Once an individual completes an alcohol rehabilitation program, he still faces a variety of challenges before he can move forward. In order to cope with these daily struggles, the individual must engage in a series of post-rehabilitation activities to continue applying lessons learned during the addiction treatment program.
12-Steps, One Step at a Time
One of the most popular forms of aftercare for recovering alcoholics is the 12-Step program. AA (Alcoholics Anonymous)is a place where individuals can continue to receive support in their efforts to stay sober, and even help those who are facing challenges of their own. One of the core recommendations AA makes is to change people, places, and things.1 This means making new friends, spending time in new environments and no longer using alcohol to cope with stress. When someone disconnects from the reminders of substance abuse, he is much more likely to create lasting change.
Many individuals return to an alcohol rehabilitation facility for additional counseling after the completion of the initial treatment program. These sessions can act as “tune-ups” and give the individual a chance to talk about some of the challenges that they have been facing regarding staying sober and avoiding temptation.
When an individual leaves drug rehabilitation, he may find it hard to go it alone. The people who enjoy the most success post-rehab have the support of family and friends to get them through the tough times. If trust has been fractured with loved ones, one of the best ways to reestablish trust is through staying sober. As time goes by, trust can be rebuilt.
New Attitude, Better Health
Many people let their personal health and diet suffer when abusing alcohol. Chasing after the next “fix” is only thing that matters. As a result,regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet fall by the wayside. Upon leaving alcohol rehabilitation, it is strongly advised that individuals establish a strong workout and nutritional regimen. In many cases, exercise actually enables an individual to stay clean. Exercise releases dopamine—the pleasure feeling—that individuals get when they participate in substance abuse. When you do something over and over, and dopamine is released, that strengthens the habit even more.2
Relapse After Rehab
Many people make it through the entire alcohol rehab process only to then relapse into drinking upon leaving the program. While this is a disappointing occurrence, the most important thing is how that individual handles the relapse moving forward. It is important to remember that addiction is a chronic disease, so it needs continual treatment. Relapse is always possible with a chronic disease.3
“Recovery is a lot of work, but it’s all worth it,” says Karen K. at Heroes In Recovery. “Now I have a beautiful life and a wonderful family.I still have lots of emotions to process like grief, anger, and fear. But I allow those feelings and thoughts to exist without judgment, and I allow them to pass.”
If you would like to learn more about residential alcohol rehabilitation that gets results, Michael’s House is here for you. The experts at Michael’s House are proud to work closely with every patient to ensure that they are stronger, healthier and smarter than before they entered the program.
Contact Michael’s House today at 760-548-4032 for more information.
1 Lazarus, Clifford. “Does Alcoholics Anonymous Work Because it’s a Form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?” Psychology Today. 20 July 2010.
2 “Breaking Bad Habits.” National Institutes of Health News in Health. January 2012.
3 “Understanding Drug Use and Addiction.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. August 2016.