Addiction therapy is a crucial first step toward establishing a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle. You will learn coping skills, relapse prevention techniques, and other vital tools to help you avoid relapsing into addictive habits. Treatment centers provide the best setting for you to stay clean and sober, with peer and professional support. However, treatment does not cease after the rehabilitation program ends. Aftercare is critical for avoiding a relapse and enjoying a healthy life in the long run. Committing to a life free of substances needs motivation and constant support. Therefore, people in treatment must have a strategy for what happens when they finish the program. Excellent assistance and many solutions are available for those who want to keep living a healthy and addiction-free life after therapy. So here are some options to consider for aftercare in recovery.
What is aftercare in recovery, and how can it help?
Substance detox is the first step for people seeking addiction therapy. Following that, people start a treatment program in which their daily lives get meticulously planned and focused on creating a solid foundation for rehabilitation. Aftercare is the phase of therapy that comes after a person has completed their program in a rehabilitation center. It is a group strategy to aid an individual through their early recovery and prevent relapse while focusing on their new life. Just imagine what would happen if, after treatment, facilities would just send people back into the world with no further support. As you probably expect, most of them would relapse and return to the program.
Fortunately, after the treatment program, there is aftercare. Aftercare in recovery will offer continuous assistance for those who left the treatment facility. Therefore, abstinent addicts won’t have to be alone in their journey to a new and healthy life. So if you or a loved one finished the treatment program for addictions, follow the advice of addiction recovery experts at Archstone Behavioral Health and continue your path to an addiction-free life with aftercare.
Aftercare in recovery - options to consider
If you want long-term recovery support, some options can help you stay on track. Here are some examples:
1. Support groups
As part of aftercare in recovery, many treatment programs encourage joining support groups. Support groups are people who understand the difficulty of addiction and share their experiences in a confidential atmosphere to help others stay abstinent and sober.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are two of the most known support organizations based on the 12-steps and have a spiritual component. These groups are led by people that are also in recovery.
2. Aftercare therapy
Including a therapist in your aftercare plan may be beneficial, mainly if you worked with a therapist during the treatment program. Therapy will help you manage your emotions, resolve disputes, and avoid possible triggers for relapse. Here are some types of aftercare therapy that could help you in your journey:
Sober living is a method of informal substance abuse therapy. These programs are set up in homes occupied by persons in recovery from alcohol and other substance abuse. A sober living facility provides a secure and stable atmosphere where substance abuse is not tolerated. However, this type of living can be a beneficial transition that helps abstinent people adjust to a more independent life and eliminate toxic thoughts. At the same time, it has the potential to prevent people from homelessness, which can be a real danger and a cause for relapse.
4. Case management
It might be challenging to adjust to life following rehab. Therefore, people will need the help of therapists or physicians to continue their recovery. Also, once a person is clean and sober, they will want to meet others who share their dedication to healing. At this point, case management becomes an essential part of aftercare and recovery.
A case manager, which can be a therapist, social worker, or counselor, will take over the responsibility of reintegrating the abstinent person into society. They will guide them in finding employment, social services, or legal services that they can benefit from.
5. Aftercare programs in rehab facilities
Your treatment program or rehab center may have its own aftercare program. Ongoing treatment, sober living programs, and case management are some of the services that might be provided. Facility-based aftercare programs help you continue your recovery journey with the same specialists you worked with before. Sometimes, that can make a massive difference in transitioning to your new life as a sober individual. You will have familiar faces around you that know all your struggles, flaws, and strengths and help you work with them to achieve your goals.
6. Medication management
Medication is sometimes essential to continuing addiction and mental health therapy and recovery. Depending on the substance used, medicine can help with craving management. At the same time, medication can help relieve painful or deadly withdrawal symptoms during the detox phase of treatment.
If you are already taking drugs as part of your treatment plan, follow up with your prescription provider to evaluate your symptoms. Sometimes medication schemes need modifications as they can stop working or have side effects.
The primary purpose of an aftercare plan is to keep people from relapsing. However, that isn't the sole goal. Life following treatment should be based on all the improvements you made in your recovery. Therefore, aftercare in recovery is essential as it prevents potential relapse and teaches you how to live a healthy and happy life.
Meta: Aftercare is an essential component of rehabilitation that many people don’t know about. Here are some options to consider for your aftercare in recovery.
How do we define self-esteem, and why is it paramount to addiction recovery? Self-esteem can be defined as our overall sense of worth. The image of self stems from our childhood familial dynamic, the love, and support we were given (or deprived of), empirical circumstances, our mental wiring, personality, background – myriad factors. Studies have shown a strong correlation between substance abuse and self-esteem. The ones who struggle with low self-worth live by the question: "Why try at all?" The well-embedded belief of "born or destined to fail" gives room for a distinctive abyss to cultivate self-destruction. For that reason, any individual in addiction recovery should give their self-esteem their undivided attention. The truth is that our fundamental pillars of existence mustn't be put on hold. The very success of one's sobriety rides solely on their ability to love oneself. Let's talk about why self-esteem matters in addiction recovery.
