As they say, the first step to recovering from an addiction is to admit you have a problem. The next step is to do something about the problem.
If you’re someone who has admitted you have a problem and actually done something about it, you’re far ahead of most people in your situation. But in order to continue your recovery and rebuild your life, it’s imperative that you relearn old skills and develop new ones. In doing so, you can leave the past in the past and focus on a bright, healthy, and productive future.
The relapse rate for people leaving treatment centers for drug and alcohol addiction is, unfortunately, quite high. Some 40 to 60 percent of people will fall back into their addictions and continue to struggle with substances.
While the quality of the drug treatment program plays a significant role in the rate of relapse, it’s ultimately up to how prepared the individual is once they leave the structure of the treatment center and reintegrate into society.
One of the best ways to ensure a recovering addict puts drug abuse in the past and continues to stay sober is by teaching them life skills that encourage them to follow the right path. In particular, they should do the following:
Those who are addicted to a substance usually don’t spend much time caring for their bodies. They’re too busy putting bad things into their bodies to worry about exercising and eating right. As part of your life after addiction, you should make a concerted effort to eat better. You should map out a daily menu for yourself and find ways to give your body the nutrients it needs.
Eating healthy is not only important for the body, but it also plays a role in improving mental health. When an individual receives the optimal amount of vitamins and nutrients each day, their system stabilizes and they become less prone to sudden urges and impulses.
Alongside proper diet and nutrition, it’s helpful to develop a regular fitness routine. This further enhances the body’s ability to regulate itself. It also provides an outlet for energy. When an individual is spending time depleting their energy in a constructive manner, there’s less idle time. And when there is, sleep becomes the preferred and necessary activity.
Formal education plays a catalytic role in a recovering addict’s ability to be reintroduced into society in a healthy and constructive manner. Pursuing a degree provides a number of benefits, including:
- The structure of the classroom is something that a recovering addict needs in order to stay on track.
- The pursuit of something challenging gives the individual a goal to strive for. Meeting this goal shows them that they can accomplish what they put their mind to.
- Obtaining a degree could mean qualifying for more jobs and opportunities for professional development.
Education isn’t the answer to staying away from drugs, but it’s a practical step towards becoming a productive member of society.
There are wealthy business professionals who fall into drug abuse, as well as impoverished individuals living on welfare. So to say that a career is what every recovering addict needs is false. But much like obtaining a degree, there’s something about having a structured piece in your life that makes a difference.
Instead of just applying for a random job, recovering addicts should sit down and develop a career plan with concrete steps towards reaching different milestones. This establishes a purpose and makes it easier to stay on track when challenges are presented.
Recovering addicts need to stay busy and fill their days with safe and constructive activities that give their daily lives meaning. Outside of work, its helpful to learn a new hobby.
Any healthy hobby will do, but some options include yoga, woodworking, sewing, volunteering at animal shelters, gardening, reading, writing, or playing recreational sports. Any hobby that also encourages social interaction is a good thing. Building a new and supportive group of friends will dissuade recovering addicts from returning to past behaviors.
As cliché as it sounds, you can’t do anything about the past. While you still have to deal with the ramifications and fallout of decisions you’ve made in years gone by, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to change where you’ve been. You can, however, influence the trajectory of your future.
Now’s the time to shift your focus to the present. By relearning old skills and developing new ones, you can give yourself a far better chance of enjoying a happy and healthy future.