Life After Rehab: Staying Sober After Addiction Treatment


Completing a rehab program is an important first step toward getting sober, but it isn’t the end of your journey. Addiction recovery is an ongoing, lifelong process. Relapse is common; according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, up to two-thirds of addicts who’ve gone through treatment will relapse within the first year of sobriety. Staying clean takes work.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to navigate the challenges of a newly sober life. The following tips can help you avoid a relapse – and help you recommit to your recovery if a relapse does happen.

Start with a plan

Putting together an aftercare plan prior to leaving rehab can make it easier for you to stay sober once you’re out there on your own. Devising coping strategies ahead of time, including a clear understanding of where to turn when you need help, increases the likelihood that you’ll avoid a relapse. A good addiction treatment program will work with you to assemble an aftercare plan that meets your needs.

See a counselor

In rehab, daily therapy sessions are a way of life. Ending it abruptly after you leave your program can be detrimental to your healing process. To ensure continuous support easing you back into your daily life, schedule a counseling session as soon as you leave treatment. Your addiction treatment center may have therapists you can continue to see on an outpatient basis, or may have recommendations for alternate counselors.

Avoid triggers

Your life after rehab will most certainly change in many different ways, including the places you frequent and the people with whom you socialize. Take an honest look at your environment to identify the situations that trigger your cravings for drugs or alcohol. If possible, try to avoid them. If you can’t, work with your counselor to develop coping mechanisms to deal with stress and reject temptation.

Participate in meaningful activities

It’s important to find joy and fulfillment in pursuits that don’t involve drugs or alcohol. Try artistic endeavors, like painting or writing poetry, or sign up for a neighborhood sports team. Volunteering is a great way to help people in need while doing work that keeps you connected to others. Cultivating hobbies and engaging with your community gives your life a purpose and helps you focus on the present moment.

Focus on health and wellness

A healthy body and a healthy mind will gives you the strength and stamina necessary to stay committed to your sobriety. Nourish your body with healthy foods, and establish a regular exercise routine to build your immunity, improve your mood, and keep your cravings for drugs and alcohol at bay.

Join a support group

Find others who are going through the same experiences as you. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with people who understand your situation can help you feel less alone in your commitment to staying sober. Your addiction treatment center may offer post-rehab support groups, or you can connect with 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

Alvarado Parkway Institute can help you stay sober after rehab

Whether you’re looking for a support system after rehab, or a treatment program to help you get sober, Alvarado Parkway Institute can help. We offer a wide variety of drug and alcohol treatment options, including both inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment, a partial hospitalization program, and an evening chemical dependency program led by a Certified Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselor.

With over 35 years of experience serving the people of San Diego, you can trust Alvarado Parkway Institute to provide you with compassionate care as you learn to navigate the challenges of sober living.

Call us today at (619) 667-6125 and start your journey toward recovery today.