Making the decision to seek help for addiction is monumental, one that requires immense courage. Your disease doesn’t want you to recover, so it will fight tooth and nail to convince you that you don’t need help: That if you keep feeding the fire, things will eventually get better. A paradox, to be sure. The disease of addiction is excellent at getting people to rationalize the severity of their position. Which is one of the reasons why people can go on for years living on the edge of despair without seeking help.

If you are on your way to addiction treatment, then you have decided to go against the disease. You have decided that the time for change is now. No longer are you willing to live in denial, realizing that surrender is the only option. It is a decision that will change your life forever. With that in mind, and like most course corrections in one’s life that matter, they happen quickly.

In most cases, once the decision has been made to go to treatment, it is paramount that it happens right away. Those who wait after making the choice, even a day or two, often change their mind. Time is of the essence when it comes to going from making the decision to walking through the doors of an addiction treatment center. Sometimes it happens in the middle of the night.

The Footprint of Addiction

If you decided to go into treatment promptly, there is a good chance that you did not have an opportunity to cleanse your home or apartment. Meaning the evidence of your addiction is probably apparent throughout your living space. Empty or full bottles of alcohol may be sitting on coffee tables or in cupboards. Drug paraphernalia and/or drugs are probably stashed away somewhere, too. All of which would ideally be gone by the time you return home from successfully completing an addiction treatment program.

Your counselors will talk with you about the footprint of addiction lingering at home. Especially regarding ways to get rid of it before you return. A process that will likely involve friends or family members cleansing your domicile. If your family is supportive of the decision you made, which is often the case, they should have no problem assisting you. For those who are estranged from their family, there probably is at least one friend who you didn’t drink or use with that might help. It is not unheard of for people leaving treatment to enlist the help of their sponsor or somebody else in recovery to help.

Maybe you think that all the booze and drugs were used before going to treatment? It is possible, but it is more likely that something was forgotten. Drugs and alcohol can wreak havoc on one’s memory.

Avoiding Triggers

The best thing you can do upon leaving treatment is not go back into your home for the first time alone. Even the sight and smell of the place, where you once used, can be a trigger. Recovery works because of the fellowship. We all rely on one another to live one day at a time without having to pick up a drink or drug. Hitting a meeting first thing after discharge is always a good idea, talking to others who have walked in your shoes. They can give you good advice, or help you safeguard your living space.

Even if there isn’t anything of concern in your home, it is better to be safe than sorry in recovery. The stakes are far too high.