After a stint in rehab, the last thing you want to do is return to your old habits and risk falling back into addiction. But it’s incredibly common to slip up, especially if you return to the same environment as before. Staying sober after rehab can seem like an impossible feat, but you can get help by following these steps on how to stay sober after leaving rehab.
Set up your social life around sobriety
We may be creatures of habit, but our addiction is also highly powerful. To stay sober after rehab, you’ll need a support network that helps reinforce your new sober lifestyle. For many addicts, surrounding themselves with people who are also striving for sobriety has been a key component in staying clean and sober long-term. Similarly, those recovering from drug or alcohol addictions have found that enrolling in an ongoing support group is critical to their success in recovery.
Get Involved with the Community
A support group is an essential part of staying sober after rehab. Alcohol rehabilitation is not just about going through a structured program, it’s also about meeting others who are going through similar issues and learning from them. Networking with other sober individuals in recovery can help you stay committed to sobriety long after you leave treatment.
Embrace Sobriety – don’t punish yourself.
When we leave rehab, it’s tempting to think that all of our problems are solved just because we’re not under lock and key anymore. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Alcoholism doesn’t work that way; in fact, leaving a rehabilitation center only makes us have more opportunities to drink if we aren’t careful about how we treat ourselves during recovery.
Create Systems and Rituals
Creating a sober support system is essential for recovering alcoholics. Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs can help, but it’s not necessary to join a group in order to create a sober community.
Work through your triggers
Take time every day—even if it’s only a few minutes—to reflect on why you want to stay sober. In all likelihood, there will be lots of situations that trigger your desire for alcohol or drugs. Figure out what these triggers are, and think about how you can cope with them productively instead of drinking or using.
Avoid Negative People and Situations
The people and places you spend time with influence your sobriety in a major way. That’s why many rehab centers include thorough family therapy sessions as part of treatment. The more time you spend with positive, sober people, especially ones who have been there before and can relate to your experiences, makes it easier for you to stay on track when faced with temptations outside of treatment.
Know When To Seek Help
Many individuals suffering from alcohol addiction opt for alcohol rehab in order to receive treatment. Some may wait until they’re forced into treatment by loved ones; others choose rehabilitation after witnessing their lives become unmanageable. The most important thing is that you seek help. Know when you need it and understand that your life is worth saving.