There is no quick fix for getting sober. For this reason, it is important to have a long term treatment plan in place. A long term treatment plan doesn’t mean you necessarily have to be in rehab for an extended period of time. What it does mean is that you don’t cut treatment off cold turkey. Rather, you wean down and have appropriate support while you do so. This kind of support can come in many forms, which we will discuss here.
Why A Long Term Treatment Plan in Important
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is your sobriety. Getting sober takes a strong will, intense focus, and a serious plan of action in order to achieve success. Lots of people are under the mistaken impression that they just need help during detox and then they can go on their own way. This isn’t the case. It takes time and effort and it isn’t something that can be done overnight. While the first step to getting sober from drugs and alcohol is certainly detox, after that must come rehab.
Ideally, you start with the most intensive form of rehabilitation you can. 24/7, around-the-clock monitoring ensures that you have medical and therapeutic support around you all the time. In the beginning, this is essential to make sure that you don’t slip up and give in to any urges that could lead to a relapse. The normal stint for residential, full-time rehab can be anything from 30 days or more. The more time you can spend, the better. You might be hesitant to drop everything and go to treatment for that long, but when you think about it, what kind of life are you living when you are drinking to excess and using drugs anyway?
After intensive treatment, it is important to have a plan in place for continued support. This can come in many different forms. Here are some ideas you can incorporate into your long term treatment plan.
- Look into outpatient rehab. This is a stepped-down level or around-the-clock treatment that allows you to slowly reintegrate back into regular life. You choose the number of hours you want to dedicate to your treatment each week. It is a great way to make sure you still have support in your recovery and that you have doctors and therapists around to speak to about your continued care.
- Twelve-step meetings are a wonderful choice for many people. It is only an hour a day, and it is a reminder that you need to put recovery at the forefront of your agenda. You will be surrounded by peers, so you will always know you are not alone. The good thing is that there are so many different meeting types out there that you can find one that works for you. Through meetings, you can also find a sponsor who is someone you can speak to in your time of need. They will also help to take you through the steps that are usually associated with these kinds of meetings.
- Sober living is one of the best things you can do after rehab. It provides a roof over your head where you are held accountable to your sobriety. You will be also held to certain standards like taking care of your person and your room, and looking for a job. There is constant support from your house managers and peers to keep moving in the right direction. Also, most of these homes have a no-tolerance policy when it comes to drugs and alcohol, so if you mess up, you get kicked out. This alone will keep you accountable so that you keep focusing on the right thing.
Having a solid long term treatment plan is all about putting one foot in front of the other, consistently, and focusing on the right thing. Never underestimate how much support you might need after rehab. It is much better to have too much support and cut some out, vs not having enough support and desperately looking for more.