Have you just completed rehab? Congratulations! Now you might be wondering… What’s next? What do I do with my new life? Will I stay true to my newly learned strategies on staying clean and sober for good? Luckily, the information in this article answers these questions for you.

This time right now is crucial. Many, after completing drug rehabilitation programs, relapse within the first year. That’s why your aftercare plan is paramount to staying on the right track.

Programming care to become more successful even outside the facility is possible while heeding the following tips:

Stay Busy

Bring the creative you back to life. Creativity gives a sense of self-worth and accomplishment. Paint, draw, write, make pottery — open your mind and spirit to new projects. Bring your creativity to your treatment plan and new life of sobriety to make it uniquely your own. Don’t sit still! Walk, run, play, and interact with your newfound world… it’s been waiting for you!

Prepare Yourself Emotionally

Look at your own tendencies for shame if you are yourself inclined towards drugs and alcohol. Do you beat yourself up a lot after a specific situation? Or if you know someone with an inclination towards drugs or alcohol what is his or her self-esteem like? Upon the first period of release from rehab, you will be put back your original environment where all temptations begun. Make sure to follow the relapse/recovery plan you’ve made with your support network or counselors about potential triggers for relapse in order to avoid them. Even though you may feel like you’ll never use again, you must take it one day at a time, meaning one trigger can put the thought using back in your mind.

Meditation classes help by instilling that we are not our negative emotions, but can watch them. There is always a part of our mind that can observe our anger, jealousy, frustrations etc. Get in touch with that part rather than staying in the swirl that is a downward spiral of self recrimination after rehab.

Make New Friends

People, places, and things are what you need to be aware of for abating cravings of use. You may have had friends you used with or bought drugs from, exes you dated who were toxic, or people who judge you — surround yourself with positive supporters. You’re not alone in your struggle. Go into a 12-step meeting and introduce yourself as new and you’ll be welcomed with open arms. Also make new friends at work, meetups, or get involved in community events. Put yourself out there, this is a whole new life with whole new results.

Find happiness within and avoid old codependent ways.

Be Realistic With Your Needs

If you think you need further care rather than just going full force back into the real world, listen to those needs. Sober housing after you’ve finished rehab is a great transitional step for easing back into a normal life while still having some supervision. This may mean opportunities of employment are supervised and have social assistance in order to minimize the stressors of life — one factor to increase the probability of having a relapse. Treat your anxiety at home.

Continue Therapy

Follow up sessions with a trusted counselor or professional helps to address those issues or problems that are new again. Life after addiction comes with new or confusing situations. When confronted with unfamiliar situations, frustration and desire to turn to what you know best (getting high) emerges. No problem is too small or large for a trained professional to help with. Seek advice and look for solutions rather than return to drug or alcohol abuse right after you’ve finished rehab.

A painful moment due to a bad situation at work etc requires a deep breath. Remember that others have their own set of issues. It is easy to go home and want some way to forget things — that’s where alcohol and drugs can creep in. Instead, think about the person who offended you. Are they in control of their own emotions and reactions? Or are they just responding like a reflex perhaps based on their own family history and issues themselves?

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Stay In Touch With Your Alumni Program

In some intensive aspects, life after rehab gives meaning to a continuing life in the presence of the people inside the rehabilitation facility. Some patients result to having the greatest opportunity of working inside the facility as recovery guides and getting involved in the alumni program with the chance to have a continuous access to a safe and therapeutic environment as well as friends.

Those suffering from dual diagnosis must especially partake in continuing care. Often, the aforementioned examples will need further assistance of professionals who has the capability to check and ensure your maintenance in sobriety once you’ve finished rehab.

You’ve Finished Rehab Congrats!

Aftercare drug rehabilitation is primarily important for the optimum recovery of the patient and for the creation of a more promising future. But our best piece of advice from Hawaii Island Recovery is to have empathy like the type you hope others will have for you along your journey of positive change.

The more we can see what others go through, the easier we can not buy into their outbursts towards us, helping us to stop the cycle that leads us into drugs and alcohol. This helps us to be calm and peaceful and not part of the chain reaction. You’ve finished rehab, the world is yours to explore!

Feel free to utilize the Hawaii Island Recovery blog and website for tips on sobriety. If you need help or someone to talk to, call us at 877-721-3556.