The Drug Class Blog

Aug 12

After Treatment

The Importance of Continuing Care After Treatment for Drug Addiction


You have completed your drug rehab program successfully. You should be proud of yourself. However, you should also be aware that as you transition back into your regular life, you face a rather high relapse rate. After you leave your rehab, you will no longer be in a constantly supervised, supportive, drug-free environment. You will face temptations. You need to know that aftercare is a critical part of your ongoing sobriety. 

Your rehab probably offers aftercare services. Be sure you take advantage of them. Therapy, counseling and recovery meetings are useful tools to help former addicts stay clean. The 12-step program is an effective type of group therapy for many people. However, it's not for everyone. If you're not comfortable with it, or if you'd prefer to avoid faith-based types of therapy altogether, there are other options. SMART Recovery for Addiction is one. There are a number of others. Look online for those that appeal to you. Then find out if there are meetings near you. You will need to attend some sort of group meetings on a regular basis. Staying clean is NOT a do-it-yourself project. 

Sober Living 

Another option to help you maintain long-term sobriety is to live in a sober living facility for a certain period of time. Usually, this will be anywhere from 90 days to a year. These are homes or apartments where recovering addicts all live together. The only requirement to attend sober living is the desire to abstain from all drug and alcohol use. Sober living isn't free. You will need to pay rent. You will also be drug-tested. There will be a reasonable curfew. You will be required to attend house meetings, too. Other than that, you are free to come and go as you please. You may work or attend school. You can socialize with friends and family. Sober living probably provides the strongest form of after-rehab support there is. 

Other Ideas to Help you Stay Sober 

Don't pressure yourself

Don't worry about being clean a year from now. It's too far away. Just worry about today. That's a lot more manageable. At the end of each clean day, feel proud that you made it through without using drugs. 

Eat properly and exercise

In order to feel your best, you need to eat nutritious food and get enough exercise. Just thirty minutes of fast walking three or four times a week is enough. Exercise helps to release endorphins, the brain's natural pain-relieving and pleasure substances. Cut out sugar and processed food as much as you can. 

Find new, fun things to do

For a recovering addict, boredom is deadly. It's your worst enemy. It can lead to relapse very easily. You must find enjoyable activities that you can do in place of your former drug use. Hobbies, new friends and taking some courses at the local college are all good ideas. Try volunteering to help others in your community. 

Watch your environment

You cannot expect to remain clean, especially as a newly recovering addict, if there is drug use going on around you. You must live in a drug-free environment and shun all contact with people who are still using. Never overestimate your ability to resist temptation. When it comes to drugs, you are vulnerable. If this were not so, you would not have needed rehab to begin with. 


As a recovering addict, you will face the threat of relapse every single minute of every day. You need to accept this so you can better guard against it. You must understand that you cannot use alcohol or drugs in moderation. If you could do that, again, rehab would not have been necessary. 

Sometimes recovering addicts stumble. It's normal and actually a part of recovery. If you take that drug or drink, don't punish yourself with bad thoughts. You made a mistake, but it's not the end of the world. You must act immediately to get back on the right track. Don't expect perfection of yourself. It's not reasonable. If you do use once, resolve that it will not happen again. Reach out to your support network. This could be your AA sponsor, a friend or a therapist. Don't let one mistake ruin all of your hard work and your promise for the future.


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