Low self-esteem is the gateway to relapse
Relapse and low self-esteem go hand in hand; a symbiosis made in hell. The ones who are riddled with insecurities and poor self-image seek refuge in psychoactive substances to alleviate the mind and soul's perpetual, excruciating uneasiness. People turn to drugs and alcohol for various reasons: to lower their inhibitions, survive a breakup, build pseudo-confidence, or escape negative thinking patterns. Whatever the culprit, individuals in recovery face an even greater danger: relapse. When one stops using, the crutch is no longer available; only the sober truth of self-loathing. Learning how to boost your self-esteem in recovery is crucial for avoiding relapse.
Low self-esteem signs
Individuals struggling with addiction often exhibit the following behaviors:
The danger of not working on your self-esteem
Low self-esteem is a peculiar round of hell; it's a self-imposed prison of a loveless existence. The ones who succeed in freeing themselves from the iron fist of addiction are the ones who learn to feel compassion and practice self-love. Without working on your self-esteem, you risk remaining confined and unconditionally lost in anger, fear, anxiety, depression, and self-disgust, a bystander in your own life. Now, that would be a disgrace. Showing your teeth and fighting the inner demons isn't. It's an act of courage. An act of self-love. The path to healing emerges when you realize that the only person who can save you is you. High self-esteem invites motivation for recovery. And it's absolutely worth all the blood, sweat, and tears.
Building self-esteem in addiction recovery
Nothing happens overnight. There will be no miracles here, only hard work. The path to self-love is a continuous fight, and it needs you to give it your 100%, especially after completing the primary treatment program. Long-term treatment is mandatory if you want to stay on the sober train. Fortunately, you're not alone; some of the best mental healthcare providers offer online therapy – reach out to a professional and ask for guidance.
How to improve self-esteem
Addictive behavior or not, many people struggle with low self-esteem. The good news? You can mend it. We suggest practicing the following steps to improve and rebuild your sense of self-worth.
Build positive relationships
Once you're in recovery, it's essential to stay clear from anyone who has ever influenced or endorsed your substance use in the past. Learning to say "No" to toxic relationships is the cornerstone of your self-esteem. Going back to certain individuals or even places can trigger you into relapse temptation. Instead, focus on creating new, healthy relationships with toxic-trait-free people who can see your beauty and worth and will appreciate your presence and friendship. Self-esteem matters in addiction recovery. Find the people who will love you for you.
"I'm good at..."Ask yourself this: What am I good at? Every human being is good at something, no matter how idiosyncratic their talent. Are you good at telling jokes? Making lasagna? Painting? Singing blues? Find the thing (or things) you do well. The better we are at something, the better we feel about ourselves. It's a reasonably straightforward hypothesis. Being great (or simply good) at something boosts your mood and self-esteem.
Additionally, it prevents your mind from wandering off-limits. Something as "silly" as joining a choir can turn out to be a lifesaver. If you love cooking, try volunteering at a local soup kitchen. According to consumeropinion.org, recovering individuals who volunteer are less likely to experience relapse.
Healthy self-esteem requires exiting the comfort zone and probing for novelties. Feeling anxious about new experiences is entirely typical and expected. The difference between low and healthy self-esteem is that, although you fear the unknown, healthy self-esteem doesn't stop you in your tracks; you don't allow negative emotions to prevent you from experiencing new things. So, choose your challenge. Start small. (then gradually work towards something you really want.) Gym, pottery class, 10,000 steps per day, or simply going out for a cup of coffee. Start somewhere. Expand your comfort zone and transform your negative thoughts into a healthy dose of self-praise.
Learn to say "No"
Individuals with low self-esteem are known to be people pleasers. "NO" is non-existent in their vocabulary, and often so, to their detriment. (if you say no, they won't like you anymore) Here's some homework: stop saying "Yes" all the time. See what happens. Will they leave? Think of you less? Or appreciate you more? Practice setting boundaries. Do what is best for you, not others. Saying yes to the things you don't want, like, or need will only evoke resentment and send you down the low self-esteem spiral.
Healthy self-esteem matters in addiction recovery. So, be kind to yourself and others. Refrain from being your own worst critic. Say NO to your inner tyrant. Rest, tyrant, rest. Instead, offer compassion. Be gentle. You deserve it. And remember: nobody but you will save you from yourself.
Meta Description: - Low self-esteem matters in addiction recovery as it can trigger relapse in patients. Here are some tips to avoid that. Photo used: https://unsplash.com/photos/SR8ByN6xY3k
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