When seeking treatment for an addiction to heroin, percocet, or other opiates, residential opiate treatment is often the most comprehensive and thorough approach. The protective and structured environment of a residential treatment center is often very effective for helping patients safely detox from opiates and begin the process of recovery and sobriety. Once you leave that environment, however, it is very important to proactively find ways to take care of yourself in order to avoid relapse. Here are four ideas:
See a Therapist
One of the most effective aspects of residential treatment is individual and group therapy, such as at Pacific Ridge, and it is a great idea to continue seeing a therapist on your own after you leave rehab. Your therapist will help you identify, process, and heal from any traumatic events in your past that contributed toward your tendency to self-medicate with opiates. They can also help you build stronger self esteem, boundaries, and relationship skills, all of which will be helpful when building a healthy, sober life.
Join a Support Group
Even if they do their best to support you, your friends and family may never truly understand your addiction or how difficult recovery can be. A support group like Narcotics Anonymous will provide you with connections, mentorship, and support from those who have successfully navigated their own addictions.
Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Replacing old, negative behaviors with healthy new habits is another important component of post-rehab life. Show yourself that you are important and worthy by actively making healthy lifestyle choices every day. Exercising on a daily basis is a great way to trigger the release of natural feel-good hormones like endorphins and seratonin. Eating a diet rich in nutrients, including plenty of dark, leafy greens, lean protein, fruit, and whole veggies, will help you feel energetic and give your body what it needs to heal.
Look at the time after you leave residential opiate treatment as an opportunity to discover healthy aspects of life you enjoy and that feel great. You may decide to take a vegetarian cooking class, take up hiking, or join a weekly yoga class. The idea is to keep yourself feeling balanced and peaceful emotionally and physically.
Find Natural Pain Relief Options
If your opiate addiction began with prescribed pain medication, it's a good idea to find natural remedies for dealing with future pain in order to reduce the chances of rehab. Acupuncture and therapeutic massage can be very effective at naturally relieving pain. A naturopath can prescribe herbs and supplements with natural pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
By practicing good self care after rehab, you will be helping to ensure you are able to remain healthy, happy, and sober.