There are many misconceptions that the general public has concerning addiction and recovery. For instance, since substance abuse is an observable behavior, there’s a tendency for people to treat addicts like they’re bad, immoral people. In other words, becoming an addict seems to prove to society that these individuals are weak in character and will. Many people assume that when addicts are in active addiction, life is nothing but continuous indulgence, but that’s not the case. The numerous repercussions of addiction make it quite difficult for any addict to enjoy the experience and, in fact, most of them would prefer not to be addicts. Unfortunately, fear of withdrawal, feeling like sobriety is unattainable, and plenty of other factors prohibit the majority of addicts from seeking treatment on their own volition.
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Sobriety is Misunderstood
Sobriety is equally misunderstood, too. There’s a common assumption that an addict should be able to go to rehab for a month and have no trouble remaining sober afterward; in fact, when an addict relapses after treatment, most people see the relapse as proof that their previous judgments about the individual — that he or she was a bad, immoral person — were correct all along. What many people fail to realize is that addiction recovery is an incredibly complicated process and the real work of recovery isn’t considered to start until after a person gets out of rehab.
After treatment, a recovering addict must assume complete responsibility for their sobriety. Instead of being in a supervised, drug-free environment, the individual is back at home and must avoid any temptations that could put that newfound recovery at risk. This is a tall enough order on its own, but when you also consider that just getting back into society with a load of responsibilities coming back to them is an extremely overwhelming process, you begin to see a more accurate picture of why it’s so difficult to achieve long-lasting recovery. For this reason, we will be taking a look at some of the main reasons why addicts in recovery feel overwhelmed in sobriety and some ways that they can mitigate some of that psychological tension.
Finding a Sobriety Friendly Place to Live
When a person completes an alcohol or drug addiction rehabilitation program, he or she must return home and put the skills, strategies, and knowledge obtained while in rehab to use. The individual must abruptly assume total responsibility for his or her abstinence, which is predicated on whether or not the individual is able to build a life and lifestyle that is conducive to lasting recovery. One of the first steps in this process is to find a stable, safe place to live where one’s recovery isn’t put in jeopardy. For the people who are able to return home to a safe and drug-free environment, they are less likely to be overwhelmed in sobriety. However, there are a number of people who don’t know where they’re going to live when they get out of rehab, and in some cases, they may be forced to choose between returning to a place where their recovery is threatened or finding somewhere else to live.
The prospect of being homeless is surely one of the most overwhelming experiences a person can have. After getting out of rehab and realizing that a person has nowhere to go, it can almost feel like a form of cosmic punishment as if the individual is being punished for having gotten clean after an extended period of addiction. It’s important to be as calm and level-headed in this situation as possible so that every option can be considered. For instance, perhaps the individual has a relative or friend with whom he or she could stay temporarily. The recovering addict may have no choice but to return to their previous residence where they might be faced with the temptation to relapse; if this is the case, the individual must weigh the option carefully and stay only for a very brief amount of time. Alternately, most U.S. cities have shelters for adults who are having trouble finding places to live; these shelters often provide other resources as well, including food, clothing, and sometimes even help individuals find employment.
Finding Employment in Sobriety
Many people lose their jobs over the course of active addiction. Whether it’s a high-paying career or a more easily replaceable position, it becomes quite difficult to maintain employment when seeking and imbibing mind-altering intoxicants is the driving force in one’s life. After getting out of treatment, finding employment is almost as important as finding a place to life, and in many ways, the two go hand-in-hand. After all, how can a person hope to find a residence if he or she cannot pay for it using money made at his or her job?
In the current economic landscape, it’s not quite as easy to find gainful employment as it was in decades past; however, there are government initiatives available to help people with job placement. Alternately, most cities will have a selection of staffing agencies that are oftentimes helpful to those with criminal records or histories of addiction. More often than not, the jobs that recovering addicts find when they’re fresh out of rehab won’t pay much more than minimum wage, but these jobs should be seen as a starting point. In the grand scheme of things, it wouldn’t take long to work one’s way up through the chain of command through hard work and promotions. Another possibility would be to stay at a position long enough to include it on one’s résumé so that he or she has some type of recent job history that will help them find a better position at a different company. Finding a job is a huge reason people get overwhelmed in sobriety — especially when you’re trying to find a job that pays a salary on which you could support yourself — it’s crucial to be patient since this is something that doesn’t happen in a day.
Finding a Place in the Community
Recovering addicts often feel like they have no place in their communities. A large part of this issue is a direct result of the unfortunate stigma that’s attached to addiction in today’s society. As mentioned above, people have a tendency to view addicts as selfish, self-indulgent individuals with no regard for anyone but themselves; therefore, the attitude toward recovering addicts tends to be overtly negative in many instances. For this reason, it may be wise not to divulge one’s history of addiction unless it’s necessary. Of course, one shouldn’t lie about having overcome an addiction, but on the other hand, a person doesn’t have to always be so forthcoming about it either. Especially when it’s in the past and it’s something that could cost opportunities, one’s history with addiction doesn’t need to be his or her defining characteristic.
The best way to get reacclimated into the community after rehab is to find an active recovery community in one’s area. One of the best ways to meet people who are either experienced with or friendly toward addiction recovery would be to meet and network with people in recovery-related support groups. Particularly with twelve-step support groups, fellowshipping and networking is a very important part of program participation, so these groups will largely be comprised of individuals who are equally as desirous of meeting others who are supportive and encouraging of recovery. Best of all, finding one’s place in a recovery community ensures that one’s cohorts won’t intentionally or inadvertently put his or her sobriety in jeopardy. Studies have also shown that the people who are part of active recovery communities tend to have much greater success in recovery, providing yet another reason why this would be an ideal situation for those who have just gotten out of rehab.
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Freedom From Addiction
If you have found yourself suffering in addiction, you are not alone! If you are ready to change your life and live free of addiction, then FindAddictionRehabs.com can help. We give you the jump start to recovery as well as teach relapse prevention including learning healthy outlets in sobriety . Our program is unique in that it doesn’t just treat the addiction, it treats the whole person. For more information on our program, call 1-877-959-7271 today.