Rehab is tough, but if you’ve finished, then you’re stronger than your addictions. While staying sober is a lifelong battle, we are all fortunate to be in an age where everyone has a community, and a support system. How is this possible? The internet, of course! Whether you’re looking for someone who is available immediately, or someone who can spend a few minutes catching up later, the internet is a valuable and infinite source of assistance for anyone battling drug addiction. There are even user-specific communities, like communities of people who are recovering from alcohol addiction, and communities of people who are living life after opioid addiction.
There are some online spaces that may be considered better than others, but the most important step, reaching out for help, is always good, no matter which resource actually helps you. Before you get to an online community, though, it is always the best idea to start with your network. Your network of family and friends, if you have people close to you, will always be the best place to start living your regular life again as you continue to recover from addiction.
While you’re completing rehab, you’ll have at least one counselor, or therapist. Your clinic may have enough resources for you to have both. If this is the case, use them! Talk to the team of people whose job it is to facilitate your success on your sobriety journey. You’ve got nothing to lose by tapping the resources that assisted you to the point at which you’ve arrived. The people who work in drug rehabilitation programs are trained and ready to assist, though they may have some limitations on their available hours. Staying in touch with one or several individuals in your rehab program will make your transition to normal, everyday life much easier, and they will also be able to connect you with locals who are interested in sober living, too.
Your In-Person Social Network
One of the first places you will likely turn after rehab is your in-person network of family and friends. Many people are fortunate to leave rehab for home, ready with a bed waiting. Others are able to rely on friends while they search for a job to get back on their feet. Not everyone, though, has a network that is capable of offering the type of physical and financial support needed for a person to continue down the road to sobriety. If this is an issue for you, be sure to tell your team. While they may not have an immediate solution, they will be able to direct you to resources that can help.
If your in-person network isn’t able to help you with housing, their emotional support as you continue to recover is still an important key in distancing yourself from steady use of drugs and alcohol. Before you’re away from rehab, ask your counselor and/or therapist about sober meetups. Someone on your team may recommend one for you before you even ask, but these groups are enormously helpful to anyone on the path to staying sober. At these meetups, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with people who are also on the path to sobriety, and are committed to making better decisions for themselves, and for the people around them.
Your Social Media Accounts
There are plenty of reasons that anyone would want to avoid using social media. Many people who avoid using online communication platforms outside of email are repelled by arguments and seemingly-inevitable personal attacks. While these are absolutely valid concerns for anyone seeking to start their new life recovering from addiction, there are more good reasons to turn to social media than bad ones. While you may still be connected to people that could bring you back into a life of drugs and alcohol, it’s easy to block them, and to find allies. A new group of supportive people are just a few clicks and keystrokes away, and you can absolutely start a private group of people who survived drug addiction. You will also find that your in-person network may also be of assistance on social media, showing their support by sharing resources, and a few laughs, as well.
Your Professional Social Media Accounts
The stigma surrounding drug and alcohol rehab is neither as vicious nor as pervasive as it used to be. Taking an extended personal leave from your job or from your field is common, and while everyone may not need to know all of your personal business, it can be helpful to share your experiences if you’re looking for a job where you can make a positive impact on your community. Sharing your experience while job-hunting after the end of your rehabilitation program is a good way to forage new connections, and reinforce the bonds you’ll build with other persons recovering from drug and alcohol use.
As improbable as they may seem as a source of support, the high number of online forums should be enough to create curiosity in any person who is learning to live without drugs and alcohol. In fact, there are hundreds of legitimate, supportive, and successful online forums that are specifically for those of us who are actively working against addiction. Online forums have existed since the internet became widely available in the 90s; efficient, specialized forums exist everywhere, even within some Facebook groups, another possible source of support for a person fresh out of rehab.
A long time coming, yet seriously underutilized, therapy apps are finally here. While there aren’t nearly as many apps as there are forums and specialty forums, these apps can be extremely useful in the fight against relapse. Some of the apps may carry a small charge to download or use, but the the cost of downloading one of these therapy apps could be the difference between staying sober, and a dabble in the substances that you’ve used before.
Therapy apps will connect you to a therapist immediately, and it is possible to find therapists with experience working with people who have lived with addiction. Whether you’re sharing your feelings with friends over dinner, or texting everything out to someone you’ve not yet met, you have plenty of digital and in-person resources to help you live a clean and sober life.
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 2007. Call 602-346-9142.