In rehab, people learn every day about the importance of sobriety, but maintaining sobriety after they leave rehab is a completely different journey with its own set of challenges. The right guidance and practical strategies are the keys to maintaining sobriety after rehab and for life.
Sobriety Is a Lifelong Commitment
Rehab is a critical and very challenging step, as the process requires a person to acknowledge their substance abuse and the effects it has had on them, and on the people who love them. After leaving a treatment facility, a person must commit to staying sober every single day for the rest of their lives.
No two days will be the same and some will be harder than others, but there are multiple benefits of maintaining sobriety.
The Vital Importance of a Smooth Transition
The end of an addiction treatment program is often accompanied by many emotions attached to leaving a place that has offered structure and stability, and beginning a new life with little structure and many unknowns. Anxiety and fear are common emotions to feel.
There are also many other challenges to face and overcome after rehab. A significant one is returning to the city, town, or neighborhood where a substance use disorder began and addiction developed. Former friends may not understand a person’s choice to recover from addiction, which can lead to uncomfortable feelings and situations that can potentially lead to relapse.
This is why it’s so important to make a smooth transition from a treatment facility to a life of sobriety. Addiction treatment programs prepare participants for this transition by educating them about what they can expect with employers and others once they begin living a sober life.
Building a Support System
Having a support network is very important while a person is in rehab. However, the need for support continues once a recovery program is over. Seeking support is a great way to get guidance during rehab, and also allows for a much smoother transition to a new and sober life.
Friends and Family
A support group can consist of family and sober friends. However, these relationships become strained as a result of addiction.
Family therapy helps individuals resolve conflict and rebuild their relationships.Therapy also offers education about addiction, as well as enabling or codependent roles that family members often play. During family therapy, strategies that help family and friends get to know their loved one without their addiction are provided.
Mutual Support Groups and Individual Counseling
Mutual support groups, a typical part of 12-step programs, offer a safe space in which to share the challenges of addiction recovery with others who understand the challenges of living life outside of rehab. The people who were together in addiction treatment that maintain their connections can also become a peer support group.
Continuing with addiction counseling after rehab is another way to continue receiving needed support, and it is strongly encouraged.
Practical Strategies for Daily Life
The following strategies can help ease the transition to a sober life. It’s important to implement as many of these as possible.
Reducing or eliminating triggers as much as possible can help improve the focus on recovery. A schedule and daily routine that supports sobriety and recovery will provide the structure of rehab and a reminder of one’s goals.
Connect with the Spiritual Self
Whether it’s going to church, meditating, doing yoga, being in nature, or another practice, it’s vitally important to be in touch with the spiritual every day. This provides the opportunity to center the mind, move the body, and remain in touch with emotions.
Staying away from certain people and situations for a time following rehab is a good idea. Bars, clubs, and parties are common triggers for relapse. Socializing with sober friends is a good relapse prevention strategy.
Another reality of life after rehab is that existing relationships will either change or end because those relationships do not support sobriety. Therefore, socializing with those who are still using drugs or alcohol is best avoided.
Continue Practices Learned in Rehab
Counseling and journaling can be continued in transition from and in life after rehab. These healthy practices help to process emotions and stress and can help to provide clarity during confusing times.
Continue a Healthy Lifestyle
Rehab teaches that building and continuing to support physical health is vital to recovery. This is another good strategy to continue applying in life after rehab. Stay hydrated, consume healthy foods, and avoid ingredients that can increase or worsen anxiety, such as caffeine and sugar.
Navigating New Challenges
Finding balance after rehab is a common challenge that can have serious consequences. The pressures of work and family life can quickly become overwhelming.
Internal and external triggers can occur anywhere at any time, making it crucial to remember and apply the coping skills learned in rehab. Some of these include:
- Reaching out to a sober friend, family member, or sponsor to talk through it
- Avoiding the HALT states (hungry, angry, lonely, tired) that cause internal triggers by ensuring these needs are being met; if not, ensure they’re met as soon as possible
- Playing a group sport, joining a gym, or signing up for another activity that fulfills social and physical needs
- Spending the time to make a list of the negative results of relapse and one for the benefits of maintaining sobriety
Maintaining Long-Term Sobriety
As mentioned previously, self-care is at the root of being able to maintain sobriety for life. Continuing a healthy and active lifestyle, connecting with the spiritual on a daily basis and practicing the mindfulness, breathing, and other techniques learned in rehab can all help in maintaining lifelong sobriety.
Ensure regular connection with others who have experienced addiction by going to meetings or sober social events will provide constant reminders of the benefits of choosing sobriety.
Participating in ongoing counseling and therapy will allow those living life after rehab to remain on track with their sobriety goals.
Have practical strategies for identifying and managing internal and external triggers, such as acknowledging and then detaching from the emotions they generate.
You Can Thrive in Your Sobriety Journey
Transitioning smoothly, having a support system, and implementing the strategies learned in rehab can all help to ensure lifelong sobriety.
You may have a friend or family member who is struggling with addiction, you might be a counselor or healthcare professional wishing to gain important insights, or you might be in recovery and want strategies for forging healthy relationships with your loved ones. Whatever your situation may be, tools and support are available at Del Arroyo Recovery Center.
We believe, with the right help, anyone can achieve sustained sobriety. We provide holistic, individualized addiction care from our private Agoura Hills treatment center. Specializing in treating young adults, our luxury rehab offers:
- Medically assisted detox
- Residential, inpatient, and outpatient programs
- Care for dual diagnoses
- Aftercare that includes medication management and behavioral health support
- An alumni program that includes resource library, webinars, and support group schedules
Our clients enjoy a home away from home. Private bedrooms, healthy meals prepared by our chef, and fitness facilities are available. A professional staff collaborates to create treatment programs that meet the unique needs of our participants.
If you want to know more about our programs, treatment methodology, or counseling and other opportunities, we invite you to explore our website. You can also speak with a team member to have your questions answered: (877) 535-0636.