1. Plan your recovery treatment. That’s right, you still need treatment. If you thought rehab was it and that you were done with addiction treatment, think again. To live a substance-free life, you need ongoing care. Addiction is a chronic disease, which means that if you ignore it, it will flare up again. Work with your rehab facility to create a plan for how you will continue with treatment. This could mean finding a support group to join or going to outpatient therapy once a week.
  2. Find your support network. Healing from addiction is not something you can do alone. In rehab you had the support of your fellow recovering addicts as well as all the employees there to help guide you. Don’t go from full support to zero after leaving rehab. It’s a recipe for disaster. Consider joining a support group, but also make sure you have friends and family members who support your sobriety and plan to spend time with them.
  3. Plan for work or education. What happens in rehab is not the real world. Now that you’re back in it, you will need to do something with your time. For most people this means going to work every day. If you don’t have a job and no hopes of getting one, consider going back to school. Get a new degree or certificate that will help you get a job you’ll love.
  4. Know what to do about relapse. Your goal after rehab will be to avoid relapse, as well as establishing a new, post-rehab life. However, you should not be so confident that you don’t have a plan. Relapse happens to at least half of addicts in recovery. Be ready for it with a plan of attack. Will you go back to rehab? Will you spend more time in therapy or with your sponsor? Do your supportive friends and family members know what to do? Make a plan and be ready to deal with relapse.
  5. Find the fun in life. Now that you are out of rehab, you know that you are destined to be always in recovery. You can never be cured of addiction, but don’t let this get you down. Remember how to have fun without drugs and alcohol and rekindle that fun.

Life after rehab is tough for all recovering addicts. If you plan for it, though, and take these important steps, you can ensure that you will get the most out of life while maintaining your sobriety.


Choose a better life. Choose recovery.