Life Skills for Recovering Addicts

Developing Life Skills for Recovering Addicts

The Benefits of Learning Life Skills in Recovery at Icarus

Overcoming addiction is challenging, but it is more than possible. In fact, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 7 in 10 people with a substance use disorder recover.

Learning the right life skills is often a big part of the reason these people are successful in recovery. This knowledge paves the way for employment, financial success, and achieving a whole range of goals and dreams!

Life skills for recovering addicts and the right training can help you build new patterns, find a job or educational opportunities post-treatment, find happiness in your sober life moving forward, and care for your body and mind. So, what should you know about these crucial skills?

This article will discuss the essential life skills offerings at Icarus Behavioral Health and why life skills training matters in addiction recovery. If you have any questions about Icarus or how our programs can help, give us a call today.

Everyday Life Skills at Icarus Behavioral Health in New Mexico 

Everyday Life Skills

Icarus Behavioral Health treats all types and levels of addiction, mental health, and dual-diagnosis disorders. We offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, as well as detox and connections to nearby sober living facilities.

Clients in both our inpatient and outpatient programs benefit from life skills training. Our life skills offerings range from basic life skills, like self-care, maintaining a clean living space, and cooking meals or making a budget, to other practical life skills that help you create the life you want to live after treatment, like educational and vocational exploration.

Clients in all of our programs get an intake assessment, which helps our staff members get a better idea of your substance abuse treatment needs and where you’re at with basic life skills, self-care activities, and mental health. Then, you’ll get an individualized treatment plan, which will detail your therapies and treatments, including life skills options.

All of us can benefit from brushing up on life skills, and developing life skills for recovering addicts is vital. Here are the life skills offered at Icarus Behavioral Health in New Mexico and how they can support your recovery.

Psychological Skills and Mindfulness

Psychological and mindfulness skills are taught in therapy and through other activities at Icarus. The creative thinking life skills, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking skills we promote can help you through daily life challenges.

Similarly, mindfulness activities and practices taught in our programs can help you cope with negative emotions, reframe thoughts, and shift reactions to scenarios and events to make them more adaptive.

You will work in therapy at Icarus Behavioral Health to gain self-awareness, communication skills, and other life skills that support healthy interpersonal relationships, empowerment, and healthy coping after substance addiction.

Nutrition and Cooking Instruction

In addiction treatment and sober living spaces, nutrition and cooking-related skills are critical and emphasized frequently.

During active addiction, you may have poor nutrition, an irregular eating schedule, or you may not have the skills necessary to shop for and make food. Icarus Behavioral Health offers grocery shopping guidance, nutritional advice, and basic cooking instruction.

We also work with clients on other health-related needs unique to the individual, such as getting sufficient sleep and providing fun opportunities for physical activity, which can help with managing stress and aid overall well-being.

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Financial Literacy and Guidance

Like cooking, adequate financial skills and financial literacy are integral. Not everyone learns these skills growing up or in their adult lives. Furthermore, addiction can distance you from these skills or create serious financial problems.

Icarus Behavioral Health offers essential financial skills and guidance, including how to make and stick to a basic budget and education on spending, saving, and opening bank accounts.

Educational and Vocational Exploration

Case managers at Icarus Behavioral Health will work with you to help you discover or rediscover your interests and find applicable opportunities.

If you intend to stay in New Mexico after treatment, we can help you find educational and work options nearby. We can also help you find opportunities in your local area if you are traveling for treatment.

Creativity and the Arts

For the best results, healing from substance abuse requires a whole-person perspective and embrace of new things. Learning key life skills in areas like creativity helps you have fun in recovery and lead a new life that you’re proud of, both of which are integral for recovering addicts.

Research shows that creative activities can also boost mental health, mood, and some physical health markers.

Art and music can help you self-soothe, express yourself, rebuild or improve motor skills, and so much more.

In addition to art and music therapy, we offer a spectrum of ways to explore and gain confidence in your creativity.

Why Life Skills Training Matters in Substance Abuse Treatment

Communication Skills and Relationships

Sometimes, people in substance abuse treatment or sober living programs may have never had an opportunity to learn skills necessary to daily living. Poor self-care, stress management, financial management or responsibility, emotional control, and interpersonal skills can all interfere with recovery.

Without effective coping strategies, a post-treatment or aftercare plan, and the skills necessary to create your new life, continued substance abuse can be more likely.

On the other hand, when you have an opportunity to set life goals, practice time management, social skills, and healthy habits, gain interpersonal skills, make your own meals, engage in meaningful activities, cope with potential triggers, and have the tools necessary to integrate or re-integrate into the working world, if applicable, it provides a greater opportunity for a persistent, healthy recovery.

Life skills can also help you achieve the four major dimensions of recovery, which include:

Health: Living in a way that is both physically and emotionally healthy for the individual.

Home: A safe and stable living environment.

