June 6, 2019

Life After Addiction Recovery: 5 Ways to Stay Sober

A friend group celebrates what is sobriety

Life after addiction recovery can be a triumphant experience, as completing a rehab program is a significant accomplishment in the journey towards recovery. However, the process doesn’t stop with rehab – rather, rehab is the beginning of a lifelong commitment to sobriety and a healthier life. Read on to discover more about the following issues post-rehab:

  • What is addiction recovery?
  • Life after addiction: what to expect at rehab and beyond.
  • What to do after rehab to minimize the chances of relapse?
  • How to live in recovery: life after drugs or alcohol.
  • After rehab: what to expect.
  • Continuing recovery in California: how to engage with rehab and sober living programs.

5 Ways to Maintain Sobriety Post-Rehab

Completing an addiction recovery rehab program is a significant achievement, but the journey towards sustained recovery continues after rehab. The period following rehab enables you to consolidate a foundation for ongoing sobriety and adapt to a new post-recovery lifestyle.

5 steps you can take to make sure you maintain sobriety after rehab include:

  1. Prepare to transition back to everyday life
  2. Establish a recovery plan
  3. Seek continuing care & aftercare
  4. Stay in therapy
  5. Create a long-term plan

Read on to learn more about how to put these steps into practice.

1. Prepare to Transition Back to Everyday Life

Leaving a rehab program marks the beginning of integrating the skills and tools you have learned into your daily life. It is normal to feel a mix of fear and excitement during this transition. While the immediate fear might stem from realizing the seriousness of addiction, the excitement comes from returning home and reuniting with loved ones. Having an understanding of what that transition will look like before leaving rehab can help you maintain a sense of control in your life after rehab. A recovery counselor can help you plan and prepare for this transition.

2. Establish a Recovery Plan

After leaving rehab, establish a personalized recovery plan that reinforces what you’ve learned in treatment. This plan may involve setting goals, rebuilding relationships, participating in alcohol-free activities, joining support groups, and developing strategies to manage triggers and cravings.

3. Seek Continuing Care & Aftercare

Recovery is a lifelong journey, and ongoing care after rehab is imperative. Leaving rehab early is inadvisable. Aftercare refers to the support and strategies provided post-rehab to help prevent relapse and maintain recovery. It can include various elements such as 12-step meetings, outpatient care, counseling, and sober living. Developing an aftercare plan tailored to your needs helps anticipate challenges and establish coping mechanisms.

4. Stay in Therapy

Consider continuing individual or group counseling sessions after rehab to address any challenges or concerns that may arise. These sessions can provide a safe space to discuss your progress, setbacks, and personal growth. Additionally, staying connected to an addiction specialist can offer guidance and assistance in maintaining your sobriety.

5. Create a Long-Term Plan

Establish a long-term recovery plan that outlines specific goals and steps for achieving them. This plan can include strategies for handling triggers, stress, and cravings, as well as ways to stay connected to your support network.

A woman smiling representing life after rehab.

Seeing Sobriety as a Lifelong Commitment

Recovery from addiction is not a destination but a continuous journey that requires an ongoing commitment to sobriety. It’s about making a conscious choice each day to prioritize health, well-being, and personal growth over the allure of substances that once held power over your life. So why is sobriety a lifelong commitment?

This commitment involves recognizing that the path to recovery is not linear. Addiction is a relapsing condition and relapse does not signify failure. Instead, it provides opportunities for growth and learning, enabling you to reinforce your commitment to lifelong sobriety in life after recovery. Viewing sobriety as a lifelong commitment means embracing growth and resilience. 

Sobriety goes beyond simply abstaining from substances, though. It encompasses a holistic transformation that involves reshaping your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. It is a process of shedding the old patterns of addiction and embracing a new way of living that promotes physical, mental, and emotional well-being. While total abstinence is typically the ultimate goal, setbacks and challenges are a reality of recovery. Research suggests that up to 60% of those who achieve long-term sobriety have experienced at least one relapse. These setbacks provide valuable insights into areas that need further attention and growth.

