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Life After Rehab

Many people struggling with addiction cannot imagine a life free of drugs or alcohol. Some individuals find it difficult to remember what life was like before substance abuse. The very nature of addiction tend to cloud the hope for freedom from the obsessive seeking and compulsive use of drugs. Also, conflicting media coverage of celebrities that have been to rehab, mostly depict the relapse events rather than the success stories. What is hardly reported are the millions of recovering addicts that have not only overcome addiction but have lived out the rest of their lives free from this destructive disease.

The first few days, weeks and months after rehab can be the most challenging. Returning home to loved ones who did not participate in any family programs during rehab present the biggest challenge because they have not been privy to the changes and growth that the recovering addict has achieved. Reminders from family members of the addict’s drug use days can linger and threaten their newly developed coping skills. When these skills are put to too many stringent tests early in recovery the person in recovery will need to lean on the support systems established in rehab as they step back into their former lives.

Good rehab programs provide training and education that empower addicts to deal with negative feedback and environmental issues that cannot be avoided in everyday life. Those who participate in a transitory program such as the Sober Living community provided by Homestead Drug Treatment Centers, gradually re-engage with their loved ones while having the support of counselors and peers to help them deal with issues as they come up. The benefits of a transitory program is to assist with the after-care issues and help those exiting a rehab program to gain confidence and practice new life skills in a safe, supportive environment.

Although walking away from the drug treatment center may be scary at first, it is possible to successfully survive it without reverting to old patterns of behavior. To help you do that, it may be helpful to know what to expect and how you can reduce the fears and concerns surrounding life after rehab.


  1. Some individuals in recovery immediately try to put themselves in situations that test their ability to resist drug or alcohol use. This should be avoided at all cost, especially in the first few months after rehab to avoid a relapse.
  2. Making unreasonable promises to loved ones in an effort to convince them that they have really changed. Although it is natural to want to make amends for hurts caused while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, making too many promises can set up high expectations for yourself and loved ones. This put an unnecessary burden on the person in recovery that can tax the limits of their new coping skills. Apologize for the past when appropriate and make amends when possible without committing to unrealistic promises.
  3. Getting complacent about efforts to stay clean and sober. In recovery, you should have learned about relapse prevention and how to recognize triggers that can cause a relapse. Complacency can lead to taking chances even when it is obvious that you are exposed to a negative trigger. It is best to remind yourself how much you had to do to get to achieve sobriety. Looking back from where you were to being in sobriety often help to draw individuals back from the edge of a relapse and the misconception that they can resist the pull of addiction.
  4. Many recovering addicts relinquish their support systems too soon after rehab. Support systems are in place for the simple reason of helping an addict maintain their hard earned sobriety. Family support and group support meetings are critical components in helping to handle the ups and downs that occur after leaving rehab. Those who give up their support systems are more likely to relapse than those who don’t.

The bottom line is drug rehab is just a stage of recovery. Leaving rehab launches you into a new phase with its own unique challenges. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40 to 60 percent of people who have an addiction relapse at least once. Recognizing this statistic does not mean that relapse is inevitable. It just flags the possibility of one and the importance of vigilance to prevent a relapse. In the event that one does occur, the lessons learned in rehab can provided the coping techniques to quickly overcome it. Many individuals say they learn valuable lessons after a relapse that was instrumental in helping them to avoid future ones.

The goal after rehab is to grow stronger and stronger so that addiction will soon become a part of your past. Nevertheless it should always be perceived as an important life experience that can help you to live a drug free life and possibly help someone else to do the same.

Life after rehab has unlimited potential if you receive the right recovery treatment. Call Homestead Drug Treatment Centers today at (786) 752-3472 to get your recovery process started.

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