Life after IOP can be an adjustment, but if you follow a few simple tips, the transition to an independent life can be smooth and successful.
Follow Your Aftercare Program
You’ll exit your IOP armed with an aftercare plan to help prevent relapse, so it’s important to closely follow your aftercare plan. Studies show that extended drug or alcohol treatment utilizing an aftercare program is associated with improved outcomes.
Supporting yourself financially is part of a successful independent life after IOP. If you’re not satisfied with your current job or if you want to enter a new career that’s more satisfying and sustainable, consider vocational training classes.
Speak to the counselors in your IOP to explore the different options available to you for vocational training. Once you enter a training program, besides the financial benefits you’ll eventually experience, you’ll also gain real world skills and enhanced self-esteem due to your accomplishments. These are all essential parts for a successful independent life after IOP.
Maintain Your Peer Support Network
You’ve met people in your IOP that experienced the same struggles you did during your journey to a sober and healthier life. Stay in touch with some of the people you enjoyed spending time with. Get their contact information so you can connect after you’ve completed your IOP. When temptations, cravings or stress crop up, contacting one of your peers to talk it through can make the difference between relapse and staying sober in your newly independent life.
Take Your Medications Appropriately
If you’re advised to take medications after you’ve completed your IOP, it’s important to make sure you follow these instructions. If you have several medications to take regularly, stay organized by making a written schedule. Buy a pill box that has the days of the week printed on it, so you can parcel out your meds once a week and then take them as scheduled.
Life After IOP: An Exciting New Beginning
With the right attitude and proper care, life after IOP can be an exciting time. Be sure to stay hydrated. Many people who were addicted to substances mistake thirst for cravings. The same goes for hunger, so be sure to eat healthy meals on a regular schedule.
Exercise regularly to stay fit. Walking 30 minutes, even just a few times a week, is a great way to stay in shape while enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.
Stay mindful to ensure success in your independent life after IOP. Meditation and yoga can help you maintain mindfulness by keeping you in the present moment. Staying mindful leaves you better equipped to handle the surprises that independent life can throw at you.
Make sure you attend any counseling sessions and group therapy meetings that your IOP staff recommends. It’s crucial that you stay connected to your recovery resources to maintain abstinence. Stress, cravings and triggers may be a part of your life after IOP, and staying connected helps you overcome these challenges and remain sober.