Rehab is a critical time in an addict’s life, as it represents the transition from addiction to sobriety. After following the specialized detox program at the rehab center, the former addict needs to re-adjust to his or her life, without the substance they’ve been abusing in the past. This transition can be very difficult and it’s important to have someone to rely on when you come home. Learning how to help someone after rehab is highly important, if you want to make their transition easier.
Get rid of all the drugs
When your loved one returns from rehab, they are prone to relapses, so you should create a drug-free environment. If the person was addicted to alcohol, make sure there is no alcohol in the house; if they were addicted to nicotine, get rid of all the cigars. Create a new lifestyle, free of drugs, which is going to help the former addict stay sober. While the house is drug free, the outside environment is rich in temptations, so the change will help them adjust with this difference.
Help them re-connect with friends and family
After spending some time at rehab, your loved one is disconnected from friends and family. Chances are people in their lives rejected them when they were addicted. But now, when the addiction is part of the past, it’s time to reconnect with friends and family. You can also encourage them to join support groups and even attend the meetings with them. Having someone with you when you reconnect or make new friends is highly important for a former addict, as it relieves a lot of the anxiety.
Build healthy habits
Life after rehab is a new life, so take advantage of this and build new, healthy habits for both of you. For example, you can start going to the gym together, as physical activity promotes healthier choices. Speaking of healthier choices, embracing a healthy diet is another great thing to do. It’s easier to stay sober when you are busy, so encourage them to take up a hobby or a pleasant activity.
Don’t be afraid to talk
Recovery is a painful process, both physically and emotionally. The former addict needs to speak about his addiction and the struggle of having to cope with all the temptations in the outside world. Listen to them and be as understanding as possible. Sharing the struggle takes off a large part of the burden from the former addict. Avoid talking about your own frustrations, as this can increase the pain felt by the former addict. Also, leave the past in the past and focus on the future, as this will help your loved one get over the problems.
Take life one day at a time
Live in the present and take things as they come. During recovery, there will be relapses, there will be dark times. But there will be also many happy times, which are meant to encourage both of you during the hard times. When your loved one is going through a relapse, it’s best to guide them towards counseling, which can help you get over this time and continue the recovery process.
Supporting a former addict is mentally and physically draining, so you might need to build your own support group, where you can share your frustration and your own struggles. If you allow the recovery process to overwhelm you, you won’t be able to offer support to someone else, so staying sane is crucial.
The road towards sobriety is hard, but not impossible; there is life after addiction, as long as you find the strength to carry on and get your motivation from the good moments.