If you have successfully gone through rehab from drug or alcohol abuse, you should be proud of your accomplishments. It is normal to be afraid or concerned before going back into society, as it is now up to you. But you aren’t alone. You will have aftercare, relapse prevention, and a great support system to lean on. Here are some ways to prepare for your release from rehab and handling your new, sober life.
Connect With Sober Friends
Now is the time to let go of people who are a bad influence, do drugs, drink or who remind you of your old life. Connect with sober friends, find relatives who don’t use drugs and won’t peer pressure you into getting back to that lifestyle. This is a second chance you are being given, and you should use that to your advantage. The only people you should be friends with now are those that are sober, as it will make the transition much easier for you. Don’t make it more difficult than it has to be.
Follow Relapse Prevention Program
All good rehab facilities offer a relapse prevention program for anyone about to be released. This includes scheduling follow-up appointments, providing tips and advice for what to do when you first leave rehab, how to find local support, and when you should be in contact with your sponsor or peers. They will help you get in touch with a job or support groups in your area. Listen to their advice, as they have personal experience with the best ways to avoid relapse.
Make Necessary Changes
Before leaving rehab or shortly after you get home, you may need to make some important changes. This includes leaving old friends behind if they are a bad influence, moving to a new neighborhood or changing jobs. If anything in your old life causes triggers for drug or alcohol abuse, avoid them completely. These are healthy changes that are going to influence your life in a positive way, so don’t run from them.
Maintain All Follow-up Appointments
As part of your relapse prevention program, the drug rehab center will assign follow-up appointments. Usually they are several times a week, gradually moving to weekly and monthly. Keep these appointments, even if you feel strong and are not showing any signs of relapse. It is important that you take care of yourself after rehab, and part of this is understanding you need these appointments and the support they provide.
Help Someone Else
Sometimes the best way to prepare for being out of rehab and on your own is helping someone else. If you know someone who has been struggling with drug abuse and wants to get help, be the person to give them support. Together, you can live a healthy, sober and drug-free life together.