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May 17, 2022

Life After Addiction Recovery

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In life after addiction recovery, it’s essential that you’re equipped with the tools and support you need to maintain your hard-won sobriety.

Recovery from addiction is a lifelong commitment that requires ongoing effort and support. However, a solid recovery plan can help you stick to your goals and stay on track.

Read on to learn more about what to expect in life after recovery, and how to use the proper life skills to maintain your sobriety.  

Life Skills in Recovery

Life skills in recovery can include stress relief techniques, effective communication, healthy coping mechanisms, financial management, and relationship building. By learning how to manage addiction triggers and everyday stressors, you can not only avoid relapse in recovery but also improve your overall quality of life. 

For a complete guide to life skills in addiction recovery, download & print our life skills pdf below.

What to Expect After Rehab

Rehab was a fundamental step in the recovery process for 10 million U.S. adults in 2022, but it’s also the beginning of an ongoing journey. Understanding what to expect after completing a rehab program can help people prepare for the next stages of life.

After rehab, you should be prepared to navigate the following:

1. Transitioning to everyday life

Many people continue with outpatient therapy after leaving rehab. This can include individual therapy, group sessions, family therapy, or ongoing sessions of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). Continuing therapy helps people solidify the skills learned in rehab and address ongoing challenges.

Leaning on family, friends, and support groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) can provide emotional support and accountability. These networks remind people that they are not alone in their journey.

2. Developing a new routine

Establishing a routine that promotes health and well-being is central to life after rehab. This includes regular exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate sleep, all of which can significantly impact mental health and recovery stability.

Discovering new hobbies or reconnecting with old interests can help fill the time previously spent using addictive substances. Activities like art, sports, or volunteering not only provide a distraction but also improve self-esteem and create joy in sober living.

Identifying and avoiding triggers that could provoke a relapse might mean making changes in social circles or avoiding certain places and events that are linked to past substance use.

group of people representing after rehab what to expect

3. Focusing on long-term recovery goals

Setting short and long-term goals helps provide direction and purpose. These could be career-oriented, educational, health-related, or personal growth goals.

Recovery is a long-term process, and setbacks can occur. Maintaining a positive outlook and resilience in the face of challenges helps in ongoing recovery.

4. Engaging with ongoing support

Many rehab facilities offer alumni programs enabling those who have completed rehab programs to connect with and support each other. Participating in these programs can provide a sense of community and ongoing encouragement.

Types of After-Rehab Care

Even after rehab ends, it’s important that you continue to get the help and support you need as you transition back into everyday life. Types of aftercare programs you can get plugged into include:

  • Alumni programs: Joining an alumni program can connect you with peers who have gone through similar experiences and can offer mutual support and encouragement as you move from addiction to ongoing abstinence.
  • Vocational support: Aftercare programs provide continuing therapy and support groups to help people maintain sobriety after rehab. Vocational support services can assist in job placement and skills training, helping individuals reintegrate into the workforce.
  • Sober living: Sober living communities offer a substance-free environment with structured living conditions that help people transition from rehab to independent living while maintaining sobriety.
  • Ongoing outpatient treatment: For those who need continued clinical support, outpatient programs provide therapy and counseling services tailored to individual needs without the need for residential stay.

Our friendly recovery specialists are ready to help you explore these options and find the right fit for your post-rehab needs. 

Call us today at 800-994-2184 to learn more about how we can support you in your journey to recovery.

Life After Addiction FAQs

What is the main difference in life before and after rehab?

The most significant difference between rehab life and daily living is the change in routines and coping mechanisms. Before rehab, people may have relied on addictive substances to self-medicate stress or emotional discomfort. Recovery life sees a shift in focus to healthier, substance-free ways to handle life’s stressors and maintain abstinence.

Do I need support during life after rehab?

Yes, support is central to life after rehab, even if the form it takes is different for everyone. Ongoing support from family, friends, peer support groups, and therapists or counselors can help people reinforce the coping strategies learned in rehab, providing motivation to stay sober, and offering a safety net during challenging times.

How can I prepare for life after rehab?

Preparing for life after rehab usually involves establishing a solid support network, developing a routine that includes productive activities and ample time for self-care, educating yourself about triggers and strategies to handle potential relapse scenarios, and ensuring that your living environment supports sobriety and is free from triggers.

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Get Support for Life After Recovery at Gratitude Lodge

Recovery isn’t always linear, and it’s always important to reach out for help if you find yourself slipping up in recovery.  

At Gratitude Lodge, we offer compassionate, comprehensive care to help get you back on track. With evidence-based treatments, a family-like atmosphere, and a strong aftercare and alumni program built-in, our program is an excellent place to regain your footing with sobriety.

After completing a 30-day inpatient program at Gratitude Lodge, many people step down to outpatient treatment to ease the transition to sober living. We can connect you with program partners throughout California if you require ongoing support.

Call our friendly recovery specialists today to get started at 800-994-2184.

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Jenni Bussi

Jenni Busse MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox, facilitating the beginnings of a successful recovery at our rehab addiction centers in Orange County, CA.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse. Alcohol detox may not take as long or produce severe withdrawal symptoms, but it is still an essential beginning to your recovery.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse.
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Holistic Therapy

Our holistic therapy treatments offer a full-scope approach to recovery, addressing your mind, body, and emotions as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This therapy is designed to help address underlying issues and integrate alternative therapies to promote overall health and well-being.
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An essential part of your treatment experience, we offer individual (CBT and DBT talk therapy) and group addiction treatment counseling to help you explore and address the emotional component of addiction, providing you with the tools, self-awareness, and empowerment you need to maintain recovery.
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Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis is a highly effective addiction treatment that addresses substance use and mental health disorders simultaneously. Often co-occurring, these disorders are best managed when treated together with specific and targeted therapy.
an image of a client and therapist at Gratitude Lodge's Long Beach addiction treatment center

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication-Assisted Treatment provides you with FDA-approved medications to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal while you’re in treatment. This makes the detox process easier and safer, as well as increasing the chances of a successful recovery.
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Sober Living

Sober living provides a supportive and substance-free living environment for your ongoing recovery. We partner with a number of upscale and carefully vetted sober living homes that are available to our clients after inpatient alcohol and drug addiction treatment.
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Outpatient Treatment

Once detox and inpatient are complete, we provide an easy transition to outpatient care through our hand-selected partners. This program offers a more flexible approach, allowing you to ease back in to daily life while still receiving frequent & effective care.
An image of clients going through inpatient substance abuse treatment


Inpatient treatment provides an intensive and comprehensive addiction treatment program in a structured environment. You will receive 24/7 expert care, therapy, and support as you build your foundation for long-term recovery.
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Drug & Alcohol Detox

A crucial first step in the recovery process, our detox program provides a comfortable, medically supervised environment that addresses the physical aspect of addiction and eliminates substances from your body.
Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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