People who have never been behind bars before assume that being released from prison is a joyful, existing experience for any prisoner. While it may feel amazing to be out of prison, former inmates now have to figure out the logistics of their life. Living in an institution where you’re told what to do and when to do it each and every day takes a lot of the decision making out of your life. If you’ve recently been released from prison, use the guide below to learn a few quick tips to start off on the right foot.

Seek Professional Help for a Drug Addiction

A significant mistake made by addicts is to think they’ve overcome an addiction to drugs while in prison when really, it’s more likely that they’ve only overcome the physical aspect of it. Addiction is a mental health condition that includes emotional or psychological addiction, as well. Hope Treatment Rehab Services can be a great way for you to learn about where your addiction started and strategies for maintaining your sobriety in the future. You can meet with professional therapists to discover your triggers in order to avoid them and learn of other addictions you may not realize you have.

Stay with Someone You Trust

When you get out of prison, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to afford your own place. It’s best to stay with someone you can trust that agrees to keep drugs and alcohol out of the house while you’re staying with them. If possible, stay with someone who believes in you, supports you and will hold you accountable when times get hard. You’ll likely be tempted to use drugs again in the future and being able to withstand them starts with a safe and supportive environment in which to live.

Avoid Past Acquaintances

People who go to prison for dealing, possessing or abusing drugs typically associate with other people who abuse or deal drugs, and thus aren’t good people to spend your time with after you’re released from prison. There are often stipulations associated with an inmate’s release back into society, such as avoiding association with known felons and being able to pass a drug test. Surrounding yourself with loved ones who are supportive in your sobriety is essential for long-lasting success.

Gather All of Your Personal Information

Before you can start rebuilding your life, you need to gather your personal information together so you can start applying for a job or get your own place. You need to have your birth certificate, a form of identification, proof of degrees or certifications that you’ve received, and anything else that could be pertinent to rebuilding your life. If you aren’t able to obtain your birth certificate or your social security card, contact your local vital statistics office or the Social Security Administration to get the copies that you need.

Apply for Employment in the Area

You need to get a job as quickly as you can so that you can start paying restitution, if needed or simply to pay your bills. Many people make the mistake of thinking that they need to find a job that makes a lot of money right away. The truth is, having a criminal record can limit the jobs that are available to you. Consider bringing a copy of your criminal history with you on your job interviews in case employers ask you if you have a criminal past. Being upfront and honest about your history can help to show the employer that you’re forthcoming about the mistakes that you’ve made and trying to improve your life. Being honest with a potential employer can give them the confidence they need to hire you. Many companies have policies in place that allow managers to fire employees on the spot if they aren’t upfront and honest on their application.

Try to Better Yourself

Once you are released from prison, you have an opportunity to start over again. Do everything you can to put your best foot forward and make strides to better yourself. There are often courses offered at local community centers that you can take to learn how to do something you’ve never done before. Once you finish a class, add it to your resume as a skill and put it into practice as often as possible.

There are also programs in place to help those leaving prison properly prepare to re-enter the work force. They can help you practice your interview skills, work on your resume with you and prepare you for a job interview to ensure that you present yourself in the best possible light.

When you get out of prison, your life will never be the same again. Take your time when trying to mend relationships with your loved ones. If you stole from them or hurt them in any other way, they may need time to forgive you. Be as patient and supportive as you can so your loved ones will see that you’re remorseful for the things you’ve done in the past, and that you’re ready and willing to do whatever it takes to restore the relationship. Be sure to avoid getting aggravated with your family, as it could cause them to pull back and rethink their decision to have you in their lives.