Recovering from Drug Addiction and Reentering Society

road sign nailed to a tree stump with the word rehabilitation pointing with an arrow

Recovering from drug addiction and reentering society can be difficult. Drug addicts often find it hard to readjust to life outside of rehab, where everything is provided for them. They have to learn to fend for themselves and make responsible decisions, which can be difficult when they’re used to depending on drugs to get through the day. It’s important that these individuals receive support from friends and family members, as well as from professionals who can help them stay on track.

1. Continue getting professional help.

After recovering from addiction and completing rehabilitation programs that may involve opiate detox treatments, drug addicts may feel ready to return to society and leave the safety net of addiction treatment programs, but they should continue getting professional help for a while. Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by periods of relapse and remission, so it’s important that addicts don’t go back to using drugs as soon as they finish rehab or detox. Many of these individuals need support and encouragement from therapists and counselors in order to remain sober and attend regular check-ins.

2. Build a sober support network.

Once addicts leave addiction treatment programs, many of them want to go back to the friends and family members they used drugs with in order to have fun without using. However, these are not always the safest individuals for recovering addicts to be around because they might trigger their urge to use drugs or drink again. Instead, patients should focus on building a network of sober, supportive individuals that they can depend on. This could include family members who are clean and sober, close friends who don’t use drugs or drink, and other addicts who are making good progress in recovery.

3. Find new hobbies outside of addiction-based activities.

One thing that makes it difficult for drug addicts to stay sober is boredom. They often find themselves struggling to fill their free time in ways that don’t involve drugs, and they might not know how to have fun without using. When addicts reenter society, they should try to find new hobbies that can keep them entertained and take up their time so they’re less likely to use drugs again. Hobbies to consider include rock climbing, exercising, sports, art projects, writing, cooking, volunteering, and attending lectures at their local library.

4. Avoid reckless behavior.
Team celebrating and drinking champagne

Addicts might be eager to live life again after detoxing or completing an addiction treatment program, but they should not jump into risky situations immediately. Many of these individuals want to party and socialize, but they should remember how dangerous these activities can be for addicts because they might trigger drug urges that could lead to relapse. Instead, patients should take things slowly and get back into their relatively normal and calm routines before attending wild parties or going on rowdy outings with friends.

5. Make realistic goals.

Addicts who are trying to reenter society after recovering from addiction should try to make realistic, achievable goals for themselves. They might be tempted to make overambitious promises that they can’t keep or bad decisions that they will later regret, but these are not the best ways to succeed in recovery. Instead, addicts should try to set reasonable expectations for themselves by mapping out short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. These might include being able to wake up without an alarm clock, getting a job within six months, or writing a novel in five years.

6. Get used to making decisions again.

Once addicts leave addiction treatment programs after detoxing from drugs, they might feel as though their past decision-making abilities have been severely hindered by their drug use. However, this is untrue because addicts can learn to make good decisions again after detoxing and going through the recovery process. Newcomers should try not to be too hard on themselves if they find that it takes a few tries to make the right choice. Instead, they should stay patient while practicing their decision-making skills over time and sticking with choices that are more likely to end in success.

7. Keep an open mind about new opportunities.

Many addicts find it difficult to reenter society because they feel like there aren’t any opportunities available for them anymore. But this is not always the case because addicts can seek professional help to find new career paths or volunteer opportunities that allow them to contribute in meaningful ways. Patients should try to look for opportunities rather than waiting for opportunities to come knocking on their doorsteps.

The reentry process can be difficult for addicts who want to return into society. But with the right plan, they should start feeling like themselves again in no time at all. Maintaining professional help, a good support system, and a lot of patience will go a long way in making this recovery process a lot easier and more effective.

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