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Why Are Life Skills Important for Addiction Recovery?

addiction therapy group discusses life skills

When people think of what they’ll do in addiction treatment, they typically think of things therapy, group sessions, exercise, and addiction education. They may not necessarily think of life skills, which include things like finding a place to live, finding a job, paying the bills, and communicating effectively. These may seem mundane compared to facing down your demons in therapy, but life skills are a crucial element in treatment for the following reasons.

Young adults often miss out on life skills.

Life skills will typically be emphasized more when treating younger adults because they usually need more help. Often, when younger people develop substance use disorders, their normal development is disrupted. They may be preoccupied with drugs or alcohol at a time when they would normally be going off to college, looking for a job, finding a place to live and so on. Everyone learns the skills of living on their own in haphazard way, making lots of mistakes in the process, but when you leave treatment, you may find yourself in the position of having to learn all these skills pretty quickly if you want your recovery to last very long. Therefore, it helps to have life skills education built into treatment.

Life skills are the foundation of everything else.

Life skills are necessary for pretty much everything else. If you can’t keep a job, pay the bills, or maintain your own living space, you can’t very well maintain the other aspects of recovery, such as taking responsibility for your life, living a healthy lifestyle, and creating strong social connections. These skills are more than just about pulling your own weight and being a responsible adult; they are about autonomy, purpose, and freedom.

Life skills reduce stress.

Few challenges are more dangerous in recovery than feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed, but if you don’t have the basic skills you need to live on your own, you’re likely to feel that way a lot. However, if you have some guidance and a plan, you’re much more likely to feel like you can handle life’s problems, even if you make mistakes along the way. For example, people worry about money more than just about anything else. If you don’t know some basics of personal finance, you’re going to run into a lot of money problems. For most people, this stress is largely unnecessary and learning just a few basics like opening bank accounts, automating bills and savings, and sticking to a budget can let them breathe much easier.

Life skills make your life better.

Life skills aren’t just about giving other people your money in an orderly way; they are also about getting more out of life. Knowing how things work and exerting more control over your life gives you more power and freedom. For example, learning good communication skills reduces your headaches caused by miscommunication and allows you to connect to others more effectively. Stronger social connections strengthen your recovery and make you happier too.

Arbor Behavioral Healthcare offers an integrative and holistic approach to treat substance abuse and a wide variety of addictions, as well as underlying mental health and psychological issues. All of the addiction recovery programs offered by The Arbor are designed to heal the mind, body, and spirit leading to a lifetime of sobriety, health and wellness. If you’re ready to find healing and restoration in a peaceful, loving environment, please call us today at 844-560-7269.