If an alcoholic or addict gets out of treatment and does not continue to treat their alcoholism or addiction, they are headed for trouble.
Early recovery can be difficult without the right community and continued treatment.
If you are getting out of treatment or doing 90 meetings in 90 days or just trying to white-knuckle your sobriety, here are a few things to consider while you continue your recovery journey.
1. It’s a chronic problem
Addiction and alcoholism are chronic diseases, meaning the problem of addiction and alcoholism isn’t going away. Addicts and alcoholics will have the same level of relapse as people who do not treat other diseases like diabetes and Crohn’s disease.
2. Be Honest: Do You Really Want to Quit
Unfortunately, some addicts and alcoholics who go to treatment have no plans to quit. They are going because their parents are forcing them, or they need to get the heat off their back. Where it might look like an addict is struggling in early recovery, really they had no plans on quitting, to begin with.
3. It’s Difficult with Little Accountability or Structure
The lack of accountability and structure can cause an addict to suffer. Often after a 30-day or 90-day treatment center, addicts and alcoholics will go back to their old life and old habits.
The problem is that their old habits had nothing to do with treating alcoholism or addiction. If there is no structure to make these changes then the addict will probably drink or use again because they are not doing what is necessary to treat their chronic disease.
Often people who come out of treatment will go to a sober living home, extended care or a robust aftercare program for added accountability and structure.
4. Not Treating Alcoholism
Without the right structure, it’s going to be difficult to continuously treat addiction. When you get out of treatment, treatment for alcoholism is going to alcoholics anonymous meetings or cocaine anonymous meetings. You need to work with a sponsor and go to hospitals and institutions to help the addict or alcoholic who still suffers.
5. Not treating underlying mental health issues
A lot of us who go to treatment also suffer from mental health disorders like bipolar, depression, or anxiety. If we stop treating these, it is going to be difficult to continue to treat our alcoholism. With a dual diagnosis, you must treat both. Mental health usually requires medication and therapy.
6. Lack of Community
It’s difficult to treat alcoholism without a community that pushes you to treat and help others. If you do not land in a community of people who are trying to get better and work on their affiliations, it’s going to be easy to go back into your old tribe where your friends drink and use drugs. Community is important. It helps you feel like you belong and provides added support and accountability.
7. Not Following a Treatment Center’s Discharge Plan
A discharge plan gives you guidelines that you should follow after leaving treatment. They can include simple recommendations to follow the law to requirements on therapy, medication, and meetings. Treatment centers should give you a tailored discharge plan. It will guide your recovery and give you more structure, as opposed to just going at recovery alone.
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