How to Stay Sober After Rehab
If you have been addicted to drugs or alcohol, there is a chance that you have had some scary times over it. Whether you were placed into dangerous situations because of your need or whether you had to confront things about yourself that were unpleasant, fear is a very present companion. However, after getting out of rehab, you have to face the fear of relapse, which is a different, but no less terrifying specter. Many former addicts feel that this fear follows them, sometimes stronger, and sometimes weaker, but it is there, and dealing with it is an important part of recovery.
Ways to Stay Sober
Recovery is a process, and the way that some people look at it, it is never over. It is important to remember that getting out of rehab, you are not in a great place. You likely feel great, and you may feel as if you can take on the world, but the truth is that in many ways, you are still very vulnerable. The key is to make a plan including some goals on how you are going to avoid going back to your old habits.
Replace Old Thought Patterns
Addiction has far more to do with the mental state than with a physical dependency. After getting out of rehab, you are no longer chemically dependent, but that does not mean that you won’t be tempted to return to your old patterns. It is not enough to simply take a drink from a soda bottle when you are craving alcohol; ideally, you will change the thought process that leads to you needing to take a drink in the first place. This is something that can take time and effort, but in the end, it is what will prevent you from relapsing in the future. An effective treatment program offers specific training and counseling that will help you change the old thought patterns for a more lasting recovery.
Be Careful Around Old Friends
If you are dealing with drugs or alcohol, one thing that you will learn is that you need to avoid the circumstances where you formerly abused these things. If you are alcoholic, for example, you must stay away from the bars, of course, but this also includes people as well as places. If you had friends who used to drink with you, avoid them. It is one thing if you can prevent them from drinking in your presence, but across the board, many former addicts found that it was far better to simply avoid friends who were heavy drinkers.
The Longer You Stay Sober, the More Likely You Are to Stay Sober
In the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, there was a general belief that if you stayed sober at least 30 days, everything else would work itself out. However in 2008, the Los Angeles Times did a survey of a large number of clinics in the area and found that as a matter of fact, there was nothing magical about thirty days at all. The truth is that the longer you are sober, the more likely you are to keep being sober. There is no magical day when you will simply be less susceptible to an addictive substance. More and more programs are realizing that long-term inpatient stays are better, and that might be a resource you need to look into.
Consider Inpatient Care
Life doesn’t begin or end after rehab. It’s still life, and chances are good that you still need to figure out what you are doing. While rehab is an important step, it is far from the only step, and that is what inpatient care is all about. With the right program, you will have the monitoring you need as well as the care that it takes to truly change your life. It is very difficult to deal with addiction while you are managing other aspects of your life, and that is something that inpatient care can alleviate.
Getting out of rehab is an amazing step, but the truth is that your journey and your efforts cannot remain here. Learn more about how you can proceed and what it will take for you to grow into the person you know you can be. This is only the beginning of something amazing!
Learn more about creating a relapse prevention plan that will help you to stay sober after leaving rehab by reading our relapse prevention post.