Tips for Staying Sober After Rehab

tips for staying sober after rehab

Any rehab center you go to will tell you that they're just the first step in your recovery, and they're right. Going through detox and experiencing addiction therapies are perhaps the most challenging first steps, but by no means the last. Fighting your addiction is a lifelong process that involves taking on a sober lifestyle and avoiding relapse wherever possible.

Know that there's no shame in a relapse. It happens to most people dealing with addiction at some point. What's more important is what comes after, and how you plan to stay sober next time. Keeping some tips for staying sober on hand is a great place to start, and Diamond House Detox is here to help.

Identify Your Triggers

Triggers are different for everyone, but they often have the same results — increasing your desire to relapse. Some of the most common triggers are:

  • People or places that remind you of drinking or using drugs
  • Emotional turmoil or stress
  • Problems with finances or relationships

By understanding what cues urge you closer to relapse, you can start actively trying to avoid them, ensuring your recovery and even your mental health stay on track.

Define Your Support Network

Once you leave rehab, your external support system will become invaluable. In rehab, you had other people going through similar situations to lean on and talk to. Now, your family and friends can help you stay focused on living sober. Try to come up with a list of a few people you're close to and keep their contact information at hand. Whenever you're struggling, it can be beneficial to have people who you know will be there for you and help you move past your urges.

Educate Yourself and Others on Signs of Relapse

Once you have your support system, discuss with them signs of relapse you all can look out for. Many people report experiencing these symptoms right before a relapse:

  • Thinking more often about the drug
  • Seeking out triggering situations
  • Making impulsive and irresponsible decisions

Be Prepared for PAWS

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) is another obstacle you may face that encourages relapse. PAWS brings forth withdrawal symptoms like fatigue, irritability, depression and anxiety long past the detox period. Depending on the substance you used, PAWS can last anywhere from six months to two years, although medical professionals can usually help you abate some of the worst symptoms.

When your PAWS flares up, try to be patient and take care of yourself. Let your support system know what you're going through, and ask for a little extra help when you need it. This condition, and the desire for relapse it tends to bring, will fade with time.

Avoid Falling Into Old Habits

Returning to old places, people and habits you've previously associated with substance use are some of the top reasons people fall into relapse after leaving rehab. Give yourself some time to avoid being in these situations. Over time, you may be able to return to some of them and maintain your sobriety, but it's also okay if you need to move on from them.

However you need to do it, making peace with your past can be a powerful driving force in your future sobriety. Whether you need to apologize and move on or change the way your relationships are conducted, do what's best for you so you can move forward without guilt.

Create a Healthy Routine

In rehab, you learn that having a regular routine makes it a bit easier to prevent relapse. When your hours are scheduled, you don't have time to reminisce on old times or seek out triggers. Try to create a balanced routine that includes healthy eating, exercise and time for relaxing, both alone and with others.

Celebrate Your Milestones

Finally, Diamond House Detox wants to instill how crucial it is to celebrate your successes. Staying sober and resisting relapse is hard work you should be proud of! Make sure you take the time to celebrate your sobriety milestones — have a get-together with your support system, treat yourself to a day at the spa or do anything that will help you commemorate your choice to overcome your addiction.

celebrate recovery milestones

Rehab Is the First Step to the Sober Lifestyle

When you choose rehabilitation, you learn how to stay sober and combat the symptoms of your addiction. Going to rehab can save your life and teach you all these skills and more to put you on a path toward a better future for you and everyone you love. At Diamond House Detox, we use evidence-based treatment options to help you overcome your addiction — as well as any co-occurring disorders you may be dealing with.

Experience comfort, support and privacy as you work through treatment when you come to our treatment center in Northern California. Our individualized treatment options and on-site medical professionals will provide you with everything you need to start your recovery.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Diamond House Detox
Vicky is a board certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She began her nursing career in healthcare by working in the intensive care unit, and then an inpatient psychiatric hospital. After realizing the mental health needs of both the patients and the families she served, she became a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Throughout her experience working with clients, she has developed a passion for those with dual diagnoses and specializes in helping individuals recognize the issues driving their substance use. This recognition has been crucial to the individual’s success in treatment. Vicky opened Diamond House Detox so that she can address these issues early on in a therapeutic environment to allow clients to transition to the next level in their recovery.
Vicky Magobet