How Do I Stay Sober After Rehab?

In this post, we offer tips that will help you stay sober once your rehab programme has concluded. Many rehabs are residential in nature. This means there will be many physical barriers that prevent you from drinking alcohol or using drugs.

Once you return home, these physical barriers that prevented you from relapsing whilst at rehab will no longer be present. This means the risk of relapse will be greatly increased once you return home following the conclusion of your rehab programme.

It’s important to stress that rehab clinics will fully prepare you for your return home. Nothing we could possibly write in this article could act as a substitute for the preparation you will be given by your rehab clinic. Rehab clinics will work tirelessly with you during a 4-6-week period to ensure you are given the tools to stay sober once you leave their care.

Returning home following the completion of your rehab programme is both exciting and scary. Once you return home, you will once again be fully exposed to many of your addiction triggers. However, rehab clinics will have given you the cognitive skills to meet these triggers without feeling the need to return to drink or drug use.

Temptation is perhaps one of the most challenging addiction triggers you will encounter once you return home. Temptation may take many forms, and rehabs will give you the tools to both recognise and cope with temptation as and when it arises.

Bumping into addiction triggers

Rehab clinics will advise you to avoid situations, people, and emotions that are considered addiction triggers. However, you will inevitably expose yourself to these triggers at some point or another. This is when the recommended avoidance technique has failed. Fortunately, you will have been taught many coping strategies that will help you tackle your powerful addiction triggers without relapsing.

Some common addiction triggers include:

  • Hanging out in certain neighbourhoods
  • Hanging out with old friends
  • Going to certain places where alcohol and drugs are widely available
  • Experiencing certain emotions, both positive and negative in nature

Whilst what follows should not substitute for what you will learn during your rehab programme, we do provide an insight into some of the strategies that are commonly recommended to help you prevent relapse when you are exposed to your addiction triggers:

  • Replace old unhealthy habits with healthier alternatives. For example, if you were a wine lover, substitute this for an interest in fine coffee. Other activities we recommend you take up include meditation, exercise, reading, learning a new language, gardening and volunteering
  • Remove from your home any paraphernalia that is associated with alcohol or drug use
  • Make sure you continue journaling once you leave rehab. One beneficial type of journaling is known as gratitude journaling. This helps you appreciate what you got in your life
  • Strengthen your support system by surrounding yourself with people who will understand what it means to be in recovery. One way you can achieve this is by joining a local support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery. Here, you will be surrounded by people who understand what you are going through as you attempt to tackle the challenges that arise in your early recovery
  • Attend aftercare sessions at the rehab clinic that you attended and keep in touch with the counsellors and therapists you met during your stay
  • Avoid pubs, bars and nightclubs. It’s best not to tempt yourself in situations where you might simply be unable to say no. If you find yourself in one of these places by accident, then keep a non-alcoholic drink in your hand to keep your senses occupied. Also, ensure you do not stay in this environment too long – and try to leave at the earliest possible opportunity. Immediately leave if you feel you are not able to control the urge to drink alcohol or use drugs
  • Set recovery goals by writing them down. Periodically review your goals and ensure you do at least one activity each day that brings you closer to achieving these goals

Remember, the above advice should not act as a substitute for what you will learn during your rehab programme. Getting sober is a lot harder than staying sober, and for this reason, rehab clinics will spend an immense amount of time in preparing you for the inevitable brushes you will have with relapse once you leave the rehab clinic’s care.

Taking the necessary steps to getting into rehab

If you have decided that the time is right to go into rehab for either drug or alcohol addiction, then contact Rehab 4 Alcoholism today on 0800 111 4108. When you contact us, we shall assist you in selecting suitable rehab facilities in your local area.