Preparing for Life After Rehab

Preparing for Life After Rehab

Understanding that recovery is a lifelong journey and not just a finite treatment program is crucial for preparing for life post-rehab. When coming home after rehab, it’s important to have a plan set in place for a sustainable and healthy recovery. Whether you participated in an inpatient program or engaged in outpatient therapies, the end of a program can cause many conflicting feelings. Pride of accomplishing a challenging program and the immense anticipation of returning to your daily life can cause great stress. An action plan for managing stress and the pressures of life and relationships is helpful to have in place before ending a rehab program.

How to Prepare for Coming Home After Rehab

When you are coming home from rehab, there are several things that you can do to prepare and set yourself up for success.

Make a Plan

Before you can make a plan, assessing your post treatment needs is the first step. This may require you to ask yourself some very difficult questions. Is it healthy and safe for me to return back to my prior living situation? Would it be beneficial to my recovery to maintain these relationships? Is this job going to hinder my sobriety? Having a grasp on the reality that awaits post treatment allows you to be ready to fully embrace and engage in a fulfilling life.

Thankfully, you won’t have to make a plan all on your own. At most treatment centers, the staff assists you in setting yourself up for the next phase in your recovery journey. Be sure to discuss all aspects of a coming home plan with your provider, therapist, and licensed professionals in your care team. Many facilities and treatment centers have after care programs and continue to support you in your long term sobriety. Therefore, when coming home from rehab, you have a sense of structure during those vulnerable days.

Assemble a Team

Identifying people who can function as a support system in the recovery journey with you is the next step in your post treatment plan creation. Friends and family can provide encouragement and help you live a healthier lifestyle. Again, it is important to ask yourself who in your life will help you maintain sobriety versus who may enable unhealthy choices. Part of assembling a care team is creating healthy boundaries and surrounding yourself with a positive environment full of people who want to see you succeed. 

Maintaining relationships with therapists and engaging in aftercare programs can add a professional layer of care to your post-treatment recovery plan. They can suggest healthy methods of dealing with stress, anxiety, and difficult relationships, as well as provide counseling, drug testing, and medication if needed. Many programs even provide legal services, help secure safe housing, and assist with job placement if needed. If your program doesn’t offer the aftercare services that you would like, you can ask for a referral to one that does.

Practice a New Lifestyle

The life you imagine post-rehab is likely different from your previous lifestyle you were living. Identify healthy practices that can support you in your long-term recovery and you can turn to when feeling triggered by stress. For example, exercising is a great way to release stress and reduce cravings. It can even simply act as a distraction from an unhealthy desire. Remember that treating addiction and substance abuse is more than just stopping use, but changing your lifestyle and managing your emotions in a new way. Wellness practices can help you look at healing holistically and help your body readjust to living without dependence.

Think About Recovery Housing

When preparing to leave a rehab program, especially an inpatient center, consider where you are living next. Living in an established substance-free home with like minded people on a similar trajectory as you could be a pivotal step in your recovery. Often, these types of homes encourage (while some may even require) participation in a 12-Step program while living in the facilities as an added layer of support. Recovery housing fosters community and peer support that helps you adapt to life post treatment.

Trigger Awareness

Not only is it important to have steps in place managing stressful situations, but it’s also helpful to recognize triggering situations or environments. Knowing what causes your cravings or desire for drug or alcohol use allows you to avoid them or employ your healthier tactics of managing and can give you the confidence to live without fear of relapse. Triggers can include anything from stressful situations & past unhealthy relationships to places where trauma happened or where you used to use substances. Triggers can also include emotions, both positive and negative and even senses, such a smell or sound. 

Have an Action Plan for Relapse

Even with a post treatment plan in place, a team of supportive people and a safe, loving environment, relapse can happen. There is no shame in relapse, it is part of the journey of recovery. We do not shame people with cancer for experiencing relapse, why not do the same with those dealing with addiction. If you are experiencing relapse, you have not failed.

Just as you have created a plan for dealing with stress, living a healthier lifestyle and setting up secure housing, create a plan for what to do in the instance of relapse. Know who is the first person you contact, it could be a family member, your medical provider or close friend. Create steps for getting the professional assessment and treatment you will need and how to get the support you will need to continue in recovery. 

Drug Rehab in Colorado

If you or a loved one need help for a substance abuse problem, reach out to us right now. We can help you get started on the road to recovery and be here to encourage you along the way. Call us today.