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How to Prepare for Life After Drug Treatment

life after drug rehab

Completing a drug treatment program is a major milestone in your recovery journey. You have worked hard to get here. However, leaving rehab does not mean the journey is over. In fact, it’s just begun. Recovery is a continuous process that requires a long-term commitment to healthy, sober living. 

As you wrap up the final phases of your rehab program, you may be wondering what lies ahead. As excited as you may be to live independently and substance-free, this can be an intimidating bridge to cross. You may have concerns of relapsing, or going home to a toxic environment. What can you do to ensure you stay sober, and successful, after drug treatment has ended? 

Adjusting to life after treatment can be difficult. You will no longer have the 24/7 care and counseling that you had access to in a residential program. You may experience cravings, or pressures from others, independently for the first-time after treatment. However, by thinking about this now, you can prepare for what’s ahead.

A residential drug treatment program works hard to prepare clients for life after rehab. At Turnbridge, for example, residents learn the life skills and coping mechanisms needed to effectively work through difficult situations and maintain a healthy life. We also encourage clients receive continuing care and live in a sober living environment, so that the transition to life after treatment is as seamless as possible.

If you have questions about transitioning to newfound freedom and life after a residential treatment program, you are in the right place. Below, we answer common questions from clients relating to life after addiction.

Will I Be Ready for Life After Rehab?

A quality, residential rehab program will ensure you are well-prepared for life after treatment. In fact, some rehab programs will set you up for success long before you walk out of their doors. At Turnbridge, clients work through treatment in a phased approach; with each phase, they gain more skills that will prepare them for independent life. They learn how to cook nutritious meals, establish an exercise regime, deal with difficult cravings, and pursue healthful hobbies to stay substance-free. In their final phase of treatment, they take real actions to prepare for their life ahead. This involves:

  • Moving into independent, sober living homes
  • Creating an academic plan, which might involve enrolling in college courses
  • Pursuing vocational opportunities, such as taking paying jobs or volunteer work nearby
  • Connecting with local clinicians in their area, to ensure they have a medical and counseling resource after treatment

Before graduation, residents will work with a Turnbridge Discharge Planner to create an after treatment plan. Our Discharge Planner will connect you with the appropriate mental health and medical care professionals, as well as sponsors and support groups near you. They may also help you reach out to educational institutions, workplaces, and other support networks. 

By the time residents leave Turnbridge, they have already spoken with their future therapists, physicians, support groups, schools, and employers. This helps ease the anxieties that come with life after rehab, and helps build the bridge to an independent and sober life.

What Can I Do to Prepare for Independent Living, While I’m Still In Treatment?

There are steps you can take while in treatment to prepare for a successful, sober life. You can start simple – by recognizing that addiction is a chronic disease, and that recovery will take time. Like any chronic illness, such as diabetes or hypertension, substance addiction requires ongoing commitment and care. It will not heal overnight, but recovery from addiction is very possible. By setting expectations now, you can set yourself up for success after treatment is through.

In addition, you should make efforts to re-connect with yourself while in your treatment program. Take time to reflect on your journey, the demons you’re struggling with, and what it will take to overcome them. Try to be open in your group therapies and with your counselors, but more importantly, be honest with yourself. This will help you break down barriers and find a renewed sense of self. 

Of course, take care of yourself while in addiction treatment. Find things that make you happy, and people that support your recovery. Establish a sober network of friends who you can trust in, and who you can call even after treatment is complete. Participate in activities that you enjoy and that can carry through to your future, whether that be yoga, art, music, reading, journaling, or sports. These channels can become vital assets in your recovery toolkit.

Finally, we recommend taking action in preparing for life after treatment. For example, practice the life skills that you will use after treatment – cooking, coping, and everything in between. As done at Turnbridge, we also encourage clients to connect with sponsors, doctors, and workplaces or academic institutions prior to leaving their program. We also encourage clients to find a safe and sober place to live, to help promote their recovery. This ensures you will have a stable place to go, and trustworthy resources nearby, as soon as you walk out your rehab’s doors.

Where Should I Live After Rehab?

As mentioned above, it is important to find a safe, secure, and stable place to live after treatment is complete. This environment should promote healing and positivity. It should be away from drugs and alcohol, and should offer structure in your day-to-day. 

We recommend sober living homes, which are a type of transitional housing for people in recovery. Sober living homes are safe, substance-free residences that provide a structured living environment for those coming from treatment. In order to stay in a sober living home, you must abide by certain rules, such as a curfew, periodic drug testing, or maintaining a job/schooling. This holds you accountable for recovery, helps bolster independence, as well as connects you with other people in recovery. 

What About Continuing Counseling and Care?

In addition to finding a sober living home, we recommend continuing to attend counseling, support groups, and meetings after treatment. These activities, these networks, will allow you to stay connected to your recovery community, even as you progress further along in life. Much like diabetes, recovery from addiction takes time and commitment to overcome. It is important to have these resources in your pocket, so that they are accessible when you need them most.

Your treatment program can help you establish a “continuing care” or “extended care” plan. This may involve daily or weekly 12-step meetings. It may involve connecting with a local (or virtual) support group. It may involve regular therapy sessions, check-ins with your sponsor, or even outpatient care. At Turnbridge, we offer extended care programs for adolescents and young adults in recovery, specifically for those who have completed a residential rehab program (at Turnbridge or another facility) and require additional, continued care to maintain sobriety.

As you already know, substance addiction is a disease. It takes over the mind and body, and takes time to overcome. Now is the time for you to take back control. You have the ability to beat addiction, and to live a healthy, productive, and gratifying life after treatment. This is possible with ongoing care, commitment, and support. With a great treatment program behind you, and continuing care ahead, you will be set for success. 

If you would like to learn more about addiction recovery, or Turnbridge’s specific treatment programs, do not hesitate to reach out. Learn more by calling 877-581-1793 today.