Once detox, residential, and outpatient care are complete, individuals in recovery benefit immensely from an aftercare program. Once addicts leave the structure of rehab, they experience a transition period that has a very high risk of relapse. Some people who go to rehab use the day they get out because they do not have the support network in place to pursue sobriety. California offers many rehab programs that will assist clients with aftercare. Lighthouse rehab in Orange County helps set clients up for success after completing a program.
Lighthouse Rehab Orange County
Orange County, California offers many benefits to people seeking recovery from substance abuse disorder. A big part of sobriety is maintaining a lifestyle that is fulfilling and healthy. With the beach and mountains accessible at any time, Orange County offers a multitude of active lifestyle activities. Whether it’s taking a walk on the beach, surfing, or hiking in the mountains, exposure therapy is an integral part of most rehab programs.
The Benefit of Exposure Therapy
There are several types of therapy that rehabs offer as a part of recovery from substance use disorder. Most of these are clinically based, such as individual cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, the Matrix Model, and WRAP. These all offer immensely helpful tools for living a sober lifestyle after treatment. But there is another type of therapy that many rehabs use, and which can continue to be of service once the program is over: exposure therapy.
Exposure therapy consists of mainly outdoor activities that promote wellbeing, exercise, and mental health. This may range from riding horses to taking a run on a beautiful trail. The benefits of exercise and activity are twofold: they release natural serotonin in the brain, and they form new habits that are most enjoyable sober (which in turn helps reinforce the sober lifestyle). Understanding the usefulness of exposure therapy requires an understanding of addiction itself.
Forming New Neural Pathways
Addiction presents as a medical condition because it floods the brain with unnaturally high levels of serotonin and dopamine. The brain eventually forms tolerance of these massive neurological spikes, and needs that same level continuously just to feel “normal.” Many people in active addiction don’t even feel high after months or years of use; they are simply using to avoid the pain of withdrawal. This is why addiction is also called chemical dependence. Even after individuals detox and get clean and sober in rehab, their brains take a long time to adjust to living without chemical use.
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With a proper aftercare program, individuals have the support needed to maintain a clean and sober lifestyle. They can continue on with healthy habits and accountability through a sober support network (and ideally a sponsor). Many individuals also find it helpful to live with like-minded people and personal accountability via sober living arrangements. Sober living also provides group meetings, chores, random drug testing, and curfews to assist individuals with transitioning from treatment to independent living.
If you or a loved one is seeking help for a substance abuse problem, our addiction counselors are available 24/7 by phone: 855-997-4702