Advice on Being Successful in an Addiction Recovery Program

Research on the success of recovery programs often focuses on the strategies used in treatment instead of on factors that the addict can control. In fact, the most important factor in the success of rehab may be your own motivation to live a clean, healthy life.  Recovery isn’t easy, but those who make it through treatment find that a sober lifestyle can be deeply rewarding. Here are a few ways that you can increase your chances of being successful.

Seek Support From Others

Many addicts drop out of rehab or relapse soon after treatment because they’re unable to learn how to seek help and support from other people. They may believe that they should be strong enough to tackle their addiction alone, or that they don’t need therapy or group meetings to get sober. They often underestimate the power of the disease and assume that after they’ve finished rehab, they won’t have to worry about relapsing.

Reaching out to other addicts may be one of the most effective ways to succeed in rehab. The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment has identified these benefits of group therapy:

  • Addicts can receive moral support and encouragement from peers.
  • Group members share their own strategies for dealing with triggers and cravings.
  • Addicts who are succeeding in recovery can motivate others to achieve the same goal.
  • Group meetings make addicts and alcoholics feel less isolated in their disease.

Use a Variety of Tools

Maintaining long-term recovery requires more than one tool. Integrated treatment programs draw from several different sources to help you beat your addiction, including individual psychotherapy, mutual support groups, relapse prevention education, behavioral modification, and medication therapy. In some programs, holistic therapies like massage, acupuncture, pet therapy and yoga are brought into play to address your physical, spiritual and emotional needs.

The more strategies you use in your addiction recovery program, the more opportunities you’ll have to find approaches that work for you. For some recovering addicts, participation in a 12-step group is the key to long-lasting abstinence. For others, anti-addiction medications like naltrexone or buprenorphine are crucial components of recovery. With an individualized treatment plan, you and your counselors can develop a program that works for you.

Get Your Loved Ones Involved

Chemical dependence is a condition that affects an entire household, whether that unit consists of two partners, a married couple, a blended family or a traditional nuclear family. Involving your significant other, spouse, children or parents in the process of recovery will help you confront any problems at home that might be contributing to your addiction, such as:

  • Codependency. Another family member may be enabling you to continue drinking or using.
  • Relationship conflicts. Emotional rifts between spouses or partners can intensify substance abuse.
  • Domestic abuse. Some addicts become physically or emotionally abusive when they’re intoxicated, a phenomenon that may lead to family separation, divorce or legal problems.
  • Family substance abuse. In households where one person is abusing drugs or alcohol, partners and children are more likely to engage in substance abuse.

According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), relationship issues and substance abuse must be treated simultaneously if you want to achieve long-term sobriety. Otherwise, domestic conflicts will continue to act as triggers after you’ve completed rehab.

Make a Commitment to Yourself

Getting through rehabilitation requires a commitment to restoring your physical and emotional health. If your personal recovery has a spiritual dimension, you can draw from this aspect of rehab, as well. These simple steps can help you make the most out of addiction treatment:

  • Participate actively in counseling sessions, working with your therapist to deepen your self-knowledge.
  • Take part in group meetings, sharing openly as you learn from others.
  • Be honest with your treatment team about cravings or slips and address any lapses immediately.
  • Build a strong support network to help you maintain your sobriety after you graduate from rehab.

From the detox stage to the aftercare phase, you’ll have the best chance of reaching your goals if you don’t hesitate to seek support from caring friends, family members and addiction professionals.