What to Expect Your First 90 Days After Treatment
The first few months after treatment for substance use disorder may be the most challenging phase of your recovery journey. You are experiencing physiological and psychological effects of withdrawal while also adjusting to a new life. At the same time, you are no longer in the structured environment that in-patient treatment provided, and you’re still learning how to apply the new recovery strategies you have learned.
Leaving Your Past Behind While in Recovery
The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time. — Abraham Lincoln
One thing you’ll hear often as you enter recovery is that you need to let go of the past. You do need to take responsibility for your old actions, but that doesn’t mean dwelling on the past — that will only impede your progress by taking focus away from here and now.
Living in the past is not just about reminiscing. While letting go of old habits or bad influences is important, there’s also real danger from being so paralyzed by your shame and guilt that you can’t move beyond your mistakes. You may be feeling anger and pain over some of the things that happened to you. You may also feel fear about the unknown since the past, however destructive, is at least a familiar road.
Taking Care of Yourself on Your Journey to Recovery
Individuals who start substance-abuse recovery often go in thinking that once they complete a treatment program, all they have left to do is maintain physical health. Getting healthy, of course, is the end goal — but there are many dimensions to the recovery journey. Each has its own challenges, and each has to be managed.
In addition to physical, emotional and mental strength, you’ll need to build spiritual and financial health. The financial side of the recovery journey may be especially overlooked, yet it’s an integral part of the process.
Create Your Own Rewards for a Healthy Living
Addiction recovery is a major feat, and you need to celebrate your achievements, whether big or small. Creating a healthy-rewards system for yourself can help keep you motivated.
As we know, the human brain is wired to respond to rewards. That, in fact, is one of the reasons behind drug and alcohol addiction. Because the brain is wired to pursue pleasurable activities, it has a sophisticated “reward circuit” — and substances create a huge surge of neurotransmitters that signal the brain to repeat the activity.
How a Family Member’s Addiction Affects Children
Substance addiction is often called a “family disease,” and for good reason. When an individual is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the entire family feels stressed and overwhelmed.
As much as it is difficult for adults to cope with a family member’s addiction, for kids, it’s much worse. Unlike adults, children don’t always know where to find a safe space and whom to talk to about their concerns. Yet a highly stressful family environment puts them at risk for physical and mental health issues.