Rehab group listening to man standing up introducing himself at therapy session

What To Expect After Rehab

Recovering from addiction is a lifelong process. The first step in the recovery journey is normally a drug treatment program. While successfully completing a treatment program is a huge first step in the right direction, it does not end there. It is important to understand that treatment is simply one piece of the puzzle and it cannot fully address the habits, lifestyle, and psychological trauma that occurs over the course of an individual’s addiction. Understanding what to expect after drug rehab helps you make the transition into a sober lifestyle easier and aids you in making the proper decisions when creating your aftercare plan. Here at Creekside Recovery Recovery Residences we have put together a guide on What to Expect After Rehab in order to help minimize any fears around your new journey as a sober individual. 

Types of Drug Addiction Treatment

There are many options when it comes to addiction treatment. Normally a step down process is recommended. This is commonly the best option for those suffering with substance abuse issues because it allows them to slowly reintegrate back into society and adjust to their new found lifestyle. The step down process that is frequently suggested is as follows:

  • Detox- If someone is physically addicted to a substance, then detox is a necessary first step. Detoxes provide 24/7 medical supervision in order to make the withdrawal process as safe and comfortable as possible.
  • Inpatient Treatment- Inpatient treatment allows individuals to reside within a treatment facility while receiving intensive therapy and regular medical supervision. Normally clients will stay between 30-90 days in an inpatient facility. 
  • Partial Hospitalization Program- PHP programs may be the next step after residential treatment or may be recommended as an alternative to inpatient treatment. It is all dependent upon the level of supervision and therapeutic intervention that a patient needs. In partial hospitalization programs clients live in affiliated sober living housing and attend the facility several days a week for therapeutic services.
  • Intensive Outpatient-Intensive outpatient programs are normally attended by individuals who also live in affiliated sober living housing, or who live at home. IOP clients attend the facility a couple of days a week, either in the morning or at night.
  • Outpatient Program-Outpatient programs usually occur in the evenings and are less frequent then IOP programs. Clients will either live at home, or in affiliated sober living housing. Outpatient programs are normally the last suggested level of care in the step down process.

What To Expect After Rehab?

Upon completion of an inpatient treatment program or a partial hospitalization program you will meet with either your therapist or case manager in order to create an aftercare program. This is when your provider will explain to you what to expect after rehab. Normally it is highly suggested that you enter into a sober living recovery residence and continue to attend either a partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient program, or outpatient program. Sober living is housing in which residents are required to remain abstinent from drugs and alcohol. Sober living houses are especially important while an individual is in early recovery, since they drastically reduce the risk of relapse. It is important to take into account how difficult it is to transition back into society following a drug treatment program. Adjusting to life as a newly sober individual is not an easy process. The more support, stability, and therapeutic services a person has, the more likely they will be able to achieve long-term sobriety.  There are alot of things to adjust once you leave an addiction rehab program. Here are some of the changes you can expect following treatment:

Creating New Routines, Habits, And Schedules

When an individual is in active addiction or alcoholism they often have bad habits, no daily routine, and a schedule that isn’t compatible with life as a productive member of society. Inpatient treatment helps a person begin to form a better lifestyle, but since it is a well supervised environment and is isolated from the outside world it can be easy to fall back into old habits once discharged. Sober living and continued care help to support addicts as they go through the process of changing their lifestyles to begin to adjust back into daily living. 

Coping With Emotions and Triggers

When thinking about what to expect after rehab, it might not come across someone’s mind to consider the difficulties they may face with their mental health and emotional stability. It is important to understand that new emotions and triggers will begin to occur during early sobriety. Drugs and alcohol are often used as a coping mechanism for overwhelming emotions. Once sober, addicts’ emotions come back and it can be difficult to process them in a healthy manner. Sober living and outpatient programs provide support and therapies in order to help develop new coping skills. It can also surprise people when they start to experience triggers. Triggers are normally people, places, or things that bring up thoughts and/or desires to begin abusing substances again. It is important to properly deal with triggers in order to avoid potential relapses. In sober living and outpatient programs individuals can discuss their triggers with therapists and their peers in order to learn ways to cope with them and eventually overcome them.

Learning Methods To Prevent Relapse 

Avoiding the temptation of relapse is hard. One of the things that should be done while involved in a treatment program is a relapse prevention plan. A therapist should discuss the possibility of relapse when explaining to a client what to expect after rehab. Relapsing is a very real and dangerous possibility for an addict or alcoholic. Having a relapse prevention plan, and more importantly following it, helps reduce the possibility of picking back up substances. Sober living homes and outpatient programs help individuals follow their relapse prevention plans and instill their own structure and accountability procedures to help keep their client’s recovery on the right track. 

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