Readjusting to Society After Rehab
Updated: Jan 5
Graduating from rehab is a wonderful feat. It is something to celebrate and feel incredibly proud of. You've accomplished a lot, however, this is not the end of the road. There is no cure. You have done a lot of hard work, but there is more to do if you want to remain clean and sober out in the real world.
Don't worry. You are capable of this, but that doesn't mean it will be easy.
When you are walking out of rehab, you can feel free. You are clean. You can move on with your life without the reliance on substances. Along with those feelings of pride and excitement come worry and fear. Will you relapse? How will you maintain your sobriety in the outside world?
You won't have a set schedule or 24/7 guidance as you may have in rehab. You now need to readjust to living life, going back to work, rekindling relationships, and more. It can feel like there is a lot you have to handle all at once as you leave rehab and rejoin society.
You no longer have the security of having zero access to substances or old friends. It can be relatively easy to relapse, and it is most common soon after treatment. That may not sound hopeful, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible.
According to the Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, "successful recovery often involves making significant changes to one's life to create a supportive environment that avoids substance use or misuse cues or triggers. This can involve changing jobs or housing, finding new friends who are supportive of one's recovery, and engaging in activities that do not involve substance use."
Yes, you will probably have to make a lot of changes to your life. The way it was before wasn't working for you. These changes can take time and patience, but you have the resources and techniques to face that stress without falling back into substance use.
Continuing your substance abuse treatment outside of rehab is key to remaining sober. There is no certain cure for addiction. Staying sober is something you need to work to maintain for the rest of your life. That doesn't mean it won't get easier, especially now, as you readjust to society, you need to maintain a level of structure and guidance.
Falling back into old routines puts you at risk for relapse. Finding ways to continue treatment helps you adjust to your new way of life. According to a study from the National Institute of Health, "individuals with extensive substance use histories can and do recover to become productive members of society. In addition, the data elucidates how long-term recovery is maintained and suggests that several factors previously identified as predictors of short-term abstinence - consequences of substance use, social support, and affiliation with 12-step groups - may also be beneficial to long-term recovery."
Everything you learn in rehab remains with you outside those doors. Taking that guidance and maneuvering it to fit your life now is essential.
You need to surround yourself with friends and family members who support your recovery. Going to regular meetings or sponsoring someone when you feel ready keeps you active in the sober community.
Therapy is also an essential factor in maintaining your recovery outside of rehab, especially if you have a mental illness. Maintaining open communication with your medical providers and others in your community keeps your sobriety the main focus.
As said, recovery and adjusting to life after rehab is not a temporary aspect of life. Working toward your recovery is a life-long process.
Without the constant support of counselors or professionals, life in the outside world can become hard to manage. Remaining available and open to consistent help from professionals and your peers is essential.
It is also important to focus on other aspects of your life. Yes, sobriety should be your focus, but building up the other parts of your life like family, work, and relationships is also vital to finding peace and satisfaction with your life.
You can do this by developing healthy habits, a routine, and safe social activities. Find an exercise or form of body movement you enjoy. Anything from jogging to yoga or lifting weights will help you feel good and healthy. Also, focus on eating whole foods. Learn new recipes or even join a cooking class as a low-risk form of socializing.
Continue to work on maintaining open and honest communication with your loved ones. Go to family therapy if you feel that is the right open for you.
Working to reduce stressors and triggers that can lead to cravings will help you remain on the right course for recovery.
Readjusting to society after rehab can be shocking at first. You are outside of the walls of your treatment center and need to find a way to remain sober while going back to work, interacting with people, and just regularly functioning. This time in your life is both exciting and scary. You are looking forward to a future without substance abuse yet worried about how that works. With the proper methods, you can remain sober and feel satisfied with your life. Developing a positive and healthy routine for continuing treatment, maintaining support through therapy and peers, and finding enjoyable substance-free activities can help you adjust to sober living and remain sober. Learn more about how you can find peace and confidence after rehab by reaching out to our staff at California Care Detox & Treatment today. Call (949) 281-0632, so we can help you live your best sober life, starting now.