Spending time in a detox center, rehab facility, or some other form of inpatient drug addiction recovery can give you a solid foundation, but it is what you do afterwards that solidifies your outcomes. It’s crucial to follow through on what you learned in the center so that you can build on that foundation and succeed going forward. In this post, we will talk about the process of living well and building healthy habits after rehab.
Benefits of Rehab After Detox
In a typical rehab center, your growth will come from therapy, both group and individual. In these sessions, you will obtain skills and tools that are designed to assist you as you overcome addiction as well as come to terms with other mental health conditions that you might have experienced. Often, people who have addictions have a history of trauma, poverty, an unstable home life, or a mental health diagnosis that interacts with addiction. Dealing with addiction usually means treating all of these at once, because the stress and unhappiness that they create makes substance use all the more tempting.
Whether you spent days or weeks in the detox center, it is important for you to understand that you need more care. Your time in detox was just an introduction to the kind of help that you will use to one extent or another for a long time. There is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to getting help for your mental health, especially when the results can be so powerful. The benefits of having steady therapy are numerous even for people who do not have an addiction. In your case, it is a major part of how you will remain substance-free and keep making steady progress.
Role of Therapy After Detox
There are a few different key elements to therapy that are relevant to addiction. The first is crisis intervention. This might be what originally brought you to a detox center, for example: a single big incident that you needed immediate help for and which was unusual, but significant. During a crisis, a therapist will act to help you get through the worst of it while making whatever progress you can towards making future events less likely.
However, crisis intervention isn’t enough to prepare you for the long-term effort you need to make in order to overcome addiction. The general pattern of therapy is that have sessions weekly or less frequently than that and slowly get the healthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress and the positive thought patterns to control your own behavior that will let you win out over addiction. Doing this takes much time and practice, and there will be many setbacks and moments of insight along the way, so progress often feels uneven. When you experience another pressing issue, even if it is not a crisis, you can talk about it in therapy and make it a priority. However, things will eventually return to baseline and you can continue your typical therapy work.
Some people think of addiction as something that you can solve with a single burst of insight, a realization followed by a cure. In reality, living after detox means continuing to fight against the same negative patterns that would come up before. Awareness and insight are very important for your growth, but they aren’t the only things you need to face addiction. You also need the practical tools to develop alternative habits and a new mindset that strengthens your resistance to substance use.
One of the biggest challenges of living with addiction is that no two people have the same experience. There will be some who spend some time in a rehab center, go to a therapist for a short while for follow-up, and then they have minimal issues for the rest of their lives. Other people will have a lifelong need for care and might go through detox multiple times. This can happen regardless of the substance or any other factor. It isn’t a sign of weakness or strength, but a reflection of just how complex addiction is. Do not be reluctant to seek help after going through detox because you are afraid of looking weak or fear that by needing more help, you wasted your time in detox. In reality, seeking out help is the right move to protect your progress and is a brave, proactive move to care for yourself.
This is why it makes a big difference if you can stay realistic about post-detox life. Your experience could be that a little more help and support is enough to give you everything you need to break free, or it might be the case that you need a longer commitment to therapy in order to succeed. Don’t be discouraged if you feel compelled to use again, because detox is not a one-off cure. It is, however, an intensive and focused opportunity to grow. If you take full advantage of it, you will be set up well for the future. That doesn’t mean that you will never want to use drugs again, but you will know much more about your own tendencies and habits and what you should do when the desire to use comes back.
It is hard to make specific recommendations about what to do after detox because people vary so much in their experience. Perhaps the most important thing is to stay actively engaged with therapy, an addiction program, or some other treatment that you find to be effective. The longer you go after leaving detox, the more important it becomes that you find some way to stay connected to the community and to a support network, because the effects of your time there will gradually diminish if you do not follow up. Addiction recovery is a long journey and for many people there is no conclusive end. But the improvement in your quality of life will make it all worthwhile.