Can You Turn Your Life Around After Addiction?

July 12, 2016

Do you struggle with substance abuse and feel as though recovery is not possible? If so, I am here to provide you with hope that there is life after addiction. I spent years fighting my own personal battle against drugs and alcohol, but today, I am the owner of several successful substance abuse treatment facilities. While the journey has not always been easy, it has unlocked a potential that I never knew I had. Though a happy, healthy, and drug-free life may seem like a pipe dream, it can become your reality.

The First Steps to a Sober Life

Though many people who struggle with addiction experience feelings of denial, it is important to have a breakthrough moment of clarity. This happened for me at 38 years old, when I hit rock bottom with my addiction to Cocaine. I knew I had to persevere and turn my life around, despite numerous failed attempts at recovery.

Keep in mind that many people take more than one attempt to attain lasting sobriety. Don’t get discouraged if you have tried and failed. Instead, look back at previous attempts and find out how you can learn from them so you don’t make the same mistakes. Did you immediately return to your old stomping grounds where temptation was impossible to resist? Did you immediately disregard some (or even all) of the techniques you learned in rehabilitation? Perhaps you tried to get sober on your own and now realize the importance of finding an effective program. Whatever the case, I guarantee you can learn from your relapse and take steps not to repeat it this time around.

Once you are committed to getting healthy, it is time to find a rehabilitation center that works for you. Look for a facility that:

  • Has experience with your drug of choice;
  • Has financing options;
  • Offers flexible time frames;
  • Is dedicated to recovery of patients and not just profits;
  • Has positive reviews from authenticated graduates;
  • Has an experienced and professional staff;
  • Can create a personalized treatment plan;
  • Offers life skills courses, job training, and educational programs;
  • Takes on a holistic approach; and
  • Offers aftercare programs.

Once you have chosen a facility, dedicate yourself to your own cause. Ensure that you are doing everything you can during your stay to safeguard your future health and wellbeing.

Take the opportunity to consider your environment outside the rehabilitation center. Are there people in your life you should create distance from to maintain your sobriety? Places you should avoid? Will you have a positive support system around you? It’s better to consider these things ahead of time and create a plan for how to deal with them before you return home. It’s much easier to make these kinds of difficult choices while you’re still in treatment and likely feeling more confident about your sobriety. If you wait until you’re face-to-face with potential triggers, it will be much more difficult to say no and you could slip back into old habits.

How to Stay Sober After Rehabilitation

Once you graduate from rehabilitation, you must continue your efforts to remain sober. During recovery, you learned the tools you need to succeed, and now is the time to implement them. To ensure success and avoid relapse:

  • Attend all aftercare programs;
  • Avoid potential triggers;
  • Surround yourself with supportive loved ones;
  • Remember your relaxation techniques and coping mechanisms;
  • Find your passion through work, school, or family and stick to it;
  • Work out a daily routine or schedule; and
  • Reach out for help without hesitation.

One of the most important things I learned about maintaining my sobriety is the importance of asking for help. It might mean asking for assistance on a big project at work if you’re feeling overwhelmed, or even something as simple as asking a friend to grab lunch so you can vent and blow off steam. We all have our bad days, not just addicts, so there’s no shame in asking for a little help in coping. After all, wouldn’t you want your friend or loved one to come to you if they were feeling upset?

It’s important, however, to know the difference between a bad day and a true risk to your sobriety. If you think you may be about to slip, reach out to your sponsor or drug counselor, or go to a meeting. Your loved ones have limited knowledge, but professionals have all the tools to keep you on track, so take advantage of their expertise!

After I found the right recovery center for me, I used these techniques to help me achieve my ultimate goal of helping others recover from addiction, just like I had.

Per Wickstrom is the founder and CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation Center. He is a firm believer in using natural, holistic methods to find sobriety, and that anyone can reclaim their life. Catch up with Per on Facebook and Twitter.

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