What Happens After Rehab

What Happens After Rehab

Authored by Pin Ng PhD

Edited by Hugh Soames

Reviewed by Michael Por, MD

What happens after Rehab?

Rehab can change your life and give you back the future you thought you had lost. Completing a 28-day or 60-day rehab is not the end of the journey, however. A rehab program can set you on the path to a lifetime of sobriety. After finishing the program, you may not know what to do. In addition, you may be afraid of relapsing and delving back into a world of drugs and alcohol. This is where aftercare becomes important.

You must adjust to life once leaving rehab. It can take some time to balance your work, friends and family, and a sober lifestyle. Some individuals may create new lives or pursue new careers after leaving rehab. It is not unusual to see previously incapacitated individuals succeed in business and become sophisticated investors, taking on an increasing amount of responsibility personally, professionally and financially.

The most important thing you can do after rehab is maintaining sobriety. But how can you continue living sober once returning to your previous routines?

Sober home after rehab

While the words ‘sober home’ or ‘sober living’ often conjurer up images of a halfway house type of affair though the reality can be quite different. Many rehabs now have a Secondary Rehab option in a quasi supervised environment. Sober living can provide a much needed bridge to normal living after primary rehab as clients learn to adapt and adjust to the stresses and strains of dealing with normal life free of addiction. As with primary care, there are multiple options for secondary rehab from basic programs and accommodation to luxury sober living.

Building relationships

One of the most important things you can do upon leaving rehab is to create relationships with individuals who are drug- and alcohol-free. These relationships can encourage you to remain sober and have a healthy lifestyle.

Prior to entering a residential rehab facility, it is a good idea to have a plan for post-treatment. A plan will help you achieve the goals you set out for staying sober. It is much easier to enter the post-rehab phase of treatment if you know what you want to achieve next.

Different types of support

Life after rehab can be difficult without the proper support networks put in place. The aim is to continue progressing once you have finished the treatment program, so finding support that enables progression is ideal.

You can build support networks by joining various organizations or groups. Having others that rely on you can improve your chances of staying sober. There are other ways to continue living a healthy, clean lifestyle, and these include:

  • Individual therapyAttending one-to-one therapy can allow a specialist to uncover the underlying issues that created substance abuse in the first place. A therapist can discover the emotions that are difficult to deal with that may be suppressed. Therapists may use treatment methods such as meditation to get clients to focus on staying sober.
  • Check-ups – Routine check-ups from mental health professionals enable you to stay on track. After exposing your body and mind to destructive substances, it is good to get a check-up every few months to ensure your body is working as it should.
  • 12-steps – 12-step programs have been around for decades and is most commonly associated with Alcoholics Anonymous. 12-step programs now include a variety of help with drugs from crack to sex addiction. Although some people are turned off by the religious aspect of 12-step programs, there are some that are secular.
  • SMART – Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) is an alternative to the 12-step program model. It focuses on showing clients that they can take control of their addiction issues. SMART1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4885378/ was created through evidenced-based research and has been used to help teenagers, members of the LGBTQ community, and people from ethnically diverse backgrounds stay on the straight and narrow.

Rehab is just the first step in getting help. Individuals must continue on the path of sobriety and finding the right support network post-rehab is vital in continuing the journey. Recovery doesn’t end after rehab and with the right help, you can continue living clean and sober for the rest of your life.

References: After Rehab

  1. Kuss DJ, Griffiths MD, Karila L et al. . Internet addiction: a systematic review of epidemiological research for the last decade. Curr Pharm Des 2014;20:4026–52. 10.2174/13816128113199990617 [PubMed] []
  2. Whiteford HA, Degenhardt L, Rehm J et al. . Global burden of disease attributable to mental and substance use disorders: findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 2013;382:1575–86. 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61611-6 [PubMed] []
  3. Ferri M, Amato L, Davoli M. Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programmes for alcohol dependence. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2006;(3):CD005032 10.1002/14651858.CD005032.pub2 [PubMed] []
  4. Buddie AM. Alternatives to twelve-Step programs. J Forensic Psychol Pract 2004:4:61–70. 10.1300/J158v04n03_04 []
  5. Boissel JP, Cucherat M, Li W et al. . The problem of therapeutic efficacy indices. 3. Comparison of the indices and their use. Therapie 1999;54:405–11. [PubMed] []
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