Congratulations You Have Done It!
If you have recently completed treatment for a substance use disorder, the path to recovery is now open to you. The first 90 days are the most important for preventing a relapse, so this guide has been written to help you on your new found journey.
No doubt you are feeling a little nervous and wondering what lies ahead, but hopefully you are also feeling determined and strong. The first 90 days after recovery are always the hardest. Research published in the “Psychology of Addictive Behaviours” discovered that the risk of relapse was at its highest within this period of time. However, the study also found that those in recovery who continued with some sort of treatment in these first 90 days had a much higher chance of maintaining their recovery for a full year.
Although the early stages of recovery can be challenging, there are techniques and tips you can use to help make it through this initial period. Getting support from loved ones and friends, taking up new hobbies and continuing with some form of treatment will make the process easier.
Below are some suggestions to help you during the initial 90 day recovery period.
Make sure that before you arrive home someone has cleaned the house of any alcohol, drugs or any paraphernalia relating to your addiction. Everything should be removed that may serve as a trigger and risk a relapse.
Follow a Schedule
Keep yourself on track by following a schedule. This should include the time you wake up, your meal times, any appointments with doctors or therapists, exercise time and any other obligations. It is important to leave yourself enough time to relax, mediate or pursue your hobbies. Keeping yourself busy and following a structure will ensure there is less time to relapse.
Don’t Go it Alone
Spending too much time by yourself may result in you worrying about things such as your future, finances, or whether your recovery is really going to last. Being alone can also make it harder to resist cravings so always surround yourself with the people who are offering you support.
Look After Yourself
Addiction can have gruelling effects on the body and it will take time to get yourself healthy and back to 100%. Even detoxification will affect the body, so you need to give it time to heal. To increase the time it takes to heal you should ensure that you exercise regularly and follow a healthy eating plan. Also make sure that you get at least 7 hours sleep at night.
As mentioned previously, a study that was published in the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors found that those in recovery that continue treatment in the initial 90 days increased their odds of completing a full year without taking any substances. Continuing therapy, or joining a twelve step program can give you a real boost in the first 90 days.
Celebrate Your Success
Each day that you continue on your path to recovery is cause for celebration. Every single therapy appointment you go to, every time you have a glass of water instead of reaching for the harder stuff, every choice that you make that prevents a relapse is a fantastic milestone.
No matter how small you treat yourself for reaching new milestones, do something to recognise the success. Always be kind to yourself. This is very hard work after all!