After Rehab: How to Transition Out of Addiction TreatmentShelby Wall
It’s often said that real recovery begins at the conclusion of your time in rehab. As you leave an addiction treatment facility and return to your daily life, you’ll face many challenges and obstacles on your road to sobriety.
Today, statistics say that relapse rates hover between 40% and 60% of those who have received treatment. In order to stay committed to your sobriety, it’s important to know what lies ahead (and how to cope with everyday life). We’ve compiled some helpful tips and resources below.
What to Expect After Rehab
Before you even leave treatment, we encourage you to work with your provider to create a long-term treatment plan that includes local support groups and healthcare professionals. They should help you to craft coping mechanisms and prepare for possible difficulties.
Above all else, before leaving rehab, you should develop a full understanding of any challenges you may face. With this knowledge, you can understand relapse triggers and begin to arm yourself with relapse prevention skills and techniques. Additionally, you may incorporate holistic components in your aftercare – individual counseling, mindfulness work, and a variety of coping mechanisms. By following these specific guidelines, you’ll be prepared for a successful, long-term recovery.
Prepare for Some Challenges
While it’s true that getting sober gives you a new lease on life, it’s important to understand that your day-to-day experience will be radically changed. You’ll need to dedicate yourself fully to sobriety and recovery. By being realistic about what your challenges will look like, it’s easier to handle those moments as they arise.
Some common difficulties include:
- Feelings of loneliness and isolation
- Missing the support of rehab, including counselors
- Having trouble relating to friends and family, especially if they are not sober
- Feelings of guilt or shame
- Lack of purpose or direction without substance use
- Cravings and the urge to use again
- Experiencing triggers
- Facing consequences of your use before entering rehab (financial issues, career problems)
- Depression or anxiety
- Being overwhelmed by the idea of a sober life
Relapse Signs & Triggers
Studies show that the first 90 days after leaving rehab are critical for maintaining sobriety. In order to avoid a relapse, you need to understand what can cause it.
Potential triggers and warning signs may be:
- Feeling hungry, angry, lonely, or tired
- Lying about money, achievements, or behaviors
- Being driven to perfectionism in your recovery
- Getting stuck in a cycle of self-pity or depression
- Abandoning your schedule (skipping meetings, no day-to-day structure)
- Associating with negative influences and old using friends
Tips for Life After Rehab
Fortunately, while you’ll face certain obstacles after your time in treatment, they may all be overcome by taking the right steps. The transition from rehab to the “real world” is challenging but ultimately so much more rewarding than a life controlled by drugs and alcohol.
Your physical, mental, and spiritual wellness are the bedrock of successful recovery, and ultimately they are what will allow you to thrive – not just survive – in sobriety.
To prepare for your life after rehab, we advise you to try the following:
1. Develop a daily routine.
By creating the level of structure you experienced in treatment, your days will be full and you won’t have time to consider using again. Be sure to prioritize healthy meals, physical activity, social time, and attending meetings.
2. Set realistic expectations.
Be honest about how much you can do in one day. This is a period of transition and will already be a little stressful. By caring for yourself, you’ll be less likely to feel distressed or pressured to cope by using.
3. Devote yourself to hobbies.
Is there something you’ve always wanted to try, but have never found the time for? Or maybe an old skill that you haven’t pursued since you started using drugs and alcohol? Now is the time to get started!
4. Communicate with friends and family.
Be open with supportive friends and family members during this period. If you’re struggling, the worst thing you can do is isolate yourself and allow them to think everything is fine. By removing barriers, you’ll feel supported and cared for.
5. Establish a sober support network.
It can be incredibly beneficial to surround yourself with a group of sober individuals. They have faced the difficulties you’ll experience, and probably have great advice for getting through any challenges you’re worried about.
6. Eliminate negative relationships.
Your old using friends are a bad influence, especially when you’re in early recovery. As difficult as it may be, remember that they cannot contribute to your new, sober lifestyle and will only serve as a temptation moving forward.
7. Cultivate positivity.
In moments of struggle, remember how much better your life is now than while you were using. If you focus on why you’re doing this – and why you had to get sober at all – it will give you a reason to stay in recovery for years to come.
8. Transition slowly.
Don’t jump back into your full workload at work or school right away. Instead, be kind to yourself and create a plan for that transition. This allows you to get re-acclimated to a professional environment, while avoiding burnout and stress.
9. Stay active and occupied.
By keeping your mind focused on positive activities – housework, exercise, social engagements – you’ll avoid one of the key triggers of relapse: boredom.
10. Make time for reflection.
Write in a journal about how long you’ve been sober, how far you’ve come, and how you’ve improved your life since receiving treatment. By reflecting on what you’ve done to heal and grow, you’ll stay on track and celebrate your accomplishments.
Your Path to Lasting Sobriety
Concise Recovery offers comprehensive addiction rehab services, from detox to long-term treatment. If you or a loved one is struggling with drugs and alcohol, we encourage you to reach out. Treatment is available. Call us toll-free at 888-978-5424 to verify your insurance coverage today.