Table of Contents
You’ve completed an addiction treatment program. First of all, congratulations! This was a crucial, life-changing decision that very well may have saved your life. You’re clean, sober, and healthy now, and you can begin walking the path of long-term, life-long recovery. But, you’re wondering, what’s next? How can someone stay sober after treatment?
Staying sober after rehab isn’t easy, but thousands of people do it every single day. You can do it, too. You likely learned a variety of strategies while you were in treatment, and now it’s time to apply them all. You also surely have many people who are rooting for you – and you can and should turn to them for support whenever you need it. Most of all, though, you need to take things one day at a time. Sometimes, it will even be minute by minute, but as each minute, hour, day, week, and year passes, it will get easier all the time.
Read on to learn more about how to stay sober after rehab – today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life.
What Life After Rehab Looks Like
Whether you went to an inpatient addiction treatment program or worked your way through an outpatient program, things likely look very different for you than they did when you first began this journey. If you felt it was time to seek addiction treatment, chances are that you were having a very hard time of things – after all, that’s why you checked in in the first place, and that’s why you decided it was time to make a change.
When you went into treatment, you may have had to leave your job, home, and loved ones behind for a while, and now you will be returning to all of those things (or finding new ones) a changed man or woman. Things may look different to you now than they did before. Life after drug rehab or life after alcohol rehab won’t be the same as when you were using. You may feel that you now have vast opportunities available to you, or you may feel like you are starting from absolutely nothing. Either way, the best thing you can do is to do everything you can to stay clean and sober and tackle the new opportunities (and obstacles) in front of you one at a time.
The Aftermath of Drug Rehab Treatment
When you begin on the road to recovery, everything is different. You are the same person you always were inside, but the way you act, the people you interact with, the way you handle your problems, and the way you go about your day all may be vastly different than they were before. This can be overwhelming for even the most grounded people. A lot of change at once is a lot to handle. However, keep in mind the reasons that you got clean and sober, and keep looking ahead to the future. It’s so bright.
Of course, when you completed and left your addiction treatment program, you likely didn’t entirely cut ties with the professionals who helped you along the way – you can always turn to them for support when you need it. No one succeeds in recovery entirely on their own. It takes a village, and that village is there for you.
If your new, post-rehab home is far from your addiction treatment center, you should get involved in local support groups as soon as you can. Further, you should immediately find a therapist or counselor that you can turn to when the going gets rough.
Your Social Life After Rehab
Your social life after drug rehab will likely be vastly different from your social life pre-rehab. While you probably spent much of your socialization time pre-rehab drinking and using drugs, those activities are no longer available to you and are no longer a part of your life. You might even find it difficult to socialize without them; however, learning new habits and behaviors are all part of the recovery process.
Most addiction treatment programs suggest and even direct their participants to stop hanging out with the people they hung out with before treatment. This can be very challenging, but in many cases, this advice is wise, especially in the early weeks, months, and years after treatment. However, everyone is different. Perhaps you were the only person in your social circle who struggled with addiction. If that’s the case, then there’s no reason to cut off your old friends. If some of them still drink or use drugs, you can ask them not to drink or do drugs around you, and if they are really your friends, they’ll be more than happy to comply.
However, if your friends or family are struggling with addiction, it’s probably best to separate yourself from them for a while until you have more recovery time under your belt. Their behavior may tempt you. Worse yet, they may offer you alcohol or other substances, and as you know, “just one time” can immediately put you right back where you started, and all your hard work will be for naught.
The best practice is to seek out new friends who don’t drink or do drugs at all. These may be friends that you met in treatment or may be brand new-to-you people altogether. As you surely learned in your addiction treatment program, entirely new friends, habits, and experiences will be most helpful when walking the road to long-term recovery.
What to Do After Rehab
So, then, what should you do after rehab? You should stay clean and sober! That’s the most important thing in the world and is the best thing for your future. You should meet new people, develop new hobbies, keep going to group meetings, continue working with a therapist or counselor, and rededicate yourself to your new, healthy, substance-free life every single day. Exercise, volunteer, read, create art, learn a new instrument, take cooking lessons, spend time outdoors, and enjoy time with your family. It’s cliche, certainly – but “the world is your oyster” when recovery is at the forefront of your life.
Staying Sober After Rehab
Again, staying clean and sober after rehab isn’t easy for anyone. It’s an ongoing process, and it’s something you will be working on every day for the rest of your life. But, you are not alone. Thousands and thousands of people have been successful in recovery before you, and thousands and thousands of people are in recovery right now, alongside you, every day. You can do it, too. Stay strong and stick with it. You’ll be glad that you did.
Clear Sky Recovery
Clear Sky Recovery is a short-term, residential program and we are standing by to help people break free from their addictions so they can move forward on a life focused on recovery. Our innovative ibogaine treatment helps our clients get to the root of their addiction; once they end their active addiction with us, the work can continue on an outpatient basis. If you are interested in learning more about our methods, our staff, or our facility in Cancun, Mexico, please give us a call. We can’t wait to hear from you.
Dr. Sola is one of the world’s leading experts in medically-based ibogaine treatment; he has more clinical experience with safe and effective ibogaine administration than any other M.D. in the world today.