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Getting treatment for drug and alcohol addiction from a professional rehab center offers the opportunity of a lifetime. With the help of professionals who have special training, every aspect of your addiction receives focused care, from the toll it has taken on your physical health to the damage it has caused to your emotions and relationships.
The experience of rehab and recovery is rich, but you should not rush into just any treatment center. The best way to maximize your recovery experience is to stay in care for as long as you need, which means you will essentially flush your investment. In fact, a 2009 study that was funded by the National Institutes of Health shows that people for whom treatment is successful usually stay in care for a minimum of 90 days, which is about how long it takes for the brain to repair and recalibrate itself. Three months in rehab also allows time for new habits to set, such as attending support group meetings, building relationships with a sponsor or therapist and establishing a recovery-friendly community.
Once this firm foundation is in place for recovery, you are primed to begin the joyous task of building sobriety that lasts. To learn strategies and tips that can help you along your journey, learn how to find the best rehab center for your unique needs.
Establish a Recovery Routine
Leaving rehab is like taking off training wheels: the enforced structure of a daily schedule disappears, so it is up to you to fortify your day-to-day routine with meaningful tasks and healthy activities. Although some people consider structure to be a recipe for boredom, the exact opposite is true—far from being repetitive, dedicating each day to a defined structure yields untold benefits, as it tames the chaos of early sobriety when the body and mind are still healing from chemical dependence. The predictability of a daily plan also mitigates the anxiety that comes from facing troubling waters, such as repairing complicated relationships or finding employment. No matter how clear your intentions are for recovery, your mind may stray off into areas such as fear, anxiety or daydreams about using. However, a general plan for any given hour provides guardrails against errant thoughts and emotions.
The following tips will help you find a rehab center:
- Ask for help – Talk to people in recovery who seem to enjoy their intentional and satisfying lives. Find out what works for them to see which strategies you can borrow.
- Take on responsibility – Everyday, offer to pet sit, water plants for a neighbor, set up coffee at your 12-Step meeting or some other way of contributing to your community. One of the first signs that life is getting back on track is when someone begins acting in predictable ways, being responsible and following through on promises.
- Plan meals – Nutrition often falls by the wayside during active addiction. Use mealtimes not only to repair your body from the years of drug abuse, but also to use nutrition for structure.
- Practice good sleep and hygiene – Prioritize your sleep, because rest allows your body to reestablish a healthy rhythm. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends, and be sure to groom yourself regularly.
Always remember that sobriety is the centerpiece of your sobriety. By attending meetings consistently, connecting with recovery mentors and engaging many forms of therapy, you will build a barrier between your new life and the one you fought hard to leave behind.
Connecting Spiritually During Addiction Recovery
An active and vibrant spiritual life runs through the core of almost all sustained recoveries, which is why recovery models often highlight the importance of finding a Higher Power.” For example, a study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs measured spiritual practices among 364 individuals attempting to break alcohol addictions. Their results show two strong predictors of positive drinking outcomes. The first is that individuals who get sober simultaneously increase their private spiritual practices. They also prioritize time everyday to connect with God, so they often experience “conscious contact” with a Higher Power that imbues them with strength, comfort and a sense of divine love. They describe this connection as rather intoxicating, which leaves them with a profound sense of peace that generates a greater appetite for spiritual pursuit.
A different study conducted in conjunction with Harvard Medical School reveals similar findings from data drawn from 1,500 participants: one secret of the proven effectiveness of 12-Step meetings is that support group attendance enhances spiritual depth. This fact is especially true for participants who had not considered themselves spiritual or religious prior to joining this group.
Help for Addiction and Trauma
Getting sober is hard work, but you do not have to do it alone, because we are here to help. If you or a loved one suffers from addiction and trauma, then please call our toll-free helpline now. Admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to provide information about treatment for addiction and family support. Do not let addiction steal your joy, so please call us today for instant support.