Recovery is an ongoing, lifelong process to improve a person’s overall health and well-being, all while they continue living independently. Many people suffer from addiction who achieve sobriety. However, recovery is more challenging. During this stage, it involves changing a person’s entire outlook on life, their behavior, and in some situations, the entire environment. For recovery to be successful, a person must be inspired by the hope that recovery isn’t only possible, but real, and they have to have faith this will continue.
The Four Pillars of Recovery After Addiction
For those who suffer from addiction and have sought substance abuse treatment, there are four pillars of recovery. These include the following.
- Health: Making the right decisions that support mental health and support systems and avoid the use of alcohol, drugs, and other substances that can lead to abuse.
- Purpose: It’s a good idea to live for something, regardless of if it is taking care of another person, giving back in the community, or trying to reach specific goals.
- Community: The creation of meaningful relationships that are characterized by love and friendship.
- Home: Have a stable, safe, and stress-free location to life.
For an individual to achieve recovery, each of these factors must be considered and adhered to. This is something that will pay off and help ensure long-term recovery from substance abuse.
The Principles of Recovery
It’s important to note that recovery is unique for everyone. It is considered an individualized process that can be influenced by several factors, including the severity, type, and duration of a person’s addiction. However, some principles encompass recovery for all addiction types.
The Transition After Substance Abuse Treatment
One of the most challenging parts of recovery is making the transition after going through substance abuse treatment. Once a person has achieved sobriety, and they are continuing therapy at a quality addiction rehabilitation center, the real recovery process begins. For quite a few people, making a move to a life without ongoing support from nurses and doctors is challenging. There are transitional living facilities out there that help people in recovery avoid addiction, maintain their sober living, and find new meaning in their life.
The Help of Sober Living Homes
A sober living home, such as halfway houses, will improve overall treatment outcomes for people who are recovering from addiction. The stay in these locations can range from a few weeks to a few months, and the cost of these is very similar to what it would cost to rent an apartment. Remember, some sober living homes will require more than others.
Some of the specific characteristics of modern, sober houses include the following.
- A ban on all drugs and alcohol
- Attendance in support group meetings (in some homes this is mandatory)
- Attending the house meetings and taking on house chores
- Paying bills and other costs and expenses regularly
Different Types of Transitional Environments
It is crucial that everyone who is going through the recovery process, or who has completed recovery, to avoid going back to a high-risk living environment. For example, if the home is full of risk factors that result in a relapse, they should consider staying with supportive friends or family members. This is a smart option if a sober living home is no longer an option to help them maintain their newly found sober lifestyle.
Finding a Purpose
There are several people who are recovering from addiction who can find happiness trying to help others who are trying to recover from an addiction, too. Others can find a religious or spiritual calling that provides them a sense of purpose. It’s crucial to find something that will make the person happy, especially during the earliest stages of the recovery process.
Achieving Lifelong Recovery
Recovering from addiction is something that is a lifelong process. As a result, it requires a lifelong effort. During the earliest days of a person’s detox process, it may seem like maintaining a sober state will be impossible. Having to change their behavior and find happiness is also extremely challenging. However, when a person seeks support and treatment, they can finally be free of the addiction.
It’s important for someone who has overcome a substance abuse issue to avoid the addiction-oriented behavior that may have affected their life in the past. Regardless of if a person is avoiding doing drugs or alcohol, or if they are staying away from gambling, this is a critical element of successful recovery after substance abuse. There are a few methods that can be used to help an individual avoid cases of relapse, but one that is most well-known and used around the country is referred to as HALT. This is an acronym that describes the feelings that may lead to cases of relapse.
The HALT method refers to the following.
- Hungry: If a person develops an unhealthy diet, it will harm their emotional well-being.
- Angry: If someone experiences feelings of frustration and anger, it can cause a relapse.
- Lonely: Self-pity and isolation can result in feelings of loneliness, which makes a full recovery extremely challenging.
- Tired: If someone experiences overwhelming stress of a lack of sleep, it may derail their motivation for a full recovery.
Many people suffer a relapse during recovery. It’s estimated that between 40 percent and 60 percent of all people who are trying to recover from addiction relapse. However, that doesn’t mean that all their progress has been lost. With therapy, a person can manage their relapse, and the support will help to reduce the overall severity of relapse if it occurs.
The Best Strategies for Stress Relief
Stress is considered a very common risk factor when it comes to relapsing after an addiction. Those who have been in recovery for several years may relapse if their life gets too stressful. Some of the steps that will help someone recovering from addiction avoid stress include.
- Avoid any high-risk situations and change the environment, if needed
- Remove any stressful relationships from the individual’s life
- Set short-term goals and try to make progress just a day at a time
- Get regular exercise, and a simple walk can help to relieve stress
- Maintain a healthy diet to help with mental and physical health
Enjoying a Life That Is Free from Substance Abuse and Addiction
Each aspect of a recovering person’s life needs to be focused on maintaining overall happiness and well-being. People who are in recovery need to work to find a job they enjoy, work to develop meaningful relationships and work to achieve realistic goals. Many people will go to support group meetings, pursue some type of spiritual calling, volunteer, or something else. However, everyone is unique, which means they will have to find something that works best for their path to recovery. Every person must figure out what is needed for them to remain healthy and free from substances that may result in severe issues for their recovery.
Recovery Advice for Adults
It’s very challenging for a person to admit that they have issues controlling their actions and thoughts, but it is never a good idea to live in denial. If a person is unable to achieve recovery on their own, they need to seek professional help with this. Addiction is something that can affect the brain. As a result, medical treatment may be necessary for recovery.
It’s also important to note that affordable treatment is possible and available. It’s a good idea for an individual to check with their insurance provider or to search for rehab for those who are underinsured or uninsured. Make sure to take the time to both accept and embrace the need for treatment. When a person is dedicated to recovery, they will be much more likely to achieve it for the long term.
Meetings and Support Groups
Being able to build a strong system of support is essential to recovery. In some situations, the very best support will come from someone who has prior experience. One option is to consider peer-run support groups. This is something that exists for virtually any type of addiction a person may have. This includes the 12-step program, including marijuana anonymous, gamblers anonymous, overeaters anonymous, sexaholics anonymous, and cocaine anonymous.
If a person does not correct the unhealthy behaviors they have developed during their addiction, it may increase the individual’s risk of relapse. For example, dry drunks are individuals who have achieved a state of sobriety from alcohol, but who continue to act in an impulsive manner and how other behaviors that are related to alcoholism. In most cases, proper attendance in support group meetings will help ensure people can recognize and avoid actions or thoughts that may result in a relapse.
When it comes to recovery, there is no right formula. Each person must find what works for them to ensure they can stay on the path of sober living. This is going to pay off in the long run and ensure that the desired results are achieved, regardless of what those goals are.