You’re on your way on to the rest of your life after rehab, and that is an amazing accomplishment. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation is a difficult process – as good as huge amounts of substances may have made you feel in the past, ridding yourself of them and conquering addiction is a different journey. Making it through is a powerful accomplishment, and so is facing the fight to stay clean and sober.
Before leaving rehab, though, you should have a couple of people from your rehab program on whom you will be able to lean as you’re learning how to live life without drugs and alcohol. This is good, always – while you may be receiving support from your friends and family, it is still important to keep in touch with your medical and therapy team. Doing this whenever possible will increase your chances of success after rehab.
Equally important is a strong network of friends and family. If you have friends from your program, they, too, can be a helpful source of encouragement and support. Surrounding yourself with positive and sober people isn’t the only wonderful thing after you successfully complete drug and alcohol rehab, though. Another great possibility is the money that you will use for non-drug-related things.
Getting Back on Your Feet is no Easy Task
Before we move forward, a note: everyone isn’t going into a dream job after successfully completing rehab. There are many people whose drug addiction cost them their home, their relationships, their jobs, and their pets. Some barely had any of those things, so they are starting over from scratch.
There will be people who remain in transitional housing for extended periods of time, but there will be others who are lucky enough to have a place to stay and work after successfully completing rehab. Your program should be your first resource for information on job hunting, as working is an essential life skill. Those who are already established in their trade, though, will have a unique opportunity: using their money for something that is not drugs or alcohol.
While addicted to drugs, some people spend hundreds each day to feed their habit. Granted, there are only a few cases that are this extreme because most people don’t have access to this much money, but this is also not unusual. If hundreds per day aren’t spent, then hundreds per week, or per month, may vanish from a person’s pockets as they burn through drugs. The ability to use this money for other things that can bring much more productive things to a person previously living with addiction, and can (and typically does) lead to a better quality of life.
People with serious addictions can have a difficult time affording housing. After successfully completing rehab and returning to work, you may find that you’re not spending money as you once did, and you may be able to find a better place to live with the money you are saving by not buying drugs, and snacks if drugs stimulate your appetite. What constitutes ‘better’ may or may not mean a more economically-exclusive neighborhood – some people are content simply having more engaged landlords and reliable neighbors.
Either way, eliminating drugs and alcohol from your diet is an excellent step to finding the community that you’ve wanted for a long time. In some cities, sober living communities are also an option for people who are either transitioning, or people who are employed, and seeking people who have also completed rehab. Like job opportunities, it is also best to check with the people working with you in your rehabilitation program to find suggestions for housing that may be suitable, as well as well-suited, to your wants and needs.
Healthy food and exercise are crucial to recovery from any trauma. Whether you’ve been injured, addicted, depressed, or simply experiencing jet lag, you should never underestimate the healing power of a healthy, balanced diet. Since you’re no longer spending money on drugs or alcohol, using your money wisely includes investing in a diet that will make you feel your best.
When possible (read: ‘affordable’) choose fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, focusing on leafy greens. Be sure to add plenty of legumes like lentils and chickpeas for a healthy dose of cholesterol-free protein. If you do eat meat, when possible, choose free-range eggs and hormone-free, free-range beef. If you’re not sure of where your food is coming from, ask someone working in your grocery store, or farmer’s market. After rehab is also a great time to learn how to cook, or brush up on your skills!
The journey through rehab is one type of education. You learn that you’re stronger than addiction, and that there is an entire community of people rooting for your success. The other side of drug and alcohol rehab is a side of possibilities, including the possibility of going back to school.
While education can be a challenging undertaking, it is something that can open doors for many. It’s even possible that the job waiting for you on the other side of a diploma or degree is instrumental in your journey to stay clean and sober. While your rehab program may or may not have information about education available for you, a quick internet search about things that interest you could turn up more possibilities than you ever dreamed.
The world just opened in a whole new way. Today, traveling abroad and learning about the world outside of your comfort zone is glorified on Facebook and Instagram. While every single picture may not be candid, one thing is for sure: people who turn to travel may find a new lease on life, and with the money previously spent on addiction freed up for other things, travel becomes a real possibility .
A renewed sense of purpose is essential for anyone who’s successfully completed rehab for drugs and alcohol, and seeing the world is an amazing reason to stay on the path of lifelong sobriety.
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Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Arizona Addiction Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 888.512.1705.