If there is two words that can accurately describe a life lived in active addiction it is the words hot mess. For those who are over their heads in their substance abuse, their day-to-day living is dictated by their drug or drugs of choice. All the available energy and finances the addict can muster goes towards prolonging their habit while the basics of taking care of themselves becomes a footnote.
When the addict finally turns on the lights in their conscious and soul and decide to seek the professional help that is provided by a drug rehab facility, they will receive the tools, encouragement and support they need as they address the underlying issues that have kept them stuck in addiction. While an addict can truly transform their lives during their time in drug treatment, trying to sustain their recovery when treatment is completed is a whole other story.
The real work in recovery begins once the addict leaves treatment and returns home. Once they leave the safety and security of treatment and return home, the triggers and temptations of your home environment can be overwhelming to handle. Not only do they have to work their program of recovery, you also have to know how to take care of themselves and adequately meet their daily obligations.
In order to minimize the chance of relapse, those new in recovery need to lean on the life skills they learned while in drug treatment. Life skills therapy has long been a staple of drug treatment programs and it is extremely beneficial in allowing people to truly take care of all their needs and important daily obligations while gaining the confidence and self-esteem they need as recovering people.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of life skills education in recovery.
Why is Life Skills Education So Important in Recovery?
For many addicts, the basics of day to day living were forgotten about or neglected in the haze of substance abuse. As its root, addiction destroys the ability for people to function logically on a daily basis. Taking part in life skills education in recovery gives addicts the tools and confidence they need to become self-sufficient and independent once they leave treatment. With that essential foundation in place, those in recovery are able to focus their attention on working their individual plan of recovery so they can stay clean and sober.
What are the Components of Life Skills Therapy?
When you take part in life skills training, you are learning several essential life and coping skills that will allow you to gain confidence and self-esteem. These skills are the following:
Learning to Create a Healthy Schedule
When you in recovery and on your own, it is important to learn to create and implement a daily routine which is highly structured and recovery based. This schedule should include a sleep schedule, regular exercise, work and family commitments and other recovery-related activities. When you learn how to plan your day in a productive manner, you are able to prioritize those things that will help you in your recovery and minimize idle time which can lead to thoughts of using drugs and alcohol.
A major key to gaining self-sufficiency and confidence is obtaining and holding onto meaningful employment. With the help of an employment coach in life skills therapy, you will be able to learn how to find and keep your first job in recovery by learning how to properly interview for a job, write a resume and use all available tools and resources that are needed to obtain consistent employment.
Learning to Budget
Another important part of life skills training is learning money management and how to create a monthly budget. Those who are in recovery have more income at their disposal since they are not throwing it away on drugs and alcohol. However, with that surplus in income, it can lead to excessive spending and other issues. With the help of a credit counselor or financial planner, you will learn the basic of creating a monthly budget and how to prioritize your expenses. Additionally, you will learn how to save and invest your money to build financial stability for your future.
Finding New Hobbies
When you were addicted to drugs and alcohol, the hobbies and passions that you had enjoyed took a backseat to the routine of finding and using substances. In life skills therapy, you will be encouraged to explore your passions and maybe reignite your interest in those hobbies and pastimes you once enjoyed. Whether it is reading, art, learning to cook or other activities, finding new and healthier hobbies is an excellent addition to your new substance-free lifestyle.
Effective Communication Skills
Most importantly, life skills training will help you in your recovery outside treatment by allowing you to re-establish those important relationships with the ones that you love. Learning effective communication skills will allow you with restore your relationships with family, friends and other loved ones. Being able to repair these relationships will help regain trust and build the support system you need to keep motivated in your recovery. You will also be taught how to work through those emotional issues which could be hindering their growth in recovery. Additionally, having effective communication skills will help you establish new friendships and you can learn strategies on how to avoid those stressful situations can lead to relapse.
There are many important facets to your plan of recovery, and life skills education is one of those “foundation” pieces that will allow you to build a successful and meaningful recovery. The great thing about these basic but essential skills is that you can always learn new ways to improve and strengthen what you already know.