What is the first thing people do after getting out of rehab programs that treat substance addictions? Some start new lives, while a few, sadly, return to their former habits and behaviors.
The bright side of the situation is that there are multiple avenues for long-term recovery and dozens of tactics rehab grads can take advantage of. In addition to building a social network from the ground up, many pursue education and job training.
Step one for prospective college attendees is to find a way to cover tuition and related expenses of higher education. Whether they aim for degrees or not, those who deal with past addictions find strength and support in new hobbies, group therapy, financial reorganization, and a renewed emphasis on health and well-being. Consider the following lifestyle strategies if you want to build a successful, happy life after the rehab program is finished.
Build a New Social Network
One of the major pitfalls for graduates of rehabilitation programs is falling into the same old social routine. Instead, make a concerted effort to establish a brand-new social network. Enlist the help of counselors and group sponsors if necessary. In most cases, it’s safe and convenient to socialize with those you meet in support groups.
But strive to expand your friendship circle by including people you meet in safe venues like church and at your place of work. Make it clear that you don’t use addictive substances. Nowadays, addiction recovery organizations are well-known and ubiquitous. If you let new acquaintances know that you don’t use alcohol or other drugs, they’ll usually get the point right away.
Find Scholarship Money & Start or Finish a Degree
For generations, adults of all ages have found emotional satisfaction and mental well-being from getting college degrees. The sense of self-satisfaction is, for some, a once in a lifetime experience. The pride, peace of mind, and internal peace that come with earning a four-year diploma are among life’s largest rewards. But how can working adults cover the high cost of schooling? They act, which means they seek financial awards for eligible applicants.
Fortunately, there are scholarships for college that can pay for a part of a degree or the entire bill. The trick is to know how and where to search and apply for scholarship opportunities. Those who use a reliable online platform can do everything in one place. That means scanning for scholarships, identifying the ones for which you are eligible, and applying for all of them on the same web platform. Every year, millions of dollars in award money go uncollected because no one applies for it.
Take Up a Hobby
There’s a very old strategy for psychological recovery. Finding a hobby can be a challenge for those who have never had one and who are unsure how to spend free time on activities that aren’t centered on addictive behaviors. But if you take the time to explore various options, it’s relatively easy to find something that suits your temperament and inclinations.
Some find solace and relaxation just by the benefits of meditation or listening to soft music, drawing, or painting. Others discover the fine art of reading as their relaxing activity. Just remember that anything you choose is okay. There are thousands of hobbies out there besides coin and stamp collecting, but those old standbys are equally sufficient if you find them interesting.
Attend Support Groups
Most addiction program graduates attend long-term support group meetings. It’s not unusual for folks to go once per week or more for years after leaving a formal treatment program. Be careful to maintain consistent attendance. Stopping or only going once a month can be a recipe for relapsing and having to start from the beginning.
Don’t be surprised if you find that daily meetings bring a sense of comfort and stability to your life. In fact, one of the oldest support groups in existence, Alcoholics Anonymous, holds gatherings in hundreds of locations every day of the week, including weekends. Large numbers of new members show up four or more times per week. The goal is to set a schedule and try to stick to it for at least a year before changing the frequency of attendance.
Consult a Healthcare Professional About Diet & Exercise
Speak with your preferred healthcare provider and ask about nutrition and fitness strategies that suit your age, ability, and personal preferences. A simple weekly workout routine and basic healthful eating can make a huge difference in how people look and feel. It’s not just about the physical aspect. When people consume a balanced, doctor approved meal plan and get enough exercise, they often discover that their mental state improves along with their bodies.