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What To Do After Completing Intensive Outpatient Treatment

intensive outpatient treatment

While addiction is a treatable disorder, relapse is a common part of recovery and affects 40-60% of people with substance use disorders. If you have completed an intensive outpatient treatment program, finding ways to continue your care after recovery can help you avoid relapse. 

Do you want to learn more about the recovery process and course of treatment for substance use disorders? 

Keep reading this guide to learn what you need to do after completing an intensive outpatient program and to find an intensive outpatient program near me. 

Understand Your Barriers to Sobriety

When you have finished an outpatient alcohol program or an outpatient drug rehab program, it can be difficult to stay sober when you no longer have constant support from your rehab center. 

One thing that can help is learning more about your barriers to sobriety. For example, if you struggle with a mental health disorder, this can affect your sobriety. You may need to find treatment centers that treat both addiction and mental health issues.

Other barriers to sobriety may include boredom, social pressure, and the people that you spend time with. 

Enroll in an Aftercare Program

As soon as you have finished your substance use disorder treatment, you should enroll in an aftercare program. This will help you settle back into your normal routine while still providing the support you need during your recovery. 

Even if you feel confident that you can manage your addiction on your own, having the support of an aftercare program will improve your odds of staying sober and avoiding relapse. 

There are many different aftercare programs available for different types of addiction. For example, you can join Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous to help with drug and alcohol addiction. 

These programs also give you specific steps you can take to aid in your addiction recovery. Most aftercare programs are free and help you create a support network. You can meet with people that struggle with your same issues and find ways to help each other on the road to recovery. 

Be Prepared for Cravings

Many people that finish an outpatient program relapse because they are not prepared for the cravings they experience once they have finished their treatment. While you may feel optimistic that you no longer crave your substances, things may change weeks, months, or even years after your treatment. 

Because of this, you need to have a plan of action for what to do if you feel cravings or if you yield to the cravings. 

If you feel overwhelmed by your cravings, what will you do? Something that might help is having a list of supportive people that you can contact when you are worried about relapsing. They may be able to spend time with you to help you through these cravings without relapsing. 

Improve Nutrition

Improving nutrition is one of the easiest ways you can improve your health and avoid relapsing after your IOP. Many people don’t realize how much addiction affects the entire body. Often, addictions lead to other issues with your health and make it easy to neglect your nutrition. 

This can lead to malnutrition, problems with your organ function, and even issues with your mental health. 

When you improve your diet during your recovery, it will help you overcome the nutritional deficiencies that you experienced during your active addiction. Plus, the better you feel during your recovery, the less likely you are to relapse and start using substances again. 

Balancing your diet can help you improve your mood and your overall health and will aid in your recovery. 

Create Other Healthy Habits

Not only do you need to improve your nutrition when you are recovering from your substance use disorder, but you also need to create other healthy habits. You can replace your self-destructive and addictive habits with other habits that make it easier to stay sober. 

For example, you can start establishing good sleeping habits, self-care routines, and exercise habits. 

Being physically active can benefit both your physical and mental health. This will help you focus on things other than your cravings during your recovery. 

Get Peer Support

Not only can you join an aftercare program, but you should also find additional peer support programs. Finding a network of support is critical if you want to stay sober and avoid relapsing. 

You can improve your support network simply by opening up to your friends and loved ones about your addiction. This way, they will be better prepared to support you and can take the stress off your shoulders. 

You can also improve your support network by making better friends. If you continue to spend time with the people that encouraged you to use your substances, it will be easier to relapse and continue using when you are around them. 

Finding new friends can help you avoid these triggers and will prevent you from getting peer pressured into using substances again. 

Work on Your Mental Health

Your mental health plays a large role in your addiction recovery. If you have underlying mental health issues, it may be something that caused your addiction in the first place. This is known as a dual diagnosis. 

Stress is one of the most common triggers that can lead to relapse after treatment. Working on your mental health after your treatment program can greatly improve your recovery process and can help you avoid relapsing. 

As was mentioned before, you can relieve exercise by exercising more often and establishing other healthy habits. Still, there are other ways that you can work on your mental health after treatment. 

This is especially important if you received a dual diagnosis. If you fail to treat your mental health issues, this may be what is contributing to your addiction and struggles with recovery. 

You can try improving your mental health with positive affirmations, meditation, and more. 

Recognize the Triggers & Signs of Relapse

To avoid relapsing after your intensive outpatient program, you need to recognize the signs of relapse and know what triggers your cravings. 

Adjusting to sobriety can be difficult and it is easy to relapse. 

If you are struggling with a substance use disorder, you can experience emotional, mental, and physical symptoms that may lead to relapse. For example, you may start feeling moodier or more anxious when you are entering the relapse process. 

You may also feel a mental pull. You might feel the desire to start using again pulling against your desire to stay sober. 

Some common triggers for relapse include high-stress levels, being around people or places that you connect to your addictions, and even times of celebration, like holidays. To avoid relapse, you need to learn more about your personal triggers. This will make it easier to avoid them!

Understand Your Limits

When it comes to addiction recovery, you cannot do everything on your own. It is important that you recognize your limits and that you know when you should ask for help from others. 

It can be easy to immerse yourself in many different projects to stay busy and avoid relapse. However, if you don’t recognize your limits, you may find that you take on too much and become overwhelmed. 

This can lead to relapse and increased anxiety. Finding ways to stay balanced and ask for help when you reach your limits is necessary during your addiction recovery. 

Similarly, you should focus on making small changes, not large ones. If you try to make a major life change, even a good change, you can elevate your stress levels. Instead, you should focus on getting comfortable in your new phase of life before making other major changes. 

Focus On Your Work and Interests

Finally, once you have finished your intensive outpatient program, you should focus on your work and other things that interest you. 

Finding things that you are passionate about can keep you distracted and can help you avoid your cravings. You may want to find other hobbies or activities that you enjoy doing in place of using your substances. 

Plus, focusing on these interests can help you feel empowered, confident, and capable. This will improve your mental health and can help you avoid the mental triggers that lead to relapse. 

Looking for an Addiction Recovery Program? Learn More About Intensive Outpatient Treatment Today

The recovery process for substance abuse disorders can be full of ups and downs. While relapse is a common part of recovery, finding the right aftercare program and support can help you avoid relapse.

If you are looking for outpatient drug and alcohol treatment in Pompton Lakes, NJ, New Life Recovery can help! Our intensive outpatient treatment program can help you achieve long-term sobriety. 

Contact us today to learn more about our IOP and to start the recovery process!