Purpose: Meaningful daily life activities (e.g., jobs, volunteer work, school, or caring for your family).

Community: Social networks or relationships that provide support, love, friendship, and hope.

The four major dimensions of recovery were established by Steven Fry of SAMHSA and are meant to detail four parts of life that support addiction recovery.

With that in mind, here are some of the benefits of life skill training and support for those in recovery from drug and alcohol use.

Confidence and Self-Esteem

When you learn life skills in treatment, it can help you build confidence that you’ll carry with you long after your program is over.

This can include the confidence to use positive coping skills to manage triggers, work through life challenges, maintain healthy relationships, navigate the workplace or another part of life, make decisions, and more.

It is also common that addiction pairs with co-occurring disorders or concerns like depression and anxiety, which can interfere with your sense of self and self-esteem.

Learning life skills in recovery goes along with our whole-person approach to healing, which seeks to address all factors that influence a person’s mental well-being.

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Work and Educational Planning

It is vital to have an aftercare plan post-treatment. For many people, this will include continued therapy, engagement with support groups, our alumni program, or both, medication management, and other resources.

However, work and educational planning can be integral and are often considered, too, especially if a person in rehab does not have a job or education plan to return to.

Loss of Skills Due to Addiction

Sometimes, addiction results in a loss of important life skills needed for everyday life and wellness. You may have lost a previously held life skill to substance abuse or a co-occurring mental health concern, such as the ability to prepare your meals.

Alternatively, you could be one of those who never learned certain essential life skills, such as financial skills, self-care, or how to find and secure work or school opportunities. In that case, new life skills can give you newfound success.

Daily Life Routines

In addiction treatment and sober living environments, daily life routines are often emphasized for a reason.

Daily routines that promote a healthy lifestyle, like getting enough sleep, eating regular meals, and participating in self-care activities, can aid continued sobriety, positive mental health, and better physical health.

When you have structured daily routines, you’re able to stay on track. You have goals, objectives, and a plan for the day.

Communication Skills and Relationships

Communication Skills and Relationships

Many people in addiction recovery may face challenges in interpersonal relationships, whether that is broken trust with family members, trouble in romantic relationships, or something else.

That is part of why interpersonal relationships are discussed so often in substance abuse groups and treatment programs for drug and alcohol use.

Life Skills Often Aid Long-Term Sobriety

Life skills training can aid long-term sobriety, but why is that the case? Research indicates that people with substance use disorders who strengthen essential life skills are more likely to reach lasting recovery. Some resources even say that life skills can prevent addiction.

Our life skills options can help you find sober activities to enjoy, take personal responsibility, identify emotional relapse, and maintain healthy relationships, all of which can support addiction recovery. Additionally, healthy routines, confidence, and other benefits can all come together to aid your continued recovery process after treatment.

When applicable, work and educational skills can help you avoid returning to patterns of criminal activity because you will have new ways of survival. If it is a part of your story, breaking patterns of criminal activity can be crucial for ongoing sobriety.

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Learn Life Skills and Get Effective Support at Icarus

If you’re ready to learn more about how our programs can help you heal from addiction and special health risks associated with substance abuse, contact Icarus Behavioral Health today.

When you reach out, our staff members will help you verify your insurance coverage, book a tour of our facilities, or answer any questions you might have about treatment and recovery.

To get in touch, just call the admissions line on our website, and a staff member will connect with you shortly.

FAQs on Life Skills for Recovering Addicts

Why are life skills important in addiction recovery?

Some people in addiction recovery may have never learned certain life skills necessary for their success. When this is the case, learning those skills can be empowering and provide a new opportunity to thrive.

It is also not uncommon to lose an important life skill, or multiple important skills, during active addiction. One may fail to maintain healthy relationships and endure other obstacles as a result of alcohol and drug abuse.

That is part of why life skills are often one of many substance abuse group topics and are emphasized as a valuable part of addiction treatment by the World Health Organization.

In addiction treatment at Icarus, you’ll learn the importance of self-care and build or rebuild the personal skill set necessary to help you thrive in your new life.

What are basic recovery skills?

Basic Recovery Skills

Basic recovery skills can include but aren’t limited to the following:

  • Developing a structured daily routine.
  • Self-awareness.
  • Financial planning.
  • Maintaining a clean living space.
  • Taking care of other household chores.
  • Healthy behaviors (e.g., mindfulness techniques, healthy food choices, and enjoyable physical activity).
  • Coping skills for mental health, cravings, and triggers.

Everyone’s lives and needs differ, but these are all standard recovery skills that can help set you up for success.

What are the 4 C’s of addiction?

The “4 C’s” of addiction were created to indicate the four factors that work together to distinguish addiction. Compulsions, cravings, consequences, and control are the four C’s of addiction. Addiction treatment, especially with adequate life skill training, can help you address these four areas.

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