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Creating a Treatment Plan for after Rehab

Creating a Treatment Plan for After Rehab

You’ve completed inpatient treatment and you’re preparing to discharge. Leaving the structured environment of a treatment facility can be intimidating; ensuring you have a plan in place is imperative to success.

What is an Aftercare Treatment Plan?

Most treatment facilities provide assistance to prepare you for those crucial first months back in the real world. Your case manager can assist you in creating a post-rehab treatment plan. This plan might include, but is not limited to:
• IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) – Similar to the classes you may have attended at inpatient treatment, IOP offers weekly classes that provide support and accountability while you transition from rehab.
• Counseling – Your case manager may suggest one-on-one counseling as additional therapy to your IOP classes. If you’re dealing with shame and guilt resulting from your substance abuse, or past trauma, personal counseling can be added to your treatment plan as an additional tool.
• Sober living – Sober living homes provide a safe, stable environment where alcoholics and addicts in early recovery can live and support each other. These houses offer all the amenities of home and provide added accountability to your sobriety program.
• Doctor appointments – Getting regular checkups and preventative care are essential to staying healthy. Poor health and mental disorders are not uncommon after long-term drug and alcohol use. Getting your health back on track, along with regular checkups, is an important part your mental and physical health.
• Exercise regime – Being active increases physical health and emotional stability. Physical activities offer a safe and sober way to fill your time.
• Relapse prevention plan – This will probably consist of tools to utilize when you start to crave drugs or alcohol, as well as steps to take to avoid picking up that first drink or drug.
• Volunteering – Being of service is gratifying and gets you out of self. The more you give back in your community, or sobriety fellowship, the more confidence you’ll gain in yourself and your recovery.
• 12 step meetings – Many treatment programs are based on a 12-step program. Regular Alcoholics Anonymous, or Narcotics Anonymous, meetings will provide support, structure and fellowship, which are all necessities for maintaining a sober lifestyle.

Why is a Treatment Plan Important?
Transitioning back into everyday life isn’t easy. Consider creating a treatment plan for after rehab much the like preventative care you would receive from your physician. You are putting steps in place to ensure lasting health. The first few months after treatment you are at the highest risk for a relapse. Continued support and ongoing treatment has been proven to assist in obtaining long-term sobriety from drugs and alcohol. Building a solid foundation in recovery is the first step toward a happy healthy life.

How Long Will Your Treatment Plan Last?
While your IOP and counseling sessions will probably last anywhere from three to six months, the rest of your plan will most likely be ongoing. As an addict or alcoholic in recovery, daily maintenance is required to ensure you don’t relapse. This may sound overwhelming, but rest assured, your new life will be full of fun activities because of your aftercare plan. 12-step meetings offer a fellowship of people that extends far beyond AA or NA meetings. You will build lasting relationships in these meetings and find people with similar interests. Within a year, the ongoing portion of your aftercare plan should become habitual and part of your normal daily life.
Life-long sobriety is possible. It just takes the willingness to follow direction and putting in effort on your part. Before you know it you’ll be living a life you only used to dream of.

Launch Centers Can Help Solidify Recovery
Launch Centers, located in Brentwood (Los Angeles), California is an outpatient life skills program for young adults (aged 18-28) aspiring to identify and achieve scholastic and vocational goals. Clients meet with an assigned counselor who will give them guidance, structure, and emotional support as they progress through the program. Launch Centers works in tandem with local sober living and structured living housing environments, assisting young adults new in recovery from drugs or alcohol to succeed in achieving their personal goals in life. Launch Centers will help these young clients develop their educational and vocational plans, place them in volunteer or paid internships, and assist them with job placement. Contact Launch Centers today and we can help you create a treatment plan for after rehab today, call the Launch Team at 310-779-4476.

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Should You Take A Gap Year in Recovery? Pro’s and Con’s of Delaying College

By Jose Hernandez

You’ve already made one important decision to enter treatment for alcoholism or drug addiction before heading off to school. Now, just a few more decisions:

  • Are you prepared for the temptations that college will bring?
  • Should you head off to college immediately after rehab?
  • Should you take a year off to prepare for your future?

