Connecticut, like many other states, has had its fair share of unnecessary deaths due to overdoses and other alcohol and drug related incidents. With the amount of free and funded support available though, we’re seeing a huge rise in people overcoming their addiction and finding ways to live better lives. If you or someone you know has recently come out of a drug rehab
program or an addiction recovery center
(or elsewhere), here are some tips to stay sober and continue your recovery successfully.
Addressing the Root Cause
Dual diagnosis treatment centers
throughout the USA have now proven that in most cases addiction is related to an underlying mental health condition, often depression, anxiety or PTSD. While these conditions can make life more difficult, there is a lot of information available nowadays on how to live with them.
The most obvious method is through counseling, having access to professional counseling can be expensive though, and for some people who work a lot it may be hard to make time for it. It’s on this note that I’d like to address the importance of having people around you that can be supportive and most importantly listen. They can be friends or family members, although it should be mutually understood that the support is to go both ways. By being open about your mental illness and being receptive to their observation you can learn the coping methods that are taught in counseling, albeit at a slower rate.
A Healthy Lifestyle
It may seem a given, although the true definition of a healthy lifestyle these days has become somewhat shrouded in opinion. I believe the healthy lifestyle we should aim for especially when recovering from substance abuse is frequent exercise (3 to 4 times a week), consistently eating healthy food (3 meals a day and limiting fast/junk food), and getting a decent sleep each night (between 6 and 8 hours). These three elements alone can have incredibly restorative effects, although it must be noted that if one does relapse with opioids then a healthy lifestyle may not be a substitute for opiate treatment
Along with having people able to support you, another part of a healthy lifestyle is being able to enjoy recreational activities or leisure time with like-minded people. Often addiction can lead to seemingly irreparable loneliness, but through addiction rehab centers
you can meet people in similar situations
and find ways to spend time together in a healthy manner. Joining a sports club of some kind can be a great way to meet people but if you have problems with alcohol it may be hard to manage after-game activities and meetups.
The main factor in the stress which harms and sometimes kills millions of people around the world every year is of course one’s financial situation. If you’ve only recently come out of recovery and are struggling to find work then contacting the Department of Labour and organizing an unemployment benefit can buy you precious time to rebuild your life. If you’re working for minimum wage in an unsatisfying job, then it may be time to look into what courses you can study to find work better suited to your skills. Also in some jobs it may be possible to gain in-house training and upskill at the workplace, enquire with your manager or supervisor.
In extreme circumstances it may be necessary to ask for support from friends or family, while this isn’t highly advisable. If you write up conditions of borrowing including when it will be paid back and what the money will be spent on (e.g. strictly transport, food, and accommodation) then it may be more agreeable.
Last but definitely not least, every person in recovery’s biggest fear: relapse. First it’s important to remember that relapse can happen in almost any kind of health condition, and addiction should be considered as much to reduce feelings of guilt and failure. It’s also important to note that a relapse doesn’t mean that your treatment or recovery has failed, and that you should simply pick yourself back up and continue on the path to recovery
A great tool for those in recovery is a relapse plan, which should include who to contact and what to do. This can ensure that your treatment and recovery can continue as quickly as possible, although be careful not to fall into the headspace that you can relapse simply because you’re prepared to.
I hope this has been a useful set of tools for those of you in recovery, and for those supporting someone in recovery I hope you’ve gained some helpful ideas.