Drug and alcohol rehab is challenging, but life after rehab can be equally as difficult. Many people in recovery find it challenging to maintain sobriety in our society, especially as they build a network of sober support. This network is incredibly important for preventing a relapse and may be the key to a successful return to a healthy life.
Life after drug and alcohol rehab should come with a plan! Unfortunately, just like drug and alcohol treatment, there is no one size fits all plan for a healthy and successful recovery. Sober living requires constant support, love and attention. People in recovery may find some days harder than others, so the best course of action is to create a plan.
Tips for successful sober living after drug and alcohol rehab
- Set goals. Set challenging but attainable goals for your sober life. Work with your rehab counselors and therapists to determine what your sober life will look like. Will you set a goal to go back to work in 90 days? Will your goal be to repair family relationships? Will you learn how to cook? Remember that when you walk out the doors of rehab, you are given a new slate – you need to decide how to write the story.
- Consider Outpatient Therapy. Drug and alcohol rehab programs generally include counseling during treatment. Follow up counseling and therapy should be an integral part of life after rehab – a lot happens in the first few weeks and months after treatment, use your support system to help navigate your newly sober life. If you feel you need the additional support, it might be a good idea to consider an outpatient program as a step down from residential treatment. This would typically involve three hours of therapy three nights per week.
- Go To Meetings. Upon graduation from a treatment program you should also be attending 12-step community meetings. The most widely attended are Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, but there are many more that are specific to individual addictions, dual diagnoses, and individual drugs. What’s important is finding the meeting where you feel most comfortable and finding a sponsor. Meetings will give you an opportunity to share the challenges you are facing, as well as celebrate your success.
- Make new friends. Unfortunately life after rehab sometimes involves finding a new social group. That is because old friends directly or indirectly may have contributed to your drug or alcohol addiction. Old friends may have also suffered from the negative consequences of your addiction, making it difficult for them to trust you right away. Success, as we said above, depends on your support system. Surround yourself with people who will support your sobriety, not people who will give you a hard time about it. You will find a support system by attending community 12-step meetings, through your sponsor, and by attending aftercare meetings at your treatment center. This expanded network of people in recovery will help you tremendously as they have been where you are and will be there for you to help you on your road to long-term recovery.
Drug and alcohol rehab doesn’t stop at the treatment center doors. It continues for the rest of someone’s life. Although a former user may not be in a physical treatment facility he or she is always going to be in recovery. Treatment counselors can help prepare people for sober living with strategies and tips for success, but ultimately the responsibility is on the individual. Even if someone relapses, all is not lost. Falling off the bandwagon can strengthen someone’s resolve to stay sober and live a clean life. Every drug and alcohol rehab program is an opportunity for a new life.
Drug and alcohol rehab programs are all different. If you or someone you love is dealing with substance abuse issues or you’d like more information on drug and alcohol rehab programs you may be interested in reading about a day in drug and alcohol rehab or rehab options.
Destination Hope: The Women’s Program is a Florida based full service drug and alcohol rehab facility with a strong aftercare recovery component. If you’d like to speak with someone about drug and alcohol rehab , treatment programs, or aftercare, please call us today at 1-866-808-7111.
Photo Credit: This photo, by Flickr user ericepps is licensed by a creative commons attribution license.