How to Stay Sober After Rehab
By: Cumberland Heights
Recovery is an ongoing process – it doesn’t end after addiction treatment. This moment of transition, from a supportive sober environment to one’s daily routine, can present difficulties for those new to recovery. While individuals may feel happy to return home, they may also feel apprehensive about what their future holds. It is important to take certain steps in order to stay sober after you return from rehab.
Adjusting to life post-treatment can be complicated. The peer groups and strong support of your rehab center may have been a driving factor in maintaining your sobriety – how will you go on by yourself? You may also worry about finding yourself in triggering situations that make you want to drink or use drugs again. The good news is that with adequate planning and personal effort, you can maintain your sobriety and live a full life in recovery.
Creating Your Post-Treatment Plan
If your time at an inpatient facility is coming to an end, consider working with staff and family members to build your post-treatment plan. The more time you dedicate to your treatment, the more likely you are to remain in recovery. Treatment centers like Cumberland Heights offer the complete continuum of care, meaning that step-down care options are available. These include…
- Outpatient programming
- Group meetings (AA, NA)
- Extended care
- Medication management
- Transitional living
- Individual counseling
- Sober living
It is natural to be concerned about what life will look like after treatment. By participating in a step-down program, you can ensure that you will continue to receive support and clinical care. In addition to ongoing professional treatment, you can personally take some steps to protect your recovery.
Change Your Environment
You can’t get well while putting yourself in the same circumstances that made you sick. When you return home, ask a trusted friend to clean out all contraband substances and paraphernalia from your house.
Additionally, modify your habits to avoid places that could remind you of using. This may involve changing your route to work, staying away from certain parts of town and keeping away from specific friend groups whom you associate with substance use.
Stay Consistent, Stay Sober
If you have committed to follow-up appointments with your center or with a physician, be sure that you follow through with them. It may be tempting to skip them, but this is a type of self-sabotage. Allow healthcare professionals to help you and you will be more likely to avoid the temptation to use again.
Build a Sober Support Network
As individuals in recovery, we understand that nobody does it alone. Perhaps the most vital component of your life post-treatment is the establishment of a strong support network. In addition to rebuilding relationships with family members and trusted (sober) friends, you should also seek out others who are in recovery. Be sure to regularly attend AA or NA meetings, especially during your first 90 days out of treatment. By surrounding yourself with sober people who understand your situation, you can be sure of your ability to meet any challenge.
Pursue Sober Activities
One of the primary causes of relapse is boredom. People who are deeply addicted to drugs or alcohol do not spend a majority of their time on hobbies – their substance use takes over their free time almost completely. Once drugs and alcohol have been removed from one’s daily life, there is a void that must be filled with fun, sober activities. Exercise, meditation, reading, crafting, learning something new, participating in a sober sports league, and volunteer work are all a great place to start.
Put Your Health First
By eliminating drugs and alcohol from your life, you have taken a massive step to restoring your physical health. This could be the first of many positive lifestyle changes. Continue to better yourself by creating a new, healthy diet or beginning to work out regularly. You don’t have to spend hours on the treadmill; playing group sports, taking hikes through the woods, and visiting the neighborhood swimming pool are all also great ways to stay fit.
Don’t forget your mental health during this process. If you still have unresolved trauma from your past, or if you are struggling in relationships after rehab, consider reaching out to a licensed counselor. Regular therapy sessions can help you to work through these concerns and may also provide a source of accountability and support throughout the early phases of recovery.
We’re There for You Every Step of the Way
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit drug addiction recovery center serving Tennessee. With over 50 years of experience and thousands of clean and sober alumni, we believe that our unique approach to addiction treatment changes lives. This is a progressive, chronic disease, but it can be managed through comprehensive, ongoing care. Contact Cumberland Heights to learn more about the full continuum of care.