If you’ve gone through a detox and treatment program, congratulations. This is one of the hardest tasks that an addict can undergo. You’ve made a real commitment to treating your addiction. Before you’re discharged, though, there are some things you should know about moving forward.
Whether it’s your first time completing a treatment program or you’ve been around the block a few times, there are important things to keep in mind regarding your safety and successful recovery. These are five crucial things to know before you are discharged from your Florida rehab.
1. Recovering doesn’t mean “cured”
Most addictions will be a lifelong battle. Addiction to alcohol or opiate drugs tends to be a particular struggle. You’ve detoxed, and you’re past the worst physical cravings for your substance of choice. Hopefully, you’ve learned some coping skills and found support during your rehab program. You have the skills you need to face your life without needing to use your substance as a crutch.
But there’s a big difference between “recovering” and “cured.” If you were cured, you wouldn’t need to worry about your addiction anymore. You could throw it over your shoulder and forget about it. Instead, you’ll need to be vigilant regarding your environmental triggers and responses to stress. Ease back into your day-to-day life as much as you can; too many changes at once can overwhelm.
2. Relapse during this period is particularly dangerous
Relapse following a detox can be especially dangerous. This criteria is most relevant regarding opiate addicts. When you take opiate drugs, your brain stops creating dopamine and endorphins, and your tolerance goes up. When you physically detox, your brain begins to work again, and your tolerance will be lower. A dose you might have tolerated while dealing with the worst of your addiction might cause you to overdose.
A relapse during this time period will also trigger physical withdrawal symptoms to start again. For alcoholics, who need a medically supervised detox to ensure safety, this isn’t an ideal scenario.
3. Your discharge instructions are important
When you’re discharged from the rehab center, your doctor will give you detailed discharge instructions. These will include some form of outpatient treatment, usually counseling or behavioral therapy. If you need mental health medication, your discharge instructions will tell you to see a psychiatrist. It’s possible that you’ll also have included resources for group therapy and community outreach programs.
If you’re taking any medication, your discharge instructions will explain how you’re meant to take the medication going for, along with whether or not the prescription should be refilled. Make sure to note any warning labels on your medication. If you do suffer a relapse, it’s vital that you not take any medications that could interact with drugs or alcohol. This may increase your chance of overdose or death.
4. Interactions With Other People
Support networks and positive presences are crucial
There’s a good chance that there are some emotions and tensions with your loved ones. You might have gotten a chance to explore your familial relationships in family therapy at the treatment center. Sometimes, though, family members live too far away to complete regular counseling sessions during the initial treatment program.
Outpatient family therapy is a good option for you and your loved ones. Family counseling and therapy has the following benefits:
- Family members are able to discuss their conflicts with a third party mediator who ensures conversations stay productive
- Family members can bring up and address old pain in a healing way
- You and your family can identify unhealthy environmental elements and make plans for reducing them
- You and your family can practice setting healthy boundaries
- Your family can learn more about addiction and the process of recovery
It is imperative that you have a strong support network following your discharge. Self-isolation and conflict are two of the biggest triggers contributing to relapses. When you’re in a treatment facility, your entire existence is heavily structured and focused on recovery.
Going back to day-to-day life after that can be overwhelming. People sometimes find that the choices they’re tempted to make are not the healthiest choices for them. You need people who are clear about the love and care they have for you.
5. Keep emergency contacts and regularly engage in outpatient care
Your support network doesn’t necessarily need to be made up of immediate family members. In fact, having the support of friends tends to help with a person’s recovery success rate. You need to have people you can contact if you’re having a bad day, whether they’re people with whom you like to talk or people who can pull you out of a funk. Sometimes, when you’re tempted to relapse, just being around another person can help keep you safe.
It’s also important to engage in outpatient care. As mentioned, you’ll have outpatient care recommendations in your discharge instructions. If you live close to the treatment center, it’s possible that you’ll be offered outpatient therapy services through the center itself. Otherwise, you’ll probably need to go to a recommended mental health center.
If you can, keep your therapist or psychiatrist in your emergency contacts. Some mental health professionals will give their patients access to an “emergency number,” which can be used to page them if you desperately need them. This is an incredible resource.
You should also look into support groups and group therapy sessions in your area. Mental health centers will often have pamphlets explaining their group therapy options. There may also be options for engaging in creative therapies.
Finally, you can use the internet to find people. Social networking has allowed us to have entire forums dedicated to addiction recovery. These can be good places to find a friend. Just be sure to surround yourself with positive influences who help you want to stay sober.
We have trained counselors available to talk at all times. Call 888-380-0667 to talk to someone who can help.