10 Post Rehab Tips to Help You Maintain Sobriety

So you were lucky enough to have the right insurance, or out of pocket money, to pay for 30, 60, or 90 days of inpatient addiction treatment and after successfully completing your rehab you are eager to begin your new life in recovery.  Even with all of the momentum and enthusiasm you feel from successfully finishing your rehab, it still can be difficult to maintain your sobriety after you return home again.

Overconfidence is one of the biggest enemies of anyone who has recently completed rehab and is new to recovery. A number of reasons explain why it is difficult to maintain long-term addiction recovery. The first and most important is that addiction is a chronic and progressive brain disease. Much like asthma or diabetes, it cannot be cured and requires lifetime treatment. Overconfidence is one of the biggest enemies of anyone who has recently completed rehab and is new to recovery. Many feel they’ve defeated addiction following rehabilitation and fail to continue implementing the same strategies that made them successful during treatment. [1]

People in recovery also frequently struggle with feelings of boredom, loneliness, anger, fear, depression and anxiety, which can lead to relapse. These emotions are usually due to the drastic change in his or her lifestyle following treatment. Addicts must often change their friends, hobbies, hangouts and much more in order to be successful in recovery. This period of transition creates extra vulnerability.

In order stay on the right path, individuals need to keep taking their recovery seriously, even following graduation from rehab. This means applying the same tactics that worked during rehab in the real world. Here are 10 tips for you to follow if you’re a recovering addict:

Take it One Day at a Time: You can’t make it to a year of sobriety without getting past the six month mark. Concentrate on making it past today without drinking or using drugs. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking about how you will make it for the next three months. Focus on just today, and eventually one day will become one week, one week will become one month, one month will become one year, and one year will become a lifetime.

Take Care of Yourself: It’s a proven fact that the better a person feels, the less likely they are to abuse drugs or alcohol. [2] Proper nutrition and regular exercise improves a person’s mood and makes them feel better overall. [3] This is why it’s essential for recovering addicts to commit themselves to maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, while also exercising routinely.

People in recovery, especially men, often use their recovery as an excuse to indulge in food. [4] This means that instead of continuing to undo the damage to physical health caused through substance abuse, they are potentially compounding this issue through poor nutrition and exercise.

Develop Hobbies: One of the most important things individuals in recovery need to learn is how to have fun without using drugs or alcohol. For years and perhaps even decades, these individuals linked enjoyment to substance abuse. Now sober, recovering addicts may find it difficult to fill their time with enjoyable activities and hobbies.

This is why finding one or multiple hobbies is essential for long-term success. A hobby, like painting, doing puzzles or any other relaxing pastime, can provide pleasure and improve mental wellbeing. It can also prevent boredom, which is often a precursor to relapse. [5]

Don’t Ignore Aftercare: You deserve a lot of credit for completing addiction treatment, but now is not the time to start getting cocky. Whether your rehab facility offers aftercare services or not, you should also consider participating in local recovery support groups, possibly attending AA meetings, joining online forums and connecting yourself with as many other individuals in recovery as possible. Having strength in numbers is important during recovery, and aftercare programs will give you the extra support you need.

Change Your Environment: It’s essential for anyone in recovery to get away from the triggers that previously led them to abuse drugs and alcohol. Spending time with non-sober friends and visiting your old hangouts are good ways to fall back into your old habits. Separating oneself from unsupportive old friends, family members and activities is one of the most difficult things for a recovering addict to accomplish.

Developing new hobbies and finding new people to spend time with can be helpful in offsetting the initial shock and isolation involved in changing your environment.

Don’t Let One Slip Turn into a Relapse: The ultimate goal in recovery is to abstain from substance abuse completely. However, this is extremely difficult to accomplish, and there’s a good chance that no matter what you do, you may have a bad day and slip up. At this point, rather than beating yourself up and potentially using more drugs or alcohol, it’s time to rededicate yourself to your recovery.

Expecting perfection in any endeavor is foolish, and addiction recovery doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. Don’t let one misstep derail everything you’ve worked so hard for.

Stick to The Plan: At some point during your rehab, you likely developed a sobriety plan to help you overcome the inevitable challenges you would face in recovery. Whether you’re one month, two months or six months removed from rehab, be sure to stick to your plan. As more time passes and your confidence rises, you may be inclined to take shortcuts or to even ignore the plan. This is a path to relapse, especially if you’ve been sober for less than a year.

Moderation Doesn’t Work: The goal of your addiction rehab was to cease abusing drugs or alcohol, not to reduce usage. Having just one drink at a friend’s birthday party or just one night of alcohol-related fun at a wedding can snowball into something much bigger. If moderation worked for you in the past, there would’ve been no need for rehab.

People who suffer from alcohol or drug addiction CANNOT exercise control over their addiction. Don’t be fooled into believing you can do what millions of others could not.

Volunteer to Help Others: Community service can be a valuable tool in recovery. The ability to help others will also help rebuild the confidence of someone in recovery. It can also help make a person feel like a valued part of a community and add a sense of self-worth that can only be achieved when helping someone who needs a hand. Additionally, individuals in recovery who have damaged their career prospects or are in search of a new hobby and new friends, volunteering can create opportunities in each of these aspects.

This can be as simple as providing a ride for someone who doesn’t have a car, volunteering at a soup kitchen or any other selfless act. There are dozens of ways a person can donate their time.

Don’t Ever Give Up: It sounds cliche, but no one is beyond help and untreatable. Everyone has a path to recovery and sobriety, he or she just needs to find it. No matter how many times you stumble, no matter how strong your urge to use is, do not give up or give in. Even if you’ve relapsed and have begun using regularly again, you still have the power to overcome addiction.

As the popular saying goes, if at first you don’t succeed, try again. Addiction recovery is a lifelong journey. Don’t become discouraged by a few early mistakes.

We’re With You Every Step of the Way

At Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, we aren’t satisfied with our patients just completing addiction treatment, because our goal is their long-term success. Our recovery services include multiple aftercare programs which allow us to monitor the success of our patients for up to a year following the completion of rehab.

Addictions are built up and developed over several years, and it takes a lifetime of work to defeat them. Take the first step in overcoming substance abuse and addiction by contacting our experienced professionals today at 888-432-2467 to learn more about our recovery services or begin treatment as soon as possible.