March 1, 2019

What Replaces Drugs or Alcohol After Rehab?

Life After Rehab

When you go through rehab and enter back into normal life, it can be difficult to wrap your head around what your new lifestyle might be like. What was once a life consumed by negativity and constant alcohol or drug-seeking behavior is now replaced with a new, healthy lifestyle. While you have learned skills to take with you in your new life, it’s still easy to wonder how you will want to spend your time once rehab is complete.

The good news is: you won’t be totally lost in the woods, and the possibilities are endless. Before you leave treatment, you will be given an aftercare program to help you transition back into normal life. That might include a sober living facility, or strict boundaries and guidelines for living back with family or a friend. You will have aftercare to focus on, such as meetings and outpatient work. Aside from that, with so much time once spent on drugs and alcohol, what do you spend your time doing now that you’ve made the change to recovery?

Don’t Replace Your Addiction

It’s important not to think about drugs and alcohol as things that need to be “replaced”, as this thought process could trigger addictive behaviors again. Anything done to an extreme should be cause for concern, and could trigger a relapse, and keeping your eyes open for a potential relapse should be priority number one. These can be such things as:

  • Gambling
  • Shopping
  • Sex
  • Eating
  • Overworking
  • Pornography
  • Nicotine
  • Exercise

Lean On Your Support System

Making sure that you stick with your aftercare program and leaning on your support system are extremely important during recovery. If you are having a particularly tough day or period of time, make sure you voice it instead of searching for something to replace your addiction. Chances are, someone close to you or in your program has been through the same thing and can help you through it.

Repair Relationships

If you are still working on repairing relationships with important people in your life, make that a priority now that you are out of rehab. Spend your time with the ones you love and make sure you are doing all you can. This can include continuing therapy work, or even just simply eating meals or spending quality time together.

Positive Habits

If you don’t start new, positive habits in your life, it could be very tempting to go back to old, bad habits out of boredom and convenience. The great news about your sobriety is that you don’t have drugs or alcohol holding you down anymore. You can do anything you want to.

Find Sober Friends

It’s important for sober people to have sober friends. This way, they can socialize and do fun activities without any pressures or triggers of needing to drink or do drugs to “have fun”. Temptation levels drop when sober people are around other sober people, and temptation rises when newly sober people are around non-sober people.

In addition, you can make sober friends as a support system. Bringing sober friends to non-sober events, such as a holiday party or birthday celebration, so that you have someone to lean on or help out. You can find sober friends through your recovery network, on social media groups or on websites such as Meetup.

Start a New Hobby

Have you always wanted to learn how to cook? Perhaps you played baseball in high school, it brought you great joy, and you’d like to join an adult league? Or, maybe you have always wanted to go back to school? There is no better time to start than now! Starting a new hobby can be a great way to spend your time and meet like-minded people you can hang out with.

Volunteer

Volunteering releases endorphins the same way that exercise does, so carve out some time to help others! This can be at a local animal shelter, homeless shelter, children’s home or even volunteering to help people who are beginning their recovery journey.

Learn a New Language

Learning a new language can be difficult and take a lot of time, so there is no better time than now to learn that language you’ve always wanted to master! There are online courses or programs you can purchase, or sign up for a class at your local community college. Once you’ve mastered it, treat yourself with a trip to that country!

About Pinelands Recovery Center

Life after rehab can be a scary thought, since it is an unknown. However, it is a beautiful unknown. Being free from addiction means that you can do anything, and your past does not have to hold down your future. Beginning your new life is a time full of excitement and new possibilities.

Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford is widely known as one of New Jersey’s finest, most respected addiction treatment facilities. With comfortable 30-bed accommodations and a 24-hour professional staff, we can offer clients a serene, relaxing environment amid the lush piney woods. This stress-free setting with its sense of warmth and welcoming enables you to feel comfortable and confident about your clean and sober life ahead.

We will establish clear goals, both general in nature and specific to your needs. We continue to monitor those goals, to make sure that our clients are progressing and buying into their recovery plan. We thrive on assisting clients in feeling connected to the recovery community, share and demonstrate effective coping techniques, help clients to modify attitudes and patterns of behavior and everything else you will need to be happy and productive living a sober, healthy life.

We ensure that clients complete their planned concrete tasks, encourage hope, optimism and
healthy living. Our recovery program is not a revolving door treatment program; it is a recovery model designed to help clients go on to lead productive, happy lives. For more information, visit pinelandsrecovery.com

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About Jaclyn Uloth

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