Staying committed to sobriety requires facing various challenges that can trigger cravings. Examples include:

  • Stress
  • Negative emotions
  • Triggers associated with past substance use

During these times, rely on the coping strategies and tools you acquired at rehab. These tools serve as a lifeline, helping you navigate the complexities of life without resorting to addictive substances. Surrounding yourself with a support network of friends, family, therapists, and support groups can provide the encouragement and guidance needed to overcome challenges.

How to Live in Recovery

Living in recovery from addiction is a transformative journey that involves making profound changes to your life and mindset after treatment. Life after rehab is not simply about abstaining from addictive substances but embracing a holistic transformation that fosters growth, healing, and a new way of living. Here are some actionable pointers for thriving in sobriety:

  • Create a supportive environment: Surrounding yourself with a positive and substance-free environment can help you maintain recovery after rehab. This includes avoiding people, places, and situations that trigger cravings or negative emotions associated with substance use. Establishing a routine that supports your well-being and engaging with a supportive community can help build a stable foundation for recovery.
  • Embrace a new lifestyle: Recovery and rehab involves creating a new life that makes it easier to stay sober. This might entail making healthy lifestyle changes, adopting new hobbies, and finding activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Replacing old habits with positive ones can help you establish a sense of purpose and direction in your recovery journey.
  • Practice self-care: Taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being is a form of post-rehab care. Prioritize healthy eating, regular exercise, and adequate sleep to support your overall health. Engage in mindfulness practices, meditation, or yoga to manage stress and promote emotional balance.
  • Seek support: Build a support network. Engage with mutual support groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) to connect with others who understand your journey. Developing healthy relationships and seeking professional guidance through therapy or counseling can provide emotional support and tools for coping with challenges.
  • Stay mindful of triggers: Identify and manage triggers that might lead to relapse. Avoiding situations that remind you of substance use and practicing coping strategies can help you navigate moments of vulnerability.
  • Celebrate milestones: Recognize and celebrate your achievements along your recovery journey. Setting and reaching milestones, whether they are related to days of sobriety, personal growth, or other accomplishments, can provide a sense of accomplishment and motivation.
  • Continuous learning: Recovery is an ongoing process of growth and self-discovery. Continuously seek opportunities for learning, self-improvement, and personal development to maintain a sense of purpose and progress.
  • Honesty and self-awareness: Be honest with yourself about your progress, challenges, and feelings. Cultivating self-awareness can help you identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to your recovery plan.

Living in recovery is a journey that requires dedication, self-compassion, and the willingness to embrace positive changes that foster a healthier and more fulfilling life. By focusing on these principles and tips, individuals in recovery can navigate challenges and build a meaningful life free from the grip of addiction. 

A group of people laughing representing life after recovery at Gratitude Lodge.

Get Ongoing Support for Life After Rehab at Gratitude Lodge

Located in Southern California, Gratitude Lodge offers comprehensive support for individuals struggling with addictions and mental health conditions. Our unique approach to recovery and sober living in California includes pet-friendly rehab centers situated in both Newport Beach and Long Beach, CA.

Our dedicated team provides a supervised medical detox program designed to ensure your safety and comfort throughout the detoxification process. Once your body is free from addictive substances, a seamless transition awaits you into our 30-day inpatient program.

Our treatment protocols encompass a range of effective interventions that may include:

  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic interventions
  • Aftercare support

To make the vital transition from active addiction to sustained recovery, entrust your journey to Gratitude Lodge. For more information, reach out to our admissions team at 800-994-2184.

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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.
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.
an image of clients representing drug detox california

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.
Gratitude Lodge clients laughing, representing drug detox california


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.
woman at beach representing drug detox in california

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.
an image of clients outside after getting help at Gratitude Lodge's rehab in Long Beach, California

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.
an image of clients at Gratitude Lodge's drug rehab program

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.
an image of clients at clients at Gratitude Lodge's representing fear in recovery

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.

Use Our 24 Hour text line. You can ask questions about our program, the admissions process, and more.