What life skills do you need to maintain sobriety after rehab? Re-entry can feel scary after inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment. There are indeed things you can do, thinking you can adopt, and priorities you can set. Each of these will help you with addiction recovery and relapse prevention. Our rehab program offers a cognitive-behavioral therapy program (CBT). This treatment sets clients up for success post-discharge by providing concrete strategies and shifts in perspective that underpin recovery life skills ongoing. For questions about recovery life skills, addiction recovery, or reach out to us at Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge today by calling 844.442.8673 or using our online form.
Relapse Prevention with Recovery Life Skills
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is goal-oriented and focuses on behavioral changes. In drug rehab, you have the opportunity to practice these new skills prior to applying them in the “real world.” CBT has an excellent track record for helping those in recovery sustain their sobriety after treatment. It can teach you a range of skills for relapse prevention.
1. Time Management
You will learn to carefully manage your time to focus on each day’s segment. This relapse prevention skill helps by leaving little time to think about using again. Aside from work and other concrete responsibilities, the rest of your time will be set aside specifically for activities that do not include drugs or alcohol.
Managing your time carefully makes it easier to reach goals. Organize your days by using a planner or calendar app. Low-risk activities can include self-care such as exercise, recreation or hobbies, time with family, and attending a 12-step program.
2. Be Aware of Your External Triggers
Another skill you will practice in rehab and put to use throughout life is the ability to recognize a high-risk environment or situation. Having your antennae up and recognizing the warning signs that may lead to substance abuse will help you sidestep danger.
3. Keep an Eye on Your Internal Triggers
Becoming attuned to what is going on inside you is just as crucial as recognizing warning signs out in the world. In CBT, you will learn to identify the emotions and circumstances that lead to cravings. For example, does anxiety make you want to use substances? You will learn strategies to recognize anxiety when it starts and how to alleviate it without substances. Does your mind wander towards having a drink or using a drug when the workday winds down or the holidays approach? You will gain and use skills to bypass these triggers by doing something else instead.
4. Form a Support Network
Relationships with those who have your back and peer groups can offer insights and support for your sobriety. CBT will teach you to be proactive. Don’t just wait for these support networks to find you. Seek them out and be clear about what you need from them. Also, take every opportunity to build, rebuild, or sustain relationships damaged by your addiction. Remember, support from others is proven to help people sustain sobriety in the long term.
5. Serve Those Around You
There is nothing like helping others to help you feel less powerless. Why? Because compassion and kindness are empowering not only for those you help but for you as well. When you can provide someone with the emotional anchor or practical support as others in your life have provided for you, you will be filled with hope and gratitude. In whatever way you can, try to find opportunities to volunteer, such as:
- Walking shelter dogs
- Reading to people in nursing homes
- Being a big sister or big brother to a youngster in need of a mentor
- Serve the homeless
- Build houses for those who have none
The list of people and organizations who need help is very long, and the grace that comes by doing good cannot be quantified.
Learn More at Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge
At PAATC, we are standing by to help you begin your recovery journey and provide you with the skills you need to continue it beyond our doors. Our cognitive-behavioral therapy program is evidence-based and provided by professionals trained in this excellent treatment. Our services include:
- Alcohol addiction treatment
- Heroin addiction treatment
- Cocaine addiction treatment
- Meth addiction treatment
- Fentanyl addiction treatment