Why Does Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction Focus on Life Skills Development?

If you\’ve never received treatment for drug and alcohol addiction before, you may think that rehab programs are largely focused on detoxing and learning skills to avoid relapse. In reality, however, the best programs are also committed to helping their clients develop important life skills.

Although you\’ll certainly need to know healthy coping strategies for dealing with stress, temptation, and other triggers, it\’s additionally important for recovering addicts to enjoy comfortable, sustainable lives. Among some of the most common triggers for relapse are:

  • Homelessness
  • Joblessness
  • Financial distress

All of these things can create tremendous emotional strain for someone who\’s still in the earliest stages of recovery. When general life issues become overwhelming and when people lack the skills and tools for resolving them, returning to substance abuse is often a way to escape their anguish.

Why Life Skills Matter in Recovery

Sustainability is key to keeping your recovery on track. Although abstaining is obviously a vital part of your journey, everything else that you do matters as well. In treatment, you\’ll learn how to cope with stressors that you cannot reasonably avoid. However, avoidance is a critical recovery tool. After rehab ends, you\’ll want to steer clear of:

  • Toxic relationships
  • High-risk environments that expose you to your substance of choice
  • Unnecessary stress

Many people enter sober living homes immediately after addiction treatment. Sober living homes are the perfect environment for avoiding all of these common triggers. Halfway houses and sober living facilities often come with affordable rental costs. They also provide completely substance-free living environments and the ability to consciously forge relationships with people who respect that recovery is your first priority. When you strike out on your own, you\’ll want to create a lifestyle that has a similar structure. You should know how to:

  • Manage your money
  • Generate sufficient income for covering your basic living costs
  • Practice good self-care

Being able to do these things fosters a sense of confidence and accomplishment. Moreover, self-management, having goals, and actively taking steps to meet them additionally ensures that those in recovery aren\’t bored. Learning how to live a full and rewarding life without substance use will eliminate some of the most common causes of relapse during the early recovery years.

What Resources Will You Have Access To?

Many addiction treatment centers offer:

  • Life-skills training
  • Financial management workshops
  • Stress management workshops
  • Limited legal aid

Depending upon the consequences that you faced as the result of your addiction, you may need help with:

  • Overcoming barriers to stable housing such as eviction or unpaid debt
  • Overcoming barriers to employment such as past criminal charges
  • Dealing with impending criminal charges
  • Reconnecting with minor children

and more. Rehab centers can put you in touch with legal counselors and other legal resources in your area. With this help, the stress that unresolved legal issues create won\’t be a stumbling-block in your recovery.

What You Can Expect When Exiting Addiction Treatment

Before exiting addiction treatment, you\’ll be encouraged to create a personal relapse prevention plan. To start, you will need to identify the different stressors that you\’re likely to face when returning to the outside world. You\’ll then be asked to determine whether or not you can deal with these stressors using avoidance, by reasonably solving the problems that create stress, or by using specific coping techniques. In rehab, you\’ll have a case manager who will assist you in connecting with the resources you might need for getting your life back on track. You\’ll have the opportunity to establish both goals and measurable objectives for achieving them. Before your discharge, your case manager will make sure that you have feasible, well-defined plans for:

  • Stable housing
  • Income
  • Transportation
  • Post-treatment support
  • Mental health

and more. As needed, case managers can always make referrals to outside agencies to ensure that recovering addicts are not facing these challenges on their own, and that the right support services are supplied. Going to treatment for drug and alcohol addiction will truly allow you to start your life anew. Whether you\’ll be returning to your former living environment or starting over in a new location, you\’ll exit treatment armed with resources and tools for resolving the legal, financial, professional, and personal problems that your addiction has caused. If you\’re ready to get started, we can help. Call 833-610-1174 today. Our counselors are always standing by.

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