So you’ve made the brave decision to start your recovery and go to rehab. Congratulations! But after you have gone through a rehab program, you need to have a good aftercare plan in place to avoid relapse. So what can you do? Here are a few tips.
1. Make new friends.
Find some people you can hang out with who do not use drugs or alcohol. It is likely that a lot of your current friendships revolve around hanging out at the bar or using drugs together. It’s very important that you are able to find sober friends so that the temptation to drink and to use drugs will not be there. Hanging out with people who drink occasionally might be possible in a year but right after rehab, it’s important not to be around it.
2. See your doctors and counselors when you need to.
You will have several follow-up appointments with your physician or your therapist, and it’s very important to keep your appointments. Continuing therapy and/or any care that is necessary is an essential part of staying clean and sober.
3. Remember to Give Yourself Proper Self-Care.
Proper self-care is essential when you are recovering from addiction. Make sure you are eating nutritious and healthy foods, make sure you are getting enough exercise, and make sure you are getting eight to nine hours of quality sleep a night. It’s so important to take care of yourself.
4. Evaluate Your Neighborhood and Think About Changing Your Environment.
If you live in a neighborhood that you associate with drinking and substance abuse, it may be time for a change. If you still live within walking distance of the bar or if your old drug dealer lives next door, it may be time to move to a different neighborhood.
5. Go to Meetings.
Find a recovery program that works for you. 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous work for many different people. Others like programs like Smart Recovery or All Recovery. Others find that group therapy or spiritual meetings work for them. Find a group that works for you.
6. Be Aware if You Have Signs of Possible Relapse.
There are signs you need to be aware of that could signal that a relapse is on the way. For more information on this, have a look at our post “Why Do Alcoholics Relapse?”
Going to a rehabilitation program is a wonderful thing to do. But your road to recovery doesn’t stop there; it’s just the beginning. Make sure you have a good plan for aftercare so that you can stay sober.