Life After Rehab: Why Recovery Should Be Your Top Focus

Life After Rehab: Why Recovery Should Be Your Top Focus

A constant state of vigilance against it will be a powerful weapon in the fight for recovery

Many individuals feel as though rehab is a one-time event, but this could not be farther from the truth. Instead, it is a lifestyle change toward lifelong recovery  requiring long-term focus, above all other priorities. The primary reasons to give recovery your top focus are to prevent relapse and to minimize the risks to your family.

Understanding the Deeper Nuances of Relapse

At its most basic level, rehab is often seen as unsuccessful if the individual relapses shortly after leaving rehab. This represents a mischaracterization of addiction as a personal problem when it more closely resembles a chronic illness than anything else. The relapse rates mirror those of other chronic illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure. Addiction also has both biological and behavioral aspects which must both be managed for adequate long-term recovery. Further, support programs during and after intensive treatment increases the chance of recovery as with other chronic illnesses.

There are also a series of misunderstandings about relapse itself. It is vital to correct the following examples in order to gain strength against relapse:

  • Relapse has no warning signs – More often than not, relapse is brought on by the discomfort of sobriety. The person paying careful attention to an individual in recovery will potentially see this struggle and can provide support and assistance to hopefully prevent the relapse.
  • No drug or alcohol use equals recovery – Recovery is about living through healthy choices, and to limit it to not using drugs or alcohol actually increases the chance of relapse.
  • Relapse happens when a person stops treatment – Typically, the exact opposite is true­­—a person stops treatment because relapse is on the horizon.
  • You will know when you are going to relapse – Those about to relapse are often unaware of the signs until after when she can see the warning signals.
  • Willpower alone cannot prevent relapse – Addiction is a multifaceted illness, one that most often requires a multidisciplinary approach for recovery. Self-disciple is often not sufficient.
  • When an individual relapses, it shows he doesn’t care about recovery – This is a painful myth about relapse. Some do not care, but others lack the personal skills, support system or self-awareness to make better choices.
  • To think about relapse is to make it happen – It is more common to relapse when you choose not to consider it. A constant state of vigilance against it will be a powerful weapon in the fight for recovery.

As an individual indoctrinates herself against these poor thoughts, she will be able to move forward in recovery. She will find the strength to avoid relapse. She will be able to begin building a life built on healthier choices.

Minimizing the Damage to Your Family

Beyond avoiding relapse to drugs like Lorcet, the most important reason to focus on recovery after a stint in rehab is to protect your family. Children are especially prone to being negatively impacted by consistent drug abuse in the home. The National Association for Children of Alcoholics has released a fact sheet that summarizes the risks children of addicts face. The following are a few highlights focused upon the importance of recovery:

  • Children of addicted parents are 2­–9 times more likely to have an addiction later in life, and this figure is higher if the parent appears permissive toward drug use. In other words, actively and prominently focusing on your recovery can limit the risk your children face of becoming addicts.
  • The erratic emotional behaviors associated with addiction become part of the family definition of normal. Children learn to accept anger and instability as typical and become limited in their ability to act differently as they near maturity.
  • Depression and anxiety are much more common in children coming from home with an addicted parent. As a parent struggles through the pain of recovery, he can build a renewed sense of trust and love with his children and communicate afresh his love for them. This will lessen the chances of mental health disorders.

The impact of drug abuse on family dynamics cannot be overstated. Each moment you focus on recovery from addiction to drugs like Lorcet is a moment spent on your family’s health. Even though it can feel selfish to spend time on your recovery instead of with your children, the truth is that you increase the likelihood of your children’s success as your gain stability and traction in the sober lifestyle.

The risks and the cost of a prolonged relapse are simply too high. If this is where you find yourself right now, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. We can help you. We can answer your questions. The admission counselors at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can help you learn more about addiction. They can help you or your loved one find his or her way.