When those suffering from mental health diagnoses or substance use disorders enter an inpatient treatment facility, it often becomes their safe harbor. For many, the environment of an inpatient program is the first in which they feel comfortable honestly sharing about the nature of their individual struggle and the first place where they have been able to identify with those around them. Mental illness or a substance use disorder can feel like a burden to carry until it is shared with the right group of people, treatment presents an opportunity to share your struggles with trained individuals. What about when it’s time to return home?
How Do I Manage Outside of Treatment?
Returning home from treatment is an exciting and intimidating experience all in one. Those who complete treatment often leave with a new sense of freedom and positive outlook on life, however, they must now take all they have been taught and apply it to life and avoid relapse which can feel overwhelming. The prevalence of relapse is a constant fixture for those in early recovery and beyond. There can be pressure to maintain all that you’ve been taught perfectly in order to ensure continued sobriety. There are some helpful tools that can take the pressure off of this transition.
- 12-Step or SMART recovery programs – As many treatment centers model their recovery programs off of these care models, it can be helpful to continue with meetings after treatment. This can help build a foundation or a design for living that works in recovery. Depending on where someone resides these meetings are often largely available at a wide variety of times and are free to attend. They can help maintain focus on the tools that were taught in treatment and create a lasting outline for recovery.
- Continuing Care Plan – It’s optimal, when possible, to choose a facility for treatment that invests in developing continuing care plans or relapse prevention plans for their patients. Counselors that have been intricately involved in care during the treatment process can help design plans that take into account the specific needs each individual has, be it continued focus on trauma therapy, physical accommodations and considerations for health ailments, or housing needs. These plans can help provide an individual who is still learning to cope with life outside of substances a foundation to seek and build upon returning home from treatment.
- Mental Health Care – With dual diagnosis being more and more common among those who suffer from substance use, the care must continue for those affected after treatment. The 30-90 day structure of most treatment programs is a great place to start when it comes to mental health treatment, but more will be needed as a foundation for continued recovery is built. A plan for not only continued mental health care but how best for the individual to access it is essential in the process of returning home. This mental health care can be essential in helping manage the stress of returning home to rebuild.
- A strong support network – A support network is absolutely essential for those in recovery. The connection we have to those is essential in seeking guidance, support, and help when required. Being able to reach out to that support group in times of emotional distress and confusion is often the last barrier between the person in recovery and a relapse. People they can identify with, be honest and open with, and are willing to hear and take the advice of are all important fixtures in this support network. It can include family, friends, others in recovery, a sponsor, a mental health professional, and a spiritual teacher, among others. While new decisions are made and life’s challenges arise, this support network is often vitally important for advice and counsel.
- Realistic goals – Self-care in the form of gentleness and understanding can go a long way in the life of someone in recovery. Rebuilding after the wreckage that can be caused in addiction takes time and can be a daunting task. Keeping goals fair and realistic and being gentle when they aren’t met can be extremely helpful when it comes to continued growth. The support network can show what is realistic and attainable, taking the pressure to perform off the recovering person and changing focus to positive outcomes.
There is much to work through when someone gets sober. Sometimes the surroundings of an individual need to be changed entirely. This can feel stressful and intimidating outside of the safety of a treatment facility. Taking in the full scope of what is needed is a fair assessment and treatment facilities can aid in creating a relapse prevention plan. Finding the right people who can support and the right meetings to aid in building a foundation can make all the difference going forward for building the life that someone in recovery deserves. Recovery is not a one size fits all journey, taking the time to consider and set the right path for each individual is setting up success in the future.
Ashley Addiction Treatment is an innovative treatment program located on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. Ashley provides support for professionals seeking help with addiction. We are able to help people with co-occurring disorders and offer confidential treatment programs to meet your needs. Please reach out to us today at 800-799-4673.