Daily Structure After Leaving Detox

Detox offers highly structured schedules with planned activities. Each day may include group and individual therapy sessions, educational sessions, scheduled meals, and recreational activities to fill up any spare time. Home is not as controlled, so daily structure after leaving detox is of utmost importance! Individuals are supervised, cues and triggers to use alcohol and drugs are removed, and no substances are permitted on the detox facility’s grounds. border_style=”solid”]Naturally, the home environment is not as controlled as that of a drug detox treatment center, but it can be modified to promote sobriety. A defined structure can increase the individual’s confidence in the ability to stay sober. Daily activities should be planned to prevent boredom and reduce stress. The planning can begin during the detox process to facilitate the transition back to home life upon completion. These are some of the activities that a typical day can include.Exercise

Aerobic exercise can reduce cravings and the risk of relapse by increasing levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that gives a pleasurable sensation. Levels of dopamine also increase when drugs are used, and the increase in dopamine due to exercise likely leads to an individual’s perceptions of reward and pleasure without using drugs.Exercise also reduces levels of certain addiction-associated proteins, called extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1 and 2, by 32 to 42 percent. Aerobic exercise also improves mood and self-confidence. Examples of aerobic activities include brisk walking, swimming, bicycling, and playing tennis.

Time For Reflection

Time for reflection should include reminders of reasons to stay sober, since motivated individuals are less likely to experience relapse. Reasons that can help prevent relapse include legal reasons, desire for social acceptability, improved health, increased self-image and self-confidence, and the drive to have better interpersonal relationships. Reflection time can also help reduce stress to allow better decisions when faced with possible triggers to abuse substances. Daily reflection should include positive reinforcement as individuals consciously praise themselves for things that they have done well within the past day.

Faith-based Activities

Individuals can continue their journeys to health by deepening their relationships with a higher power. 12-step recovery programs and other faith-based treatment programs are based on the premise that a relationship with a higher power, whatever the individual determines that higher power to be, facilitates recovery. After completion of the program, individuals can continue to deepen their spirituality.Even after completion of non-spiritual rehab programs, individuals can establish or cultivate relationships with a higher power. Faith-based activities can be carried out alone, such as through daily meditation, in one-on-one counseling with pastors or other religious leaders, or in group settings, such as attending religious services or religious group meetings.

Work & Chores

Staying occupied and being productive can help prevent relapse after treatment. Productivity allows individuals to have better self-esteem and a feeling of purpose so that the temptation to return to abusive behaviors decreases. Staying occupied limits spare time in which individuals could potentially experience cravings. It also limits the time in which individuals could seek a source for drugs or alcohol.

Alternative Activities

Making a list of alternative activities can help individuals stay sober instead of giving in to cues, cravings, or boredom. Action plans can include responses such as taking a walk, phoning a friend, cooking a meal, or journaling. Practicing these reactions can make them seem more natural, so that when a stressful situation arises and there is a temptation to relapse, individuals automatically choose their healthy alternative activities.

Aftercare & Follow-Up

Follow-up care, or aftercare, should include appointments weekly, monthly, or as frequently as determined necessary by the detox facility, the individual, and any involved physicians or psychiatrists. Aftercare can include one-on-one or group counseling and therapy. It may also include regular assessments to evaluate mental health and to detect any possible need for medications to prevent relapse. When planning the daily schedule at home, make sure it’s not too stressful. Those who experience high levels of anxiety are 50 percent more likely to relapse within 5 years of completing treatment. Overly full schedules and high expectations can lead to stress anxiety, particularly among individuals whose addictions were deep-rooted and long-lasting.

Years may have passed since these individuals were able to participate fully in their regular work, home, and social lives. Time for relaxation should be included and expectations should be realistic when planning the transition to home life.

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