5 Reasons You Need an After-Rehab Plan