What happens after rehab depends on many factors, driven by your specific needs and circumstances. Recovery from addiction is a long process that starts with the decision to get sober. That decision led you to detox and rehab, the foundation for continued sobriety. The program you follow after rehab will help you avoid relapses.
The First Few Months
Research finds that most relapses occur within the first six months following completion of a rehabilitation program. It may seem to be a complex and daunting task to reintegrate yourself into normal life again. Many of the things, the situations, relationships, emotions, and so forth that triggered the original addiction may still be present. Exposure to these elements, or “triggers”, can cause you to relapse into the old ways of coping with or avoiding these things.
Therefore, it is vital that your program for recovery be detailed and contain specific goals and responsibilities. The more so the better, as having goals precisely defined gives you a target–a goal to reach for. Without this type of incentive, the temptation to revert to old ways can be overwhelming. And, once a relapse occurs, it can be even more challenging to return to rehab.
For example, your recovery program may be broken down into the following increments, with different goals, requirements, therapies, and so forth for each one.
- The first week
- The first 30 days
- The first 3 months
- The first 6 months
- The first year
You notice right away that the program is the most intense immediately following rehab. This is true for any course of medical treatment. As you successfully navigate each stage, your program may evolve into one of maintenance. But, because of the nature of addiction, recovery is a lifetime process. You can live a mostly normal life but can never let your guard down and fall back on old habits. Fortunately, there are people everywhere to help you stay sober, including your friends here at Carus Recovery.
Your Recovery Program
For you, what happens after rehab should be planned with an addiction recovery professional or professionals. This is far too important to try and accomplish on your own. These professionals may recommend one or more of the following as elements of your program.
- Routine checkups with a medical professional. Consider this a “trust but verify” approach. Recognizing that the temptation to revert is especially powerful in the first days following rehab, having routine checks for substance use is a strong motivation to remain sober.
- Routine visits with a mental health professional for therapeutic purposes. Recovery therapy can include the following:
Recovery involves both the mind and body, so it is likely that you will have therapies to address the underlying emotional and mental issues (CBT, DBT, etc.) as well as those to help you stay physically active and fit (yoga, tai chi, etc.).
Social, Family, and Work Recovery Program Elements
Another aspect of your recovery will involve teaching you how to thrive in your social, family, and work settings. By teaching, we mean helping you to develop coping and decision-making skills and habits that will enable you to defuse your old addiction triggers. When you learn these techniques and habits, you will be able to handle the feelings and situations that previously caused you to resort to using a substance as a solution.
What happens after rehab in these areas may seem to be of relatively minor importance, but isn’t. Your family, friends, and colleagues may be completely open, supportive, and understanding. Indeed, it makes sense to include family members in aspects of your recovery program so that they can help defuse previous triggers. It may be that they will learn new coping skills and habits as well.
However, your situation may require more drastic measures. For example:
- You may need to leave an abusive home environment that contributed to your addiction.
- You may need to replace a job you lost due to your illness.
- You might need to retool your skills so you can get a better job.
- You may need to stay away from friends who are not sober and may act as enablers when it comes to enticing you to use the substance again.
- And, you may need to avoid those places and situations that expose you to the substance.
Again, the good news is that you can do this with the right program and people involved.
What Happens After Rehab is Largely Up to You
In the end, staying sober after rehab is your decision, every moment of every day. Just as you decided to become sober, only you can decide to stay sober. That is why professional assistance for your return to a normal world is needed. Carus Recovery Center has the programs, professionals, and passion for helping you get and stay sober. What happens after rehab can be a successful lifetime of sobriety. Contact or call us at 877-225-7724 to learn how we can help.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in place of professional assistance.