Students across the nation, regardless of their history of substance abuse, take a year off between high school and college for many reasons. They want to take a break from academics–a gap year–to travel, sample a profession by taking a related job or internship, learn a new language in a foreign country, and for many other reasons.
Here’s a reassuring statistic for parents who are concerned that a gap year means a possible end to their son’s or daughter’s education: Research shows that 90 percent of those who take a structured year-long break from school return to school within a year. And they are likely to return a more focused student with a better sense of purpose, as well.
Interestingly, parents are often concerned about their child heading off to college and relapsing. And, research shows they have good reason to worry. Nearly half of young people in college who drink have episodes of binge drinking. Drug abuse is pervasive on campus, too. According to a study of more than 500 students, 76 percent reported using stimulants, 38.9 percent used anti-anxiety drugs and sedatives, and 40.9 percent used analgesics.

Benefits of a Gap Year in Sobriety

In the past, most of your time was probably spent feeding your addiction–that is, getting the substance, using it, feeling the effects, and then repeating the cycle. Now, in early recovery you’ve begun to learn how to replace that time with healthy hobbies and responsibilities.
Taking a gap year provides an opportunity to continue that process in a sober environment without the temptations that college presents. It also gives you time to think about why you want to go to college. In the meantime, getting a part-time job or internship not only gives positive structure to your life, it can prepare you for the responsibilities ahead. Perhaps for the first time you will be creating a routine that supports sobriety and builds your self-confidence.

Mental and Physical Wellness

Taking a gap year in sobriety means you’ll have time to get your physical and emotional health back on track. Cultivate relationships with your counselors, your doctor, and other people in recovery.

In your addiction, you probably didn’t take care of yourself physically. Make sure you schedule a checkup with your doctor and start an exercise regime, if you don’t already have one. It’s important to take care of yourself mind, body, and spirit.

You can also use this time to build a network of positive influences through classes and meetings.

Resources Are Everywhere

While many schools have college recovery programs (CRP’s), and 12-step programs are in cities and towns across the nation, taking time to get comfortable opening up in a group setting will make it easier to find your tribe in college or a new city.

If your recovery plan includes a 12-step program, it could take a year or longer to work these steps thoroughly. Cleaning up the wreckage from your past might seem secondary to your education and future, but heading off to college with a clean slate could mean the difference between relapse and progress.

Finally, you can take this time to learn your relapse triggers so you can be proactive about avoiding them. Start creating a relapse prevention action plan now.

Disadvantages of Taking a Gap Year in Sobriety

Taking a year-long time out from the structure and stresses of college has a downside, too. Here are some practical tips for overcoming the major “cons” of taking a gap year:

Beware of Procrastination  Don’t wait too long to take action on your recovery program. As l you begin to feel better, life will start to look a little brighter. It’s important to enjoy life, but make sure it doesn’t affect your main goal of long-term sobriety.

Put Recovery First Use this time to build a solid foundation. Naturally, you’ll enjoy having more freedom from scheduled classes, but you’ll get even more satisfaction from your gap year as you learn to structure your time and feel increasingly confident.
Don’t get bored This is one of the biggest triggers for relapse. If a 12-step program is part of your recovery, be diligent. Work your steps and go to meetings. Get out and enjoy sober activities! Isolation leads to boredom, and boredom leads to relapse.

If your program isn’t keeping you busy enough, find healthy activities to fill your time. Get a part- time job or internship in the industry you’re considering as a career. Volunteer to help others in recovery. Be a volunteer driver to take residents to and from meetings. Find a sober hiking club or pursue and interest or hobby that’s free of temptation.

