One of the most common questions asked by relatives or friends is how to deal with a person once they return from a treatment program. This is also a very individualized issue, as it deals with individuals. Some people do very well and simply get on with their lives. Others have a harder time. In fact, many do relapse and should not give up because of a momentary “weakness.”
Continued recovery depends, in part, on the substance treated and the length of abuse. A person who abuses alcohol for a short time, six months or so, can normally get right back to a productive lifestyle. In comparison, someone who has many years of drinking hard liquor may find their new alcohol-free life a bit problematic, with so many uncertainties to face. And new habits to form and old ones to let go.
There are, however, two specific factors involved in success after treatment. Such factors apply to the person recovering and those close, like family members, friends, and co-workers.
Did the individual genuinely commit to their rehabilitation program? Attempting to deceive your way through a recovery program is a recipe for failure from the outset. Those who have undertaken the program with sincerity and dedication are more likely to achieve success, although it’s important to note that sobriety is not guaranteed. Achieving and maintaining sobriety requires ongoing effort and commitment.
Another crucial point to grasp is that the person who transformed is the one struggling with addiction. As someone in recovery, you are the individual who engaged in self-reflection and self-discovery.
The people around you may not be fully aware of the changes you’ve made or your progress. They may have concerns about whether you’ve truly overcome your substance dependency. Maybe they didn’t have a chance to address their fears and uncertainties. It’s essential to recognize this and accept that they lack complete understanding. You should be open to providing them with the best answers and exercise patience as they come to terms with your journey.
No matter which facility or program you’ve completed, reintegrating into society is necessary. Ideally, there should be a set of “post-program steps” to follow, which you and the facility established. These steps serve as your road map, guiding you through the process of re-establishing your position within your family, relationships, and job. It’s crucial to remain resilient and not give up if things don’t immediately revert to how they were. If it takes time for things to spiral out of control, it will also take some time to regain your footing. Please remember achieving and maintaining sobriety is an ongoing, daily endeavour.
An essential element in recovery involves being vigilant and mindful of certain situations. It is quite probable that you will cross paths with individuals from your past or encounter circumstances associated with your former drug of choice. In such instances, you might face the temptation of being offered substances by a dealer or a former drug associate who may be unaware of or indifferent to your recovery journey.
There are a thousand variations to this type of situation, but you can count on it appearing sooner or later. The choice you make will support or destroy your sobriety. Also, making choices to reduce the likelihood of being in such situations is important.
So, what does this imply? How can you carry out activities when you no longer have your usual company? Your routine involving socializing, partying, and using drugs is no longer viable. Significant changes need to occur in your life. Consequently, a new social life needs to be constructed. One of the key functions of groups like AA or NA is to provide an environment where individuals can learn valuable skills to avoid these situations, manage cravings, and engage in healthier activities instead of substance use. In these groups, people come together, form personal connections, and help one another navigate this process, which would be a solution if you are struggling.
Many family members tend to be very careful, uncertain, and sometimes suspicious about the person’s recovery. Past experiences do tend to linger in one’s mind.
After all, one of the most challenging experiences for family members and friends is witnessing a loved one engage in self-destructive behaviour. Sometimes, they share a deep connection with the person they cherish. Yet, at other times, the person became unrecognizable.
Relatives must be patient and show supportive understanding as the person adapts to their new drug-free life. Al-Anon can be beneficial for the families of people in recovery as well as those in substance misuse. This group can provide insights into understanding the phases and obstacles a person encounters.
It is a place to share their feelings, experiences, and concerns with others in similar situations. This emotional support can be invaluable as the family adjusts to the changes that come with recovery. If you aren’t involved in Al-Anon, you should maybe consider it, especially if you are struggling with your loved one’s recovery.
If you notice something odd or a reoccurring behavioural pattern reemerging in the person, you should act. Contact the person’s counsellor or the treatment facility and tell them about your concerns. It can then be assessed and handled accordingly by the person’s counsellor.
A peculiar aspect of recovery is that an individual truly recognizes their progress when they can confidently decline substances and walk away. This act signifies a significant milestone for the person and should.
Family members should consider keeping all medications out of sight if your relative was abusing prescription medications.
Don’t serve alcohol to them or agree that they can smoke pot because they were treated for heroin. One drug can lead to another.
Any person finishing a program should refrain from social drinking, and if your drug of choice was alcohol, don’t drink socially.
Addiction treatment doesn’t stop after treatment; in fact, your program actually begins at this point. It is where you are expected to use the information you learned and find new ways to socialize. Work at it every day, be patient, and don’t bash your head in if you relapse.
Please keep in mind that positive opportunities will happen only when you put in the effort to keep improving your life.
As you increase your life potential, things will add to it that increase your success potential. Be positive and always treat others how you would like to be treated. You can have a good, productive, drug-free life. Many have done so. We can also provide some guidance to families and those in recovery.