Addiction can take a toll on every aspect of a person’s life, damaging relationships, hindering career prospects, causing financial and legal problems, and impacting physical, emotional, and mental health. Drugs and alcohol rewire the brain in ways that make quitting difficult.
In 2020, 40.3 million people aged 12 or older (or 14.5% of people in the U.S.) had a substance use disorder (SUD), including 28.3 million who had alcohol use disorder (AUD), 18.4 million who had an illicit drug use disorder, and 6.5 million people who had both AUD and an illicit drug use disorder, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Evidence-based treatment centers represent an important first step in recovery for many people as they begin their life after active addiction. Effective treatment means caring for patients while in treatment and setting them up with tools to rebuild their lives and find purpose after addiction.
For those beginning recovery, it’s important to reflect on the challenges and opportunities ahead. Finding purpose and meaning in life is essential to fulfillment and lifetime success. Data suggests we all likely know someone with an SUD or AUD. Here are some tips that may help them find their purpose and maintain their hard-won sobriety:
- Set goals: Setting goals can help you focus on what you want to achieve in your new life in recovery. These can be small goals, such as attending a weekly meeting or exercising regularly, or bigger goals, like going back to school or starting a new career.
- Explore passions: Addiction can dominate life, leaving little room for hobbies or passions. Now is the time to explore what you truly enjoy doing. Consider taking up a new hobby or revisiting an old one.
- Build a support system: It’s essential to have a strong support system in place as you navigate your recovery. This can include family, friends, and 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, which provide a sense of community and understanding as you connect with others who have gone through similar experiences.
- Practice gratitude: It’s vital to be grateful for what you have in life, no matter how small. This minimal but important mindset change can help you find meaning and purpose.
- Focus on the present: Addiction can make you focus on the past or worry about the future. It’s important to focus on the present moment and appreciate what you have.
- Seek professional help: Professional help provides a safe space and necessary tools to address the underlying issues that led to addiction in the first place. It can also help you develop healthy coping mechanisms to manage stress, triggers, and other challenges with addiction recovery.
- Consider family therapy: In addition to individual therapy, family therapy can be beneficial for mending ties and rebuilding relationships that may have been damaged during the addiction. Remember, your loved ones can be an important source of motivation and purpose as you continue your recovery journey.
- Leave old friends and activities behind: This is a hard one, but people, places and activities that were part of your past life can trigger your desire to return to substance use. It’s best to avoid them altogether and instead seek new friendships with people who support your sobriety and understand your journey.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle: Establish a healthy routine prioritizing self-care and healthy habits. This includes regular exercise, eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and staying sober. Finding healthy ways to cope with stress and emotions, such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises, is essential.
Recovery won’t happen overnight and there may be setbacks. However, with a strong support system, a positive outlook, and a willingness to explore new possibilities, people with SUD can lead deeply fulfilling lives in recovery.
RCA offers individualized treatment programs to help those with SUDs find lasting sobriety. If you or your loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction and need help, the staff at Recovery Centers of America is available 24/7. Call 1-844-5-RCA-NOW (844-722-2669) for help today.