Rehab treatment is the initial stage in a lifelong process of recovery and sobriety.
Residential rehab gives you the foundations you need to reintegrate into society. But the real work of staying sober begins after rehab, during active recovery.
The Executive Rehab Guide provides all the information you need about life before, during and after rehab, what to expect, and tips to remain drug- or alcohol-free and happy.
Contact our helpful support team. Call us on 0808 1150 446.
Staying sober, not giving into cravings and avoiding triggers requires a lot of will power, devotion and motivation. It is not an easy recovery process.
What happens immediately after rehab?
Leaving rehab and regaining control of your life can be daunting. Life is full of temptations and influences that may provoke relapse. But is important to remember how far you have come and how much you want to maintain a sober life.
Life after rehab in a treatment facility actually begins before you leave residential care.
You will meet with a counsellor who will ensure everything is in place for your release.
They will outline the important things you will need to do once you are out of rehab:
- Finding local AA/NA, or other 12-step meetings
- Aftercare Support: Make follow-up appointments with physicians, psychiatrists and counsellors to continue therapy and medication.
- Finding a vocational rehabilitation centre to help seek employment
- Finding a new place to live – sober or halfway houses. Read more.
Taking in so much information is overwhelming so you will often be given a written Aftercare Plan from your treatment centre.
It is very helpful to have a list of dates, places and people to call to use as reference so that you can approach your recovery in an organised and structured way.
The first 90 days:
It is incredibly strange returning home after rehab treatment. Whereas rehab was a chance for you to focus solely on recovery from your addiction, in an environment completely devoid of alcohol or drugs, your home environment may carry bad memories of your old routine.
The first 90 days are crucial for setting up your approach to the recovery process yet to come. We understand how scary it might be, so here are some ways that can help you remain sober in the early stages after you complete rehab treatment:
1. Make a Relapse Prevention Plan
Rehab treatment includes individual therapy sessions which are designed to identify your triggers, and offer you the tools you need to control or avoid them. Putting these into practice during your recovery is very important.
Here are some ways that can also help you to avoid relapse and stay sober:
- Know your triggers and use the strategies learnt in rehab to avoid them during recovery
- Surround yourself with a support network – friends, family and counsellors
- Stay active physically to channel positive energy and distraction
- Maintain an active social life which is drug- and alcohol-free
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet
- Consistent and regular sleeping habits
- Control stress levels
- Avoid situations and people that will encourage you to drink or take drugs
2. Sober social life
The social groups you associated with when you were abusing drugs or alcohol will no longer have your best interests at heart.
A sober life will be easier if you disengage with these groups, or situations that will not be supportive of your efforts, and focus your energies on surrounding yourself with people who care about you and will help you to stay sober.
Change your phone number, and give it to the people you trust, and that will support your journey to sobriety.
Rebuilding close relationships with family and forging new friendships will not only be a helpful way of surrounding yourself with positive influence but will allow you to maintain a sober social life too.
How do I meet new, sober friends?
- 12-step meetings: You will meet people who are going through the same thing, and you can support each other.
- Dry bars: These bars are not just for people who are recovering addicts, but lots of people go there who would prefer not to drink, or don’t like being around people who do drink.
- Sober parties: Make the party’s main focus something that isn’t alcohol – a games night, movie night, a band or a comedian. You can offer great food and entertainment without having to provide alcohol!
- Sober activities: There are so many recreational activities out there that do not require alcohol to be fun! Going to the cinema, playing a team sport or joining clubs in your local community centre are great for creating a positive distraction and encouraging an equally positive mindset.
Remember to be honest
Rehab will have taught you to admit and take responsibility for your addiction. Individual and group therapy sessions will have encouraged you to share experiences in a supportive environment.
Being honest and open after rehab will allow you to rekindle relationships with family and friends, and make the most out of follow-up appointments.
Sobriety gives you so much to look forward to:
- Better health
- More energy
- New and supportive friendships
- New romantic relationships
- Stronger family relationships
- Clear direction and purpose
- Confidence in your own skin
Read more about the benefits of a sober life.
If you need support, wherever you are on your road to recovery, we are here to help.