Transitioning from substance abuse treatment to the real world can be a challenging experience. It is a time of heightened emotions and not knowing what to expect. The drugs have been removed from your system, and the extensive therapy sessions have filled your life with hope, but there is a possibility you are struggling with some doubt.
As the date approaches for you to leave treatment, there may be feelings of excitement, hope, relief, anticipation. But at the same time, doubt may creep into the back of your head. You may ask yourself if you’re ready for this next step. When you live on-site in treatment for an extended period, it is common to grapple with these emotions and thoughts.
All of these feelings are natural and will help you to continue to grow. The end of treatment is the beginning of real recovery, and it means you get to exercise the tools you learned in treatment. Everything that you have learned about sobriety over the past several weeks or months can be applied to your life without a safety net.
You may experience feelings of how to deal with peer pressure, environmental triggers, and unsupervised downtime, and even the potential to relapse. It’s common to feel this way. Unfortunately, relapse rates after treatment for alcohol and substance use disorders are disproportionately high.
Statistics show that 85 percent of individuals relapse within a year of entering treatment, and around 6 percent relapse within one month of beginning treatment. All of these thoughts and counting statistics can have a lasting effect on someone who is very sensitive to the world they’re entering into.
While not much in the outside world has changed, it is you who has experienced the most change over a few weeks or months. In treatment, the counselors should have stressed the significance of a solid aftercare plan that prepares you for the ever-changing world and stresses of reality.
During this time, you must engage with family, attend additional therapy, have the right medical support, and perhaps attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. All of these steps will allow you to continue the move forward and focus on what’s important in life.
One way this can also be achieved is to consider working with a life coach. In most scenarios, life coaches have been where you are and can offer anecdotes from personal experience. Life coaches can keep you focused on addiction treatment aftercare. Let’s take a look at how a life coach works.
Life coaching is known as peer mentoring and is a hand-in-hand partnership between someone seeking to overcome their addiction. The life coach helps aim the person in recovery onto a trajectory that results in positive change. Through devotion and support, the coach will offer advice to help the individual understand what is required to bring about the healing they seek. The coach will set specific goals that they expect the individual to achieve.
A life coach is a professional that will assist you in various areas that get you on the path to reaching life goals. A life coach will undergo specific training and rigorous practice hours to gain their certification. Several training programs offer certification courses, and most provide different levels of certification. An aspiring life coach who trains for 60 hours and works with clients for 100 hours will earn an associate certificate. The following level is a professional certification. The next level is a master certification requiring 200 hours of coach training, 2,500 hours of working with clients, and 10 hours spent working with a mentor.
Part of a life coach’s job is to understand who you are as a client, so the person will ask the client a lot of questions. A life coach will help you to view obstacles in your life and find creative ways to overcome them. As your addiction treatment was tailored to your unique needs, how you overcome obstacles will also be unique. A life coach will also help you to design game plans to help you achieve these goals.
As we mentioned above, creating a proper post-treatment aftercare plan will be vital to prolonged abstinence. Those who will benefit the most from a life coach are typically people who struggle with which path they should take.
Former drug users find life coach services very resourceful because they require additional life help other than substance abuse issues. Many current drug users struggle with low self-esteem, relationships, mental illness, and unemployment, among other things.
Drug use often numbs the pain associated with all of these problems but is also a direct result of the issues. A life coach’s objective is to help repair these relationships, train you for employment, coach you through your mental health disorder and work on everything damaged by substance abuse. The International Coach Federation released statistics that 80 percent of clients who work with a life coach improved relationships for 73 percent of them.
A life coach wants to help you find what you are looking for in life, and they are the perfect person to help you narrow down your options. The coach will help you better understand what obstacles are holding you back and preventing you from getting there. A life coach is an ideal option when it comes to a substance abuse treatment plan.
Therapy can help you discover the issues that led to substance abuse, but life coaches have the experience to use the tools that you’ve only learned.
The goal is to enforce these tools and deal with triggers that are going to be experienced on the outside, and the life coach will help implement these strategies daily. Eventually, for the person in recovery, it will become second nature, but it is looked at like training wheels as they transition deeper into recovery.
With all of the emotions and uncertainty taking place after treatment, having a secure after-care plan and life coach can be the difference between long-term sobriety and relapse. It is essential to have support from those who can empathize and understand the long and arduous path ahead, and offer the assistance that you are going to need moving forward. If you or a loved one is dealing with an addiction and need help, we can help.
Serenity at Summit offers the full continuum of care as well as alumni programs that can connect you with a life coach. We understand that taking that step is not easy, but we can provide you with all of the tools necessary to achieve that goal.