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Moving After Rehab: The Importance of a Fresh Start

Going through rehab is a life-changing event. Coming clean from drug or alcohol addiction gives you a chance to take your life back from your disease. If you have been through a successful rehab program, you have come out on the other side with a greater sense of self-awareness, strategies for staying sober, and the determination to never give into addiction again. Unfortunately, no matter how good the treatment you received, and how strong your will to stay clean, relapse is a real possibility. Nearly 60 percent of addicts will relapse, and it is this reality that makes it crucial to have a plan following treatment. One consideration is to make a move. Moving to a new city, or even just a new neighborhood, may help you get the fresh start you need.

Your New, Drug-Free Life

As you come out of rehab, you really are beginning a whole new life. If you are to be successful at staying clean over the long-term, you need to start over. You can no longer do many of the things you used to do, because those activities, places and people are intimately connected to your drug abuse. Understanding that you are a new person with a new lifestyle is important to avoiding relapse. If you think that you can go back home and just pick up where you left off, with few changes, you are setting yourself up for failure. Whether you move or not, you need to accept that things will be different, and that your life will never be the same as it was before rehab.

The Benefits of Making a Move

According to experts, one of the most crucial ways in which to avoid a relapse is to avoid temptations. Situations that tempt you to use again will be everywhere around you. Old friends who are still using will tempt you. The bars you used to hang out in will tempt you. Even your home may tempt you if it is where you used in the past. By moving to a new location, you can avoid many of the old temptations. If you move to a new city or state, you have the chance to get away from the triggers that remind you of your addiction. A new location also gives you the chance to create new associations. In your old home, you may see reminders of your addiction everywhere. In a new place, you can begin to associate the things around you with new, positive aspects of your life, like good health and happiness. One of the biggest relapse triggers for addicts in recovery is a group of old friends. You abused drugs or drank with them, and if they are still using, you need to stay far away. By moving, you give yourself a clean break. You won’t have to worry about running into your old friends, and you have the chance to make a new group of friends who will support your sobriety. Of course, having a support network is also important to staying clean. If you are considering a move, try a location where you have family. Also think about finding a support group to join immediately after you get there. Loneliness may also be a trigger for relapse, so make new friends and new connections to help you start your new, sober life.

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