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What Happens After Drug and Alcohol Detox?

When people decide to get clean and sober, one of the first things they need to do is go through detox. Detoxing can be an intense experience, but it's necessary for kicking the addiction. Once detox is complete, what happens next? This post will explore the next steps in addiction treatment and recovery.


Recovering from addiction and returning to regular life is a huge success. But, even yet, maintaining sobriety is an ongoing challenge.


Your situation is far more complicated than you give it credit for if you think a rehabilitation program will heal everything. Regaining your pre-addiction level of functioning takes some time. However, many people care about you and want to see you succeed after you leave rehabilitation. In addition, you may find that people's perceptions of you have changed after you've been in recovery.


Patients who complete a rehabilitation or detox program may need to adapt to their new routines and social circles. In the long run, hanging around with the same people who support drinking or drug usage is not a good idea. In the same way, others might have to alter their lifestyles and seek new employment opportunities. Each step forward in the right direction bolsters the individual's will to steer their course and achieve good changes.

Staying Sober Is A Priority

After detoxification and inpatient therapy, a person recovering from addiction will eventually return to regular life. Everything counts, from duties at work to time spent with loved ones to leisure activities. Unfortunately, these interactions and occasions might set off unwanted desires.


According to the available data, most relapses occur during the first six months following finishing therapy and after that, identifying and avoiding your stressors will help you weather whatever storms life throws.


It may be prudent to surround oneself with sober, healthy individuals. They may help sustain the effort to improve one's health, provide welcomed diversions, and inspire further positive movement. In addition, someone just getting out of treatment may help them stay clean in the long term.


Before leaving the hospital or even beginning inpatient care, you should have a strategy in place for long-term care. If you have a good sense of where to start with the next stage of therapy, you'll have a more straightforward way of integrating it. Reaching out to a treatment center may start you in the right direction.

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Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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Multiple Continuity-of-Care Models

Individuals in recovery should be able to maintain their sobriety even after treatment has ended. Though completing treatment is a significant accomplishment, maintaining sobriety requires consistent follow-ups and encouragement. Several excellent resources exist to provide ongoing care and encouragement of healthy habits beyond the completion of rehabilitation.


One option is to become involved with a support group whose members actively work to maintain their recovery. Having others depend on you may be a great motivator to keep you true to your new way of life and be grateful for your time in treatment.


Two other possibilities are church membership and extracurricular activities that foster autonomy and constructive concentration. This helps one focus on the here and now rather than past mistakes.


Frequent check-ups with a mental health expert are an effective way to encourage personal responsibility. This will guarantee that you are moving forward and staying on track. A medical expert may examine your vital signs as seldom as every four months.


Injuries, respiratory and cardiovascular issues, trouble sleeping, changes in body mass index (BMI), and twitching muscles are all possible once someone knowingly exposes themselves to a toxic chemical. Making sure your health is in good shape is the first step in keeping it that way.

Individual Therapy

Addiction is seen as more than simply a chemical dependency by qualified therapists. In many cases, the misuse of drugs is the result of a person's way of life, which may involve stressful situations and other risk factors.


Cognitive behavioral therapy and other similar approaches allow those in recovery from addiction to get to the bottom of what's driving their behavior. To alleviate the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms or behaviors, people work with counselors to identify them. The same can be said of individual therapy, which helps patients investigate the root of their feelings and why they turn to drugs to deal with them.


This is significant because it shows that people respond to various treatment modalities. Meditation and biofeedback help patients focus their attention inward and promote relaxation.

Different Kinds of Support Groups

It is essential to look for some support group; it doesn't matter whether that group follows the 12-Step program. By using effective strategies in other recovery programs, the groups should educate addicts that they are not helpless in the face of their dependency. On the other hand, treatment facilities should host support groups tailored to specific populations, such as teens. Similar to how there may be support groups for people of different backgrounds, there may also be support networks for LGBTQ individuals.


12-Step Programs

Supportive 12-Step programs have been the gold standard for addiction therapy for many years. Although the 12-Step programs were first developed for AA members, they have now expanded to serve anyone struggling with addiction to anything from nicotine to crack cocaine.


The 12-Step approach is predicated on recognizing one's helplessness and placing one's trust in a more incredible being. Acknowledging a mistake and accepting blame for one's actions that resulted in damaged relationships or the exploitation of others are also among them. People of many faiths and ethnic backgrounds may find a 12-Step program that works for them.

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Reconfiguring One's Social Circles

Rehabilitation paves the way for numerous new opportunities and accomplishments of objectives that may have previously appeared unreachable. Those working on sobriety must consider how their new habits may affect their relationships. A new sober lifestyle might initially bring on feelings of helplessness, isolation, and incompetence.


Sober life may make you less interested in what you used to like when drinking alcohol or using drugs. Yet, a wide variety of options that don't include drugs or alcohol may serve the same purpose of providing a healthy channel for thought and interaction.


When recovering addicts stop spending money on drugs, they have more funds for other purposes. After completing drug or alcohol treatment, one of the essential things to remember is to have fun in life, one does not need to be drunk or intoxicated.


Creating a routine not only gives a stable, comfortable framework but also helps to stave off weariness and the subsequent return of drug-seeking impulses. For example, setting a bedtime routine, joining a therapy group, and finding time for a new hobby all contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

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Staying sober is a priority
Multiple continuity-of-care models

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Individual therapy
Different kinds of support groups
12-step programs
Reconfiguring one's social circle
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