Being released from prison can be exciting and scary at the same time. There are many times when someone has spent so much time behind bars, they have forgotten what it’s like to live in a society without the restrictions that come with being incarcerated. If you have a loved one who started recovery on prison is going to be released, there are things that they can do to better their chances of staying drug-free. If your loved one really wants to have the best future possible after their incarceration, they need to use the tips in the guide that follows.
Make Arrangements Before Being Released
Before they are even released from jail, the person needs to start making plans for where they are going to live. Living on their own isn’t necessarily the best idea because they have to adjust back to normal life gradually in order to ensure they have the best chance at sobriety and rebuilding their lives. There are houses available that prisoners can move into when they are released. They are called halfway houses. The halfway houses provide the prisoners with a safe, comfortable drug-free place to live while they get back on their feet. There are strict guidelines that the person must follow in order to be eligible to stay in the halfway house.
Most houses require the residents to take drug tests on a regular basis to make sure that they aren’t drinking or using drugs. This can help someone to stay clean because they know that they will get caught if they do choose to lose. It is also a requirement to have a job, keep their living area tidy and pay their own bills in order to stay in the houses. Establishing responsibility often helps people to be able to start rebuilding their lives in a positive way, while still have a support system if they need it.
Seek Regular Counseling Sessions
There are many different reasons why people become addicted to drugs. One of the most common reasons is that the person is battling a mental issue without even realizing it. Many people who are addicted to drugs are diagnosed as having a mental issue, such as ADHD, depression or anxiety that requires proper treatment. The drugs were used as a coping mechanism for the individuals to self-treat their condition, even if they didn’t know that they had it. Going to a counselor allows you to talk about the way that you are feeling and learn how to cope with the feelings in a positive, healthy way.
Get a Job
After your loved one is released from prison, it’s important for them to get a job as quickly as they can. Having a job allows someone to feel more confident in themselves and become independent. A great way that you can help your loved one is to assist them in creating a job resume that they can take to potential employers.
The resume needs to state what their skills are, but it’s also important to make sure that the person is honest about their criminal history when applying for a job. Employers are more likely to take them into consideration if they are upfront and honest about their past because they know that the person isn’t trying to hide anything. Getting a job allows the person to start saving money and eventually get back on their feet.
Let the Past to be Left in the Past
The nostalgia of old friendships can be tempting for someone who has recently been released from prison. Going back to the people that they hung out with before they got locked up is never a good idea because there is a good chance that those people are still doing the same things that they were doing before the person was sent to prison.
Being around negative activity such as drug use and drinking can be difficult for someone because they may feel pressured to use once they are surrounded by their old friends. It’s often a good idea for people to leave the past in the past after being released from prison. They need to stay away from anyone that could have a negative influence on their life.
Make Amends for Past Mistakes
Guilt is often one of the biggest factors that comes into play when it comes to relapsing. People often feel so guilty for the things that they did when they were high that they don’t know how to handle it once they get out of prison drug-free. Taking the time to make amends for past indiscretions allows the person to feel better about themselves and start to rebuild the relationships that they desperately need in their life.
If the person comes to you to make amends, do not brush it off and say that it wasn’t a big deal to you. This minimizes the situation. You want to be sure that you let them know how much them making amends means and that you forgive them for what they did. This provides them with the growth that they need and you with the respect that you deserve.
Starting over after a prison sentence isn’t easy. Having a strong support system is essential, but you need to be sure that you are being supportive and not enabling poor behavior. It can be tempting to try to help the person get back on their feet when they get out of prison.
It’s okay to lend a helping hand, but you need to be sure that you don’t enable them to do the bare minimum upon their release. Don’t pay their bills for them or allow them to without a job for weeks on end and still provide unlimited support to them. This will do nothing but hurt them in the end because they won’t take the time to better themselves and create the future that they need and deserve.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.