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Even when you are ready to leave rehab, it doesn’t usually mean that you are “cured” from your addiction. In truth, living in recovery is an entirely separate part of the process of healing from substance abuse. Call 800-654-0987 now to find a rehab program that can help treat your addiction and allow you to make you transition into a life in recovery.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.” In most cases, this is still true of someone who has been in treatment and is now living their life after rehab. Because addiction is a chronic disease, it often cannot be fully cured, and those who suffer from it learn to live with it, control it, and understand it in rehab so they can better handle it in their day-to-day lives.
Just because this is normally true doesn’t mean that you will live with addiction for the rest of your life, but it is important to understand that going through rehab doesn’t necessarily mean that your addiction will be cured or that you will no longer experience cravings, triggers, withdrawal symptoms, or other issues that could lead to relapse. Understanding this can help you create a stronger recovery post-rehab.
Staying sober can be difficult, which is why it is important to understand how you can better achieve this goal, especially after your rehab program has ended. As stated above, you must accept the fact that some days will be harder than others, that sometimes, you will still experience withdrawal symptoms, cravings, stress, or be triggered in some way or another toward relapse. Avoiding the potential of this outcome, though, is going to be your main task.
Once you have gone through rehab, you will have the tools to fight these issues and to help you avoid relapse in your everyday life. It is essential that you practice the skills that you learned in treatment in order to avoid relapse while you are on your own.
Often, a rehab program will prepare patients for life after treatment by setting them up with an aftercare option that can help them stay on top of their recovery and continue to practice the skills necessary to avoid relapse. These options can be an extremely helpful part of treatment that continue after one’s full rehab program has ended.
- According to the NIDA, some rehab programs provide booster sessions for former patients. The goals of these sessions are to offer support and feedback to the recovering person, help the individual create their own post-treatment recovery program, and be available if a relapse does occur.
- Sometimes, outpatient centers can be a beneficial aftercare option for those who attended a residential rehab program. Patients can still receive scheduled, professional treatment from doctors, nurses, and counselors (as well as still be able to receive medication that helps minimize severe symptoms of substance abuse) in a less controlled environment.
- Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and SMART Recovery can be very helpful to people who are living in recovery but do not need intensive, professional treatment. These peer support groups help individuals keep one another strong in their recoveries and reinforce beneficial life skills like abstinence (NIDA).
What Is Life After Rehab Really Like?
Life after rehab can take some getting used to, but many individuals are able to create stronger, happier lives once they leave a rehab program than they were living when they were using drugs. It can be very beneficial to attend some sort of aftercare option because this will often help to reinforce the skills learned in rehab.
Your addiction itself may not be gone as soon as your rehab program ends. But, essentially, those who complete their rehab program, have a support system of friends and family, and choose an aftercare option that fits their needs are able to create a strong life in recovery.