People in recovery must be unwavering in their efforts to stay sober, which means standing firm and setting boundaries after addiction treatment. In 2015, The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine published an article by addiction medicine specialist Dr. Steven M. Melemis. The article, focused on relapse prevention, spelled out Dr. Melemis’s theory about the stages of addiction recovery. He postulated that recovery is a gradual process of personal growth and developmental milestones and outlined a set of five rules those in recovery must follow post-rehab. What’s notable about his theory of recovery is that the fifth rule – “Don’t bend the rules” – emphasizes the importance of having a set of rules in the first place.
Why Do Those in Recovery Need to Set Boundaries?
Many people who become addicted to drugs or alcohol have neither the strength nor the skills to define their values and live according to them. But during addiction rehab, individuals learn about themselves, their triggers, and the root causes of their addiction.
Self-knowledge is then the starting point for establishing goals for recovery and figuring out how to maintain their sobriety outside of rehab. As part of their commitment to recovery, individuals need to set limits to ensure their safety and well-being. They must establish boundaries that serve to push back or shut out people in their lives who may not have their best interests in mind.
How to Set Healthy Boundaries After Addiction Treatment
Have a Clear Understanding of Your Values and Listen to Your Intuition
It will take time and much introspection to determine what you value and why. Here are some ways to help you articulate your core values:
- Look back to see how you handled past decisions. How did you make those choices? Were they based on particular principles?
- Try journaling about potential roadblocks you envision in your effort to stay sober. You might reveal some important insights about what you believe and how you’ll respond.
- Talk to a therapist or counselor who can help guide you toward understanding what means the most to you.
By discovering your core values, you’ll have a better sense of where to push back when someone violates what’s most important to you.
Learn the Skills that will Guide your Long-Term Sobriety and Help When Setting Boundaries After Addiction Treatment
If you’ve tried and failed to stay sober, Silver Sands Recovery can teach you the skills you’ll need to break free from addiction for good. Our programs are customized to support your unique needs, and our experienced staff will guide you on your journey toward starting a new life. When you complete one of our programs, you’ll feel confident and capable of both establishing and enforcing your boundaries. To learn more about our programs and how you can prevent relapse, contact us here.
About the author:
Lisa Waknin is the Founder and Director of Silver Sands Recovery, located in Prescott, Arizona. Lisa started Silver Sands Recovery after immersing herself in the addiction treatment world for several years to figure out what could be done differently to help her daughter and others like her to overcome addiction and stay sober. She believes in a hands-on treatment approach, which includes taking someone out of their environment, providing a 90-day program in a structured environment. During treatment, clients not only recover physically but also learn to live their life again. Lisa is a sought-after expert speaker for recovery support groups, charities, schools, communities, and companies wanting to educate themselves on the explosion of opiate and heroin abuse in our country and the best way to understand, treat, and beat it.