Life Skills: Easing a Person’s Return to a Sober Life

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The usual condition of an addicted person’s life when they enter rehab is complete chaos. Relationships have come apart, family members may have turned their backs, careers or jobs have been destroyed and bills and taxes have not been faced for months or years. Just the idea of trying to get a sober life rolling again is utterly daunting. It’s enough to make it seem impossible to ever achieve a “normal,” sober life again. That’s why the Narconon drug rehab program carefully teaches each person in recovery the skills they need to succeed when they walk back into their former lives.

We also know that many people already lacked the life skills they needed when they first started using drugs or drinking excessively. That’s why they were drawn to the easy (but destructive) solution of drugs. When high, life didn’t hurt any more. Worries faded away. Problems could be blotted out by applying alcohol, marijuana, heroin, pills or some other drug.

It just makes sense then, that a return to a productive and enjoyable life requires building those life skills that were missing before.

Years Spent Addicted Can Destroy What Life Skills were Possessed

In many cases, an individual who becomes addicted did at one time have basic life skills. But a lengthy addiction can trash one’s basic abilities. An unaddicted person might not have a hard time being grateful, accepting responsibility for mistakes or coping with disappointment. When a person blots out his problems with drug use over years or even decades, these skills will usually be long gone when he arrives at rehab.

Another phenomenon is the person who starts using drugs heavily in his teens—before he matured into adult skills. His skills tend to arrest at the point that drug use became a habit. This arrested maturity makes it very difficult for many people to benefit from self-help programs as they never became accustomed to examining their own responsibilities. They often need a more guided approach to recovery.

The Life Skills Training of Narconon Ojai

At Narconon Ojai, we understand that a person needs tools to deal with everyday challenges. He especially needs tools to cope with the special challenges a recovering person faces, like cravings that might hit at any moment, or triggers like running into your old drug dealer unexpectedly. The skills a person needs to succeed and avoid relapse are taught as part of the drug rehab program at Narconon Ojai.

The first major skill is competence in communication. A newly sober person must be able to be strong and hold his position, even if a conversation gets challenging. This is vital for employment, relationships, even being a productive member of a community. A greater understanding of how and why communication works is taught and then specific communication skills are practiced to build competence and confidence.

Next, each person learns the basics of integrity and stability in life. Without an understanding in this area, a person can be easily tossed about by life. And for a person in recovery, a lack of skills in this area can lead them right back into drug use.

Finally, each student at Narconon Ojai gets special tools to enable them to better analyze, understand and solve problems. By knowing how to surmount barriers, it’s much easier to face the problems that were left behind. It’s finally possible to walk that path back to a full, sober life.

But this is just part of the rehabilitation program at Narconon Ojai. Call us today to learn more about this remarkable program that emphasizes healthy thinking, 100% drug-free living and robust life skills.


Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.