Life After Alcohol Addiction: A Guide To Recovery

It’s estimated that around 29.5 million people over the age of 12 in the United States struggle with alcohol misuse to some extent. However, numerous addiction treatment programs can help these people overcome alcohol use disorder (AUD) and live sober lives.

The trouble is that life after recovering from addiction can be different than life before. Addiction has a way of upending a person’s life, and after they’re able to detox and recover, a person will have to rebuild their lives following their treatment.

At Luxe Recovery, we don’t just help people overcome addiction. We also help prepare them for life after treatment.

What is Life After Rehab for Alcoholism Like?

Life after alcoholism can be difficult for many people. A lot of recovering alcoholics will need support to manage their abstinence from alcohol as well as manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms, as some symptoms can last weeks or even months, depending on the severity of an individual’s alcohol misuse. 

Given how crucial it can be to receive support after alcoholism, numerous treatment programs can help people prevent themselves from falling back into their old habits. These programs include:

Aftercare Programs

Aftercare programs are meant to make it easier for people to go back to their lives while also receiving support to manage their cravings and prevent relapse. These programs can offer a person continued support after inpatient addiction treatment.

Sober Living

Sober living homes represent a transitional point between inpatient treatment and going home. In a sober living home, a person has more independence than what an inpatient center allows, and they’re generally responsible for their upkeep, such as meals and laundry. They’ll also contribute to the upkeep of common areas.

Residents inside a sober living home must also submit to random drug testing and participate in therapeutic programs. They’ll also be given support to help them build a life after addiction, such as vocational coaching to help them find jobs, which can be vital for a person who wants to get their life back on track after alcohol misuse.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment allows a person to receive care while living their normal lives. It can be used as a form of aftercare. In outpatient treatment, a person lives at home and meets their day-to-day responsibilities, such as working or at school, but also sees a therapist weekly and attends support groups.

For those who need more intense support, there are Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) that offer more support while also allowing a person to live at home.

How to Stay on Track With Your Sobriety

For many people, being completely abstinent from alcohol is an essential part of their recovery. Fortunately, numerous resources can support a person and prevent them from relapsing. These resources include:

Support Groups

Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous can be crucial for people trying to rebuild their lives after addiction. Support groups can offer someone a place to connect with others facing similar struggles, and these connections can become a support system that can be a source of encouragement and accountability.

Family Therapy

Substance abuse can have a profound impact on a person’s family. However, their loved ones, such as family and friends, can be an essential support system. Family therapy can help repair these relationships and help them support a person’s long-term recovery.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy can help a person stop drinking, and it can also help a person live an alcohol-free life. Individual therapy can give a person a safe space where they can vent. The therapist can also help them manage stress, which is a major trigger for alcohol consumption. 

Managing Addiction Cravings

One of the most important parts of alcohol recovery is to manage the urge to drink and deal with stress. Unlike other substances that a person can become addicted to, alcohol is unique in that it’s easy to access.

A person who’s addicted to cocaine will need to find a dealer, and a person who is addicted to prescription medication will have to get a prescription from a doctor.

Alcohol, on the other hand, is freely available and is perfectly legal for anyone over the age of 21.

Many doctors will be wary of prescribing medication for someone with a history of drug misuse, but a cashier or a bartender won’t be as hesitant to sell someone alcohol unless they know the person who’s buying from them has a history of alcohol abuse and addiction.

As such, it’s relatively easy to fall back into old habits and start drinking again. Because of this, it’s important for a person to manage the compulsion to drink so they don’t set their recovery process back and undo any progress they may have made with getting their life back on track.

One of the most common ways professionals recommend to help people manage their cravings is distraction. This means engaging in activities that distract a person from their urge to drink alcohol. This can include cultivating new hobbies or spending time and energy in other ways that’ll keep a person too busy to get a drink.

Another way to manage the compulsion to drink alcohol is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness and meditation can help manage cravings by helping them relax and stay present. These practices can manage stress and help people be aware of their cravings without acting on them.

A structured routine can also help a person maintain sobriety. Having a daily routine can provide stability and reduce the opportunities to trigger cravings.

What Happens if You Relapse?

You may be tempted to think that recovering from a substance use disorder is a linear process. You admit that there’s a problem, you get treatment, and then you’re cured. However, many treatment providers will stress that recovery is not a straight line.

If you do fall back into your old ways, be kind to yourself. You may blame yourself and feel as if you were too weak to maintain your sobriety. But that’s not the case at all.

Falling back into old habits is not the exception but the norm. Research shows that most chronic alcohol users will relapse within a year after treatment. 

This is not to say that there is no point in getting treatment because it’s doomed to fail. Rather, it means that addiction is a complex disease and that recovering from it and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be a lifelong process. 

Contact your sponsor or your therapist. Relapsing doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. It simply means that you’ve taken a detour on the road to recovery. It’s a step back, but it doesn’t mean you’re back where you started. Remember that two steps forward and one step back is still one step ahead of where you were.

Can You Rebuild Your Life After Addiction Recovery?

Getting your life back on track after AUD is possible. Recovery can be challenging, but it offers a chance to rediscover yourself and create a new and fulfilling life. 

By setting realistic goals, getting support from loved ones and professionals, and embracing new habits, you can overcome your past struggles and craft a better future.

During recovery, many people find new passions, strengthen relationships, and develop a deeper sense of purpose. 

Getting a new life does require patience, resilience, and self-compassion, but many people have successfully built new lives post-recovery, showing that a positive, productive future is possible. Recovery is not just about overcoming addiction; it’s about reclaiming your life.

At Luxe Recovery, we want to help you reclaim your life after addiction. Contact us now, and we can begin the process of helping you build a new, sober life.

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