enter treatment. The following warning signs are associated with imminent relapse:
- Destructive or harmful thoughts
- Poor decision-making
- Trouble concentrating and sleeping
- Reckless behavior
- Ignoring or forgetting healthy habits
- Unable to practice coping tools
- Social isolation
- Obsessive thoughts about drugs or alcohol
- Mood swings
Seek Help Immediately
If you are relapsing, reach out for help right away, whether it’s with us or your outpatient team. The quicker you’re able to receive interventional help, the faster you’ll be able to stop the cycle of using and bingeing. Remember, recovery isn’t about perfection. One day… one moment… at a time. We’re here for you 24/7. Just call (609) 308-3114.