Fixing Your Life After Rehab
If you or a loved one has completed Rehab, congratulations! You’re on the road to recovery. If you’re serious about recovery, you’ve chosen to continue the recovery process by enrolling in outpatient treatment or maybe you’ve entered a sober living home.
Once you’ve settled into some form of Aftercare program, it’s time to start picking up the pieces of your life and laying the groundwork for your future. There will be many things you will need to address including:
- Personal relationships
- Family matters
- Legal matters
- Credit issues
- Financial issues
- Career issues
Fixing your life after rehab will require you to address all of these issues if you truly hope to get that fresh start you deserve. Let’s take a look at some tips for getting started:
As the “Big Book” says, you’ll have to make amends with those you’ve hurt during the course of your addiction. It’s part of the healing process and it’s a step that should not be skipped. Address them one by one, starting with your romantic partner and then going through your list of friends, past and present.
Family matters will be addressed as you go through treatment. During family therapy sessions, you’ll have an opportunity to air grievances, understand the impact of your addiction. As importantly, you’ll start to unravel how your unresolved family issues may have contributed to your addiction. It’s powerful and emotionally draining, but it has to be done.
These can be more complex. If you’ve been through Rehab and have several months of living in a sober living home, any judge will be more lenient in helping you resolve any open cases. DUIs and things of that nature will take time to resolve, but if you’re successful in getting probation, your life will be less impacted. These matters will need to be settled before you re-enter the workplace.
Many recovering addicts have exhausted their financial resources. In many cases, they have bad credit. The process of restoring one’s credit is not terribly difficult, but it takes a few years of consistency. First, see if you can settle your debts with creditors. Offer to make small payments and see if you can negotiate the interest rate down.
If declaring bankruptcy is the best option (talk to an attorney), you can still get a secured credit card anytime. A secure credit with a small limit (you basically deposit money into an account, charge against and pay the balance every month) will help you rebuild your credit fast. You can start with a small credit line of $250, backed by your deposit.
Once you’ve paid off old debts (or cleared them by filing bankruptcy), your credit score will skyrocket. Within 3-5 years, you’ll be in the clear ( a little longer if you have to file for bankruptcy) and that chapter of your life will be behind you.
You can monitor your credit for free using online services such as Credit Karma.
Addiction treatment can be expensive. In some states, the government provides insurance for a short period of rehab. Rehab alone will NOT do it. You will need “Aftercare,” either outpatient treatment, a sober living home, cognitive behavioral therapy or a combination thereof.
In a sober living home, you can work while you’re going through treatment. Residents typically work on a schedule that provides time for them to seek treatment during off-hours. There are plenty of job opportunities after Rehab.
Some families can help pay for treatment. Others might not want to or they might not be able to. In such cases, it is absolutely essential that if you’re not on solid financial footing, you need to get through Rehab successfully if insurance is paying the tab. Only your total commitment to recovery will ensure any chance of success once you enter Aftercare such as a sober living facility. This way, you can work while in recovery to help pay for your Aftercare.
One of the most heartbreaking scenarios we see goes something like this:
- An addict finally agrees to Rehab after decades of substance abuse;
- Somehow, he qualifies for State-provided treatment and enters Rehab;
- He completes Rehab, gets enrolled in a sober living home and then relapses after a few months;
- The family finally gets him to agree to treatment, but his insurance has been used up and his family can’t afford treatment. He has no options and no way to get treatment and more years of his life are consumed by his addiction – if he lives that long.
It’s a sad cycle and the outcome is often tragic. Addiction relapse rates can be high if the patient is not 100% committed to treatment.
Aftercare, such as a sober living home, provides a great opportunity for residents to continue (or to advance) their education or train for a new job. Most Aftercare providers have access to job resources, training programs or schools. Choosing addiction treatment in California has a distinct advantage in both job opportunities and schools.