Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a serious disease. Like many diseases, it’s fully treatable.
For most people, the recovery process starts at a substance abuse treatment program. After treatment ends, you must take certain steps to remain drug-free.
Maintaining Addiction Recovery
Addiction treatment programs include a wide range of services. Some of these services will carry on into addiction recovery to help you maintain a healthy and substance-free life.
In therapy, you can identify underlying issues that contribute to your drug use, such as stress, grief, or mental health disorders. You can also learn how to cope with triggers (people, places, things, or emotions that make you want to use drugs).
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, and group therapy are options that are likely to continue after you finish a formal rehab program.
For many people, support groups are an important part of recovery both during and after professional treatment. In these groups, you can share your triumphs and challenges with others who are recovering from substance use disorder.
The most popular support groups for drug addiction are 12-step groups such as:
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Narcotics Anonymous
- Cocaine Anonymous
- Heroin Anonymous
- Marijuana Anonymous
- Nicotine Anonymous
These groups encourage members to seek help from a higher power, such as a god(s) or a meaningful concept like love, nature, or the universe.
Individuals who prefer a less spiritual treatment approach may benefit from non-12-step programs, which include:
- Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS)
- SMART (Self Management and Recovery Training) Recovery
- Rational Recovery (RR)
These groups resemble 12-step programs in that they encourage members to share coping strategies and celebrate continued sobriety. However, they don’t emphasize religion or spirituality.
When you take care of your health, you’re less likely to relapse (start using drugs again). That’s why most treatment programs encourage wellness activities such as:
- exercise to boost your mood and strengthen your physical health
- yoga and/or meditation to help you become more mindful
- journaling to help you express your feelings and track your recovery
Sleep & Nutrition
Many in addiction recovery also receive guidance on sleep and nutrition. Getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and eating a nutrient-rich diet can help you avoid addiction recovery fatigue. This intense fatigue affects many people as their bodies adjust to life without drugs.
Addiction Relapse Prevention
Even after completing a comprehensive treatment program, some people relapse. Relapse doesn’t mean the treatment didn’t work. It simply means you need to ask your health care provider about restarting treatment or trying a different treatment approach.
Learn more about How To Avoid Addiction Relapse
To prevent relapse, most treatment programs provide aftercare planning. Aftercare plans include services like ongoing therapy, support groups, wellness activities, and medication management.
Your treatment team may also ask you to make a list of triggers to avoid, coping strategies you find useful, goals you wish to achieve, and people or family members you can reach out to in case of emergency.
In addition, you can reduce the risk of relapse by transitioning to a sober living home, also called a halfway home. These facilities serve as safe, recovery-focused living spaces for people who have completed an addiction treatment program but lack proper support at home.
Most people stay at sober living homes for a few weeks to a few months. They leave once they feel ready for a more typical, independent life.
Recovery In The Workplace
It’s also important to manage recovery in the workplace. Stress is a common trigger for relapse, so remember to take breaks.
Talk to your employer about any other needs you may have. For example, some people request lighter work schedules for the first few weeks of returning to work.
Types Of Addiction Treatment Programs
Although relapse prevention services can help keep you on a healthy path, it’s a normal part of recovery to experience a relapse. If you do relapse, there is no shame in accessing addiction treatment.
There are two main types of addiction treatment: inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. Other treatment programs include medical detox and medication-assisted treatment for opioid or alcohol addiction.
During inpatient treatment (also called residential treatment), you live at a treatment center and receive 24/7 care and monitoring from a team of health care providers. This option works well for people with moderate-to-severe addictions or co-occurring mental health problems.
At an outpatient program, you regularly attend a treatment center without living there. Because this option doesn’t provide constant care, it’s recommended only for people with milder addictions and strong support systems at home.
If you or a loved one struggles with substance abuse, please contact a Recovering Champions specialist to learn about our comprehensive treatment options.
Recovering Champions Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.