Making a Smooth Transition to Independent Living in Recovery
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Making a Smooth Transition to Independent Living in Recovery

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is available for anyone that requires a less intensive treatment program after completing drug detoxification and/or inpatient drug rehab. Outpatient treatment programs are offered for a variety of needs including substance use disorders, alcoholism, and co-occurring mental health conditions. Outpatient programs help you make a smooth transition to independent living in recovery.

An IOP provides a specified number of hours per week of structured individual, group, and family therapy as well as psycho education about substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions. IOP is perfect for a person who is transitioning from residential treatment and needs a part-time intensive schedule to accommodate work, school, and family life. Clients often participate in the program three to four hours per day, three to five days per week. The objective is to establish a solid base for clients as they switch to less intensive treatment.

Aftercare services

Addiction is isolating. Substance use disorders and addiction make physical and physiological changes to your body and brain. Starting a new, sober lifestyle after treatment can be lonely, scary, and overwhelming. Time that was spent using drugs or alcohol must be replaced with healthy, sober, and therapeutic activities. Significant relationships with loved ones can begin to heal. Treatment helps you plan for life in recovery, including how to stay healthy, preparing for challenges, and teaching you how to avoid a relapse. It also helps you make a smooth transition into independent living.

Aftercare services help with the transition to independent living. With a transitional living program, clients receive counseling, group therapy, and nutrition planning. This aftercare service helps clients ease into living a new sober lifestyle.

There will be challenges throughout recovery that can cause intense cravings to use again. Treatment prepares you for challenges and helps you develop plans to get through difficult times. Aftercare services offer counseling, which can encourage you to stay on track with your sobriety. When treatment ends, you can continue to attend group therapy and meetings where new friendships and relationships can develop with other sober people who can also provide support in difficult times.  

Starting a new, sober lifestyle after treatment is hard work, especially after months or years of addiction. Aftercare is an ongoing treatment for addiction and works to maintain sobriety, discover ways to avoid relapse, and live a fulfilling life with sustainable relationships and a sense of purpose. 

Leonard Jason, a community psychologist at DePaul University remarked on the importance of helping those who are in recovery to make a smooth transition into society. He stated, “Just getting people clean and releasing them to the social environments that helped encourage the substance use and other negative behaviors (such as crime) has been shown to be not effective.” (CJ Arlotta, Forbes, 2015).

Psychological changes and mental health 

Addiction causes psychological changes to feelings, behaviors, and thoughts. These effects can persist even when the drug or alcohol use ends. It can take time to heal from these changes, which confirms the need for aftercare services after treatment. Many who suffer from addiction or a substance use disorder also live with an underlying mental health condition, such as ADHD, PTSD, depression, or anxiety. Substance use disorders and mental health conditions must be treated simultaneously as a dual diagnosis for the best success in recovery. 

Addiction can make you feel scared, worthless, and hopeless. Mental health conditions heighten these feelings, which is why some people continue to use drugs or alcohol as a way to cope. Getting treatment for a dual diagnosis is necessary to restore your mental and physical health, renew your spirit, and gain a sense of self-worth and purpose.

Hope in recovery 

Hope the belief that challenges and conditions can be overcome and is the foundation of recovery. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Recovery is characterized by continual growth and improvement in one’s health and wellness that may involve setbacks. Because setbacks are a natural part of life, resilience becomes a key component of recovery.”

Here are some tips to help you make a smooth transition to sober living: 

  • Find new, healthy sober activities. While actively addicted, your mind is clouded with toxic substances, your mental and physical health is affected, and your spirit is broken. After treatment, you can discover your interests, find hobbies, and participate in healthy activities to maintain good health.
  • Eat nutritious foods. Most people do not maintain a healthy diet during their time of using drugs or alcohol. Eating healthy foods will help to restore physical and mental health.
  • Get enough rest. Addiction often disrupts sleep patterns. Making sure you get enough rest will translate to higher energy levels, a better mood, sharper mental alertness, less illness, and more.
  • Get to know yourself and establish goals. Finding out what your goals are will help you decide what you want to do and have in life.

Getting help for addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or a substance use disorder, you are not alone. Do not be afraid to ask for help. There is no cure for addiction, but treatment is available and there is hope in recovery. Treatment can be tailored to your unique needs and will help restore your health, renew your spirit, and allow you to enjoy a new, healthy, and fulfilling lifestyle in sobriety. Get help today. Drugs and alcohol are not necessary to have fun and you can feel rejuvenated, restored, and healthy. Explore the world around you, find the things that are new, and nurture your needs in a productive and healthy way.


Daylight Recovery Services takes a holistic approach to substance abuse and co-occurring disorder treatment to address the physical, psychological, and spiritual facets of addiction and recovery. We ensure clients emerge from our facility with the proper tools and confidence in their ability to lead a healthy, enjoyable life. If you or someone you love is ready to break free of the bondage of addiction, contact one of our recovery experts today at 1-833-2DAYLIGHT.

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