Who Needs Life Skills Training?
Addiction is an all-consuming state. When a person is stuck in a cycle of substance abuse, their days revolve around obtaining, using, and recovering from their drug of choice. Over time, essential parts of their lives fall by the wayside. It’s not unusual for someone in treatment to realize that they’re unsure of how to balance a checkbook, maintain a home, or thrive in a professional environment. This is especially true for younger people in recovery, who may have never learned to do these things before becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol. This is why life skills therapy is essential to helping you rebuild your life after treatment.
Success is More than Sobriety
Many people believe that success in recovery is limited to abstinence from drugs and alcohol – if they stay sober, they’ve won. However, there are several important steps you must take to live successfully in recovery. Cooking, cleaning, planning, goal setting, and budgeting are all critical components of daily life; individuals who are unable to complete these and other tasks may find themselves struggling to maintain their sobriety. Below, we’ve listed five of the most common areas in which clients should receive life skills training.
1. Financial Literacy
The first and perhaps most important of these life skills is financial literacy. Addiction takes many forms, but one thing remains constant: people with substance use disorders are used to spending all of their money on drugs or alcohol. As one’s addiction progresses, more and more money is needed to fund one’s habit, leading to financial distress. Addicts may max out credit cards, empty their savings, and borrow or steal cash from relatives, friends, or work.
When a person enters treatment, part of the rehabilitation process involves addressing these financial concerns. Without proper education, many would struggle to manage existing debt, bills, and expenses after treatment. Additionally, receiving paychecks – large amounts of money all at once – may be triggering for those in the earliest stages of recovery. By receiving life skills training, individuals in recovery will learn to chip away at any outstanding debt, manage major recurring expenses, and create a budget for their lives moving forward.
2. Professional Life Skills
Finding a new career path is integral to recovery. First, a job provides structure, consistency, and stability in one’s life. It allows those in recovery to enjoy security and a steady source of income during a time of transition. Additionally, participating in a meaningful line of work can boost one’s self-esteem, enabling individuals to contribute to causes they believe in and feel satisfied by their careers.
Unfortunately, substance abuse dramatically impacts one’s work life. The behavioral issues caused by addiction – lateness, poor decision making, and disagreements with co-workers, just to name a few – can undo many professional competencies. This is where life skills training can make an incredible difference to those in early recovery. Professional development trainings include working on one’s resume and cover letter, practicing for job interviews, and individualized coaching for each person’s desired career path. With the proper assistance, it is possible to learn vital job skills in treatment.
3. Managing a Home
Learning to maintain a clean and tidy home is a vital component of recovery. Research has shown a link between clutter and mental health – basically, too much stuff can cause stress. For example, those with dirty homes aren’t likely to invite guests over; they may also see each room as a reminder of how much work they still need to do. Creating a comfortable, positive living environment helps individuals learn to value themselves, their belongings, and others.
4. Taking Care of Yourself
Self-care is key, and it’s not all bubble baths and scented candles. Emotional relapse is often initiated when individuals struggle to adequately care for themselves. In treatment, people learn to create healthy habits for sleeping, eating, and exercising on a daily basis. Additionally, life skills therapists provide coping strategies for combating symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other negative thoughts. By being proactive and practicing proper self-care, relapse can be avoided.
5. Relationship Skills and Communication
It’s no secret that addiction has the power to devastate relationships. The recovery process involves learning to build and maintain healthy relationships with friends, loved ones, and co-workers. Regardless of how these individuals respond to a person’s newfound sobriety, it is important for those in recovery to learn clear communication and listening abilities. Life skills training also involves teaching people to express their emotions in a healthy way, while also coping with triggers in social situations. By dedicating time and effort to learning relationship skills, individuals are more likely to stay sober and find happiness in their daily lives.
Life Skills Training at Lakeside-Milam
Lakeside-Milam offers long-term care and transitional living for those looking to learn valuable life skills in early recovery. Our programming includes daily outpatient treatment, 12-step involvement, and an emphasis on fitness. Contact us today for your customized treatment plan.