The Importance of Routine in Addiction Treatment and Recovery
Addiction is a deadly chronic illness. However, there are evidence-based treatment methods that have been proven effective in helping people get sober and remain in recovery. An important component of rehabilitation is routine.
In an inpatient or residential program, patients follow a set schedule. This helps keep someone busy, avoiding boredom that can intensify cravings. It also forges and reinforces new habits, which makes staying sober less difficult. Think of all the things in your life that have become second nature due to repetition.
Once a habit becomes solidified as the default setting for certain daily behaviors, it also can be difficult to change. If someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, using these substances in response to certain feelings or triggers (i.e., boredom, sadness, anger, etc.) becomes a habit. A major part of addiction therapy is recognizing and overcoming the thoughts and feelings that lead them to use, restructuring these patterns to have productive outcomes.
A structured routine is also empowering, giving the patient a sense of control and the confidence earned by taking responsibility, doing the necessary work, and making positive changes.
The Daily Schedule at Laguna Treatment Hospital
Here is how a typical day at Laguna Treatment Hospital is structured:
- 7:00 a.m.: Breakfast is served, followed by yoga class.
- 8:30 a.m.: Town hall meeting for all patients begins.
- 9:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.: Patients attend recovery group meetings with 10-minute breaks every hour.
- 12:00 p.m.: Lunch time, followed by medical checkups and administering medication (if applicable).
- 1:30 p.m.—5:00 p.m.: Patients attend individual therapy sessions, specialty group sessions, and participate in physical activities.
- 5:00 p.m.: Dinner time and other medication is administered (if applicable).
- 6:30 p.m.: Personal time for patients.
- 7:00 p.m.: Patients attend 12-step meetings.
- 8:00 p.m.: Guided meditation is conducted.
- 9:00 p.m.: Patients reflect on the day and make preparations for tomorrow.
- 11:00 p.m.: Lights out.
Please note that certain activities may be optional or may not apply to all residents.
Routine Can Help After Treatment
Recovery is a lifelong process, not something that can simply be achieved. For people with substance use disorder (SUD), there is always the possibility of relapse. Relapse doesn’t mean necessarily mean failure, but it can be a serious and dangerous setback. Keeping up a routine is one of the many ways people that are successful in long-term recovery are able to keep their focus.
Often, the adjustment to regular life after exiting treatment is difficult for former patients to handle. The solution can mean different things for many different people—ranging from simply continuing down a 12-step track or other peer-support program, to staying at a sober-living facility. Transitional housing provides a routine, additional guidance, and a supportive network and living environment that is conducive to sobriety. Laguna Treatment Hospital facilitates entry into the right aftercare program for each patient.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it’s not too late to get help. Please reach out to an admissions navigator at .
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