Being arrested and convicted of a DUI is a truly life-changing experience, and knowing what life is like after a DUI and what step to take next can be difficult. Not only does a DUI come packaged with intense financial costs, but it also affects one’s personal life in others ways. DUIs can carry many stigmas from family members, friends, and peers. However, while such a mistake is undoubtedly costly, there are ways to recollect one’s life following a DUI charge, and knowing how to navigate its costs and continue pursuing one’s personal goals is instrumental in rebuilding one’s life in sobriety.
The Costs of a DUI
DUIs are costly. Between the fines and charges of being convicted, the price of any required ignition interlock system, and the potential lost income if one is no longer able to make it to their job due to a suspended license, DUIs carry a high financial price. It can further complicate one’s professional life if one is asked about their history following a background check during an interview. However, some of the most intense costs can come from one’s family and friends.
Being arrested for a DUI can change the way many people view an individual due to a number of pervasive stigmas, even when such a mistake was just that: a mistake. However, this doesn’t understate the severity of the situation. Relationships can become strained as a result of a DUI, not only for its financial costs but also for how these relationships have to adapt to their fallout.
Personal traumas that addictive substances introduce to a family can all be devastating. All of these factors also carry many mental health implications, with depression, anxiety, and more being common following a DUI conviction, and pervasive feelings of guilt, shame, and more can all impact one’s daily life and feelings of self-worth.
Taking the Next Step: Life After a DUI
It is difficult to know where to begin following a DUI, as they impact every aspect of one’s life. However, that doesn’t mean that one is powerless to rebuild their life or their relationships with family and friends. There is always something that one can do to refocus on these goals.
Getting Engaged in a Treatment Program
DUIs can affect anybody. Whether one is struggling with addiction or made a mistake one night while out with friends, the costs are the same. Regardless of the situation, getting involved in a dedicated treatment program is essential. For those struggling with addiction, these programs are crucial for helping an individual recognize and overcome the effects of addiction in their lives, challenging the effects of addiction, and taking active steps toward a sober future with professional, educated support.
However, proactively getting engaged in a treatment program and making an effort to address the effects that addictive substances have had on one’s life is also beneficial while navigating the criminal side of a DUI. Judges may sentence more leniently if one is already taking steps to address their use of drugs and alcohol, and this can help an individual find resources early on to address their use of addictive substances.
Start a New Hobby
It can be difficult to focus on oneself following a DUI. Some may worry about how these actions affect their loved ones, while others may experience crippling feelings of depression or guilt. However, taking action to rebuild one’s life means setting new personal goals.
Starting a new hobby is important for one’s mental health following a DUI, providing structure in one’s daily life while creating an outlet to work through the myriad of tumultuous emotions that may be present. Whether one is starting a new sport, following an artistic endeavor, or pursuing any other outlet, starting a new hobby can help an individual keep their body and mind from being overwhelmed by the emotional effects of depression following a DUI.
Acknowledge the DUI With Supports
It is common that those who have been arrested for a DUI to hide these facts from loved ones, either through feelings of embarrassment, shame, or out of fear that others may change their perception of an individual. However, sitting down with supports — such as one’s spouse or parents — can help an individual address the situation at hand. It can be impossible to ignore the effects of a DUI, and establishing a support circle early and acknowledging the mistakes that led to the situation can create an atmosphere of honesty going forward, working to begin rebuilding these relationships.
Begin Making Changes
DUIs can be the catalyst for any number of changes in one’s life, many negative but some potentially positive. It can be beneficial to address the events that led to a DUI with supports or professionals to determine what changes one can make to avoid the situation in the future.
For some, the prevalence of addiction is a clear cause for professional support, but others may benefit from addressing the influences of one’s social circle, professional stresses, coping strategies, or any other events that may have informed one’s actions leading to a DUI. It is never too late or too early for change, and taking action quickly can prevent subsequent DUIs from further affecting one’s life.
DUI charges can upend many parts of one’s life. However, they can also be the needed catalyst for change, and recollecting and establishing a new lifestyle in sobriety is crucial. At Buena Vista Recovery, we understand the intense change and challenges faced by those navigating a DUI, and we are committed to helping you make the necessary change in your life for a healthier future.
There is no easy way to navigate a DUI or addiction, but we are ready to help you each step of the way. From detox and residential care to intensive outpatient support, we can personalize a recovery plan that is best for you. For more information, call to speak, to us today at (480) 741-9414.