Making a Gap Year Work for You

Creating healthy habits now can tremendously increase your chances of lifelong sobriety. If you decide to take a gap year, these steps will help prepare for your next chapter.
Get the most out of this first year. Be painstaking about adhering to your program. Work with your mentor to create an action plan and stick to it. Use this time to lay the groundwork for a prosperous future.
Build structure and routine into your days. Find ways to be active in your recovery community. Plan ahead for activity so you avoid having too much down time on your hands.
Get out of your comfort zone and connect with others. Practice asking for help and meeting new people. It will make building a support group for yourself easier. (Do the same if you’re going away to college.) Having a network of people who are just a phone call away is essential when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.

Do You Have a Relapse-Prevention Plan?

By Jose Hernandez

Whether it’s the holidays, summertime, or Saturday, there’s always an excuse for a party. Avoiding being exposed to drugs and alcohol is essential to your successful recovery from substance abuse. However, in the real world, that is not always possible. Your best defense against slipping back into addiction is a solid relapse prevention plan. It is imperative to long-term sobriety.

What is a Mental Relapse?

Sometimes a relapse just happens, but usually it’s a process. It often starts when you’re disconnected to your program or during a stressful time in your life. Mentally you start to overthink things. Feelings of anxiety kick in, and you start to feel irritable and discontented. And before you know it, you’re seriously thinking about drinking or using. Having a plan of action can prevent a mental relapse from going into a full-blown, substance-abuse binge.

Your Relapse Prevention Plan

If you’re new to sobriety it’s important to create a relapse prevention plan before you need it. . .just in case. If you’ve been sober for a while, review your plan from time to time and make adjustments. What worked for you last year when you felt vulnerable may not be appropriate now. Addiction triggers can change over the years.

Here are six tips for staying on the track to long-term sobriety:

Make recovery your primary focus. It’s essential that you follow the recovery program implemented by your sponsor or counselor. Each week, set a schedule and stick to it. Be sure to include work, play, exercise, 12-step meetings and counseling appointments. This will help you balance recovery with the normal activities of your daily life.
Know your triggers. If you’ve relapsed before, make a list of the situations that set it off. Make note of the people, places and things that trigger your desire for drugs or alcohol. Where did you drink or use drugs? Who were you with? Does hanging out with certain people make drinking or using drugs tempting? Are weekends or evenings after work particularly difficult? Write down your triggers. If you’re unable to avoid them at least you’ll be aware and can prepare yourself to resist them.
Run the tape. Write about what life looked like before you got sober. If you find yourself thinking about having a drink or using drugs, revisit what you wrote down. Play it back in your head like a video. A beer on a hot summer day may sound good, but what typically follows that first drink? Remind yourself of what happens when you put alcohol or drugs in your body. Don’t focus on the immediate feeling of relief. Instead think about what occurs hours or even days later. It takes only one slip to return to your addict behavior. What does your tape look like?
Stay connected. Have a list of at least five people you can call if you feel like you want to use drugs or drink. This could be someone in recovery, a counselor, or even a family member. Keep the list with you and make sure you update it occasionally and that the phone numbers are current.
Know your stress relievers. Does talking to someone in particular calm you down? Is there an activity that’s therapeutic for you? Meditation is a great practice for calming your mind. Pay attention to what you feel is relaxing and make note of it. Take time each day for at least one stress-relieving activity. You can also refer to this list when you start to feel uneasy or anxious.
Remove any reminders of your substance abuse. Do a thorough sweep of your environment and make sure you don’t have any paraphernalia in your house. You may find it helpful to have someone else do this for you so you’re not tempted by something you find. This includes bottle openers and shot glasses. Anything that will remind you of drinking or using. The last thing you want to do on a particularly rough day is run across a half empty bottle of alcohol that you hid six months ago.

Recovery is an Education without a Graduation
Like the treatment of any disease, if you stop doing the things that make you feel better, you’ll stop feeling better. Addiction and alcoholism doesn’t care if you have ten days or ten years. Sometimes the longer you have the more susceptible you are. That’s because overconfidence creates the illusion that you’re cured. In early sobriety, reality often creates feelings of inadequacy that lead to a relapse. Having an active, current, relapse-prevention plan could save your life.