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How Do I Stay Sober After Rehab?

It's a familiar story that we all hear at some point in our lives - people in recovery say they wish they knew how to deal with urges before entering rehab. But you're not alone - many addicts have the same thoughts. After all, who hasn't thought of drinking, snorting cocaine, or shooting heroin while trying to quit?


Approximately 80% of those who achieve long-term abstinence report having relapsed at some point.


It's no wonder, as the prospect of staying sober is one of the scariest things a person could face. After all, everyone knows someone who had a "one-time only" problem with alcohol or drugs, and they all have a horror story. However, If you've made a mistake and your life is spiraling out of control, you need help.


What is the best method to stay sober? This question can be difficult for some people because staying sober is not a process you turn on and off like a switch. So let's see how you can stay sober after rehab.

Tips to Stay Sober After Rehab

1. Confront the Fact That There Is No Finish Line on the Road to Recovery

People make promises that they intend to keep. They make resolutions that they don't own. The point is, when it comes to recovery, the finish line is always down the road, and you won't know how far down the road until it's too late.


After completing a program, many individuals think they have achieved their goal, but the truth is that it is never over. They are just taking a break, eventually leading them back to addiction.

The key to sobriety is not in reaching the finish line but in learning how to live sober daily. This means you must continue to fight the urge to use drugs and alcohol, no matter how hard you try. Your life should be centered around learning how to live this lifestyle and making your home a haven for yourself and anyone else who might need help.

2. Let the Past Heal

It may sound clichéd, but it's very accurate. You might have thought about staying sober after rehab once or twice before and failed, but if you want to do it for good this time, try to let the past go.


This includes the mistakes that you made during the time you were using. Many people who struggle with drug addiction believe that their problems began the night that they used for the first time. But that's not always the case.


Often, people who use drugs are victims of emotional neglect and abuse. They begin to think that they feel the way they do because they have a problem rather than the reason they have a problem.


Hence, if you can focus on the future, you will be more successful at quitting.

Medically Reviewed:


Rolling Hills Recovery Center

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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3. Make A Plan

Once you give up drugs and alcohol, ensure that you do so in an organized fashion. It helps to set goals and write them down. Then, you will know what you need to do and how far you need to get before achieving your goals.


Don't expect to start a new lifestyle overnight. Instead, set yourself up for success by gradually changing your life and lifestyle. This will help you avoid getting back into the bad habits that led you down the wrong path in the first place.


For example, if you used to drink alcohol every day and now only drink once or twice a month, you will have to cut back. This may be a bit tricky at first. But keep at it, and eventually, you will be able to stop drinking altogether.


The same goes for drugs. If you used to use drugs three times a week but now only use them two times a week, you will have to start reducing your usage. Don't expect just to quit cold turkey. If you try to stop all at once, you'll likely return to the old ways because you'll feel highly stressed.

Rolling Hills Recovery Center offers free 24/7 addiction support. Call today and confidentially speak with our addiction specialists at 855-559-8550.

4. Join a 12-Step Program

Hundreds of groups in the United States focus on helping drug abusers remain sober. These programs offer support, guidance, and accountability in recovery and provide a foundation of understanding and support for lasting change. In addition, 12-step recovery programs are based on principles outlined in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, the most famous being AA and NA.


One of the most well-known is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), but there are other groups for cocaine, heroin, and other drugs. Joining an AA group will provide you with a support system and a place to maintain your sobriety even after rehab. This is the most common way to get sober, but it requires serious commitment and discipline.

They can be helpful for those who are in the early stages of recovery because they offer support, education, and accountability, helping them avoid relapses. There are even 12-step online groups available to you.

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5. Always Watch for Relapse Signs

Research shows that 40% and 60% of persons who successfully overcome drug or alcohol addiction eventually relapse.


We are all aware of our weaknesses, which means we know we are susceptible to temptation. When temptation arises, we must learn to notice the signs of relapse and be prepared to take steps to prevent that slip from becoming an extended binge. A significant step towards avoiding relapse is to recognize your triggers.


For example, do you tend to give in to your urges when you feel lonely, tired, or anxious? Pay attention to these moments and consider what you can change in your life that would make it easier for you to avoid these triggers.


Most people will try to fool themselves into thinking that once they are through their rehab and are about to leave the program, they will automatically stop drinking or drugging. This is a big mistake!


If you notice that you are having cravings, your mood is getting low, or you find yourself using again, think to yourself, "I am so close to success; why don't I just get back on track now?" Then, follow these tips to stay strong and sober after rehab.


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Confront the fact that there is no finish line on the road to recovery
Join a 12-step program
Tips to stay sober after rehab

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Let the past heal
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