An intensive inpatient recovery program can help you break the cycle of addiction in your life. However, eventually, the recovery program will end, and you'll find yourself at home, responsible for maintaining your own sobriety without the helpful therapeutic surroundings of an inpatient facility. This can be a difficult time in the beginning, although the longer you can stay sober once you're out on your own, the easier it will be to maintain your sober status. Take a look at some ways that you can help yourself stay clean and reduce the risk of a dangerous relapse.
Many people who struggle with chemical dependency developed their addictions in the first place because they were trying to self-medicate. Pain or discomfort might lead you down the path to relapse. To avoid this, it's important for you to stay as healthy as possible when you return from inpatient rehab.
You can begin by eating well and sleeping well. Choosing healthy and nutritious food gives your body the energy it needs to get through the day without feeling exhausted by the end of it and can help prevent you from becoming run down and getting ill. Sleep disturbances are linked to increased risk of relapse. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling depressed, cranky, fatigued, and unmotivated, all of which can result in reaching for your chemical of choice.
See your doctor if you're having trouble eating or sleeping well. Make sure that they know about your addiction history. Your physician can help you find a healthy meal plan and come up with methods that will help you get enough sleep without resorting to drugs or alcohol. You may need more exercise during the day, for example – physical activity can improve your ability to sleep through the night, improve your appetite, and leave you feeling happier as well as healthier.
Get a Pet
Believe it or not, a pet may be able to help you through the rough days immediately after leaving rehab, and may also help you maintain your sobriety in the long run. There are several reasons why some people believe a pet can help an addict avoid backsliding into dependency.
Petting or cuddling with an animal friend may help you feel happier and less stressed, and therefore less likely to relapse in response to depression or stress. Pets also give you a level of responsibility that you have to meet, as the pet will need you to feed it and care for it. Knowing that your pet is counting on you for basic needs and companionship can help keep you on the straight and narrow. Your pet can also provide you with a stable relationship, which can be helpful if you're lonely because you're isolating yourself from friends that you used to drink or use drugs with.
Stay in Therapy
You may have left the rehab facility, but that doesn't mean that you're done with therapy. In fact, it should be quite the opposite. You may need a therapist or counselor now more than ever to help you navigate through sober life outside of the rehab.
You may be able to continue receiving outpatient services through the same facility that you received inpatient care from. If possible, this is the best way to ensure the continuity of your care. However, if this is not possible, you should still receive therapy or counseling from some source – the rehab facility or your primary care physician should be able to refer you to a chemical dependency counselor in your area. Once you have a therapy plan in place, stick to it, and keep your therapist's number handy to use in times of great temptation or stress.
Chemical dependency isn't something that you can recovery from entirely in one 30, 60, or 90 day stay at a rehab facility – you have to keep working on it after you return home as well. But with patience, perseverance and proper support, you can make sobriety a permanent part of your life. Click here to find more information about getting treatment and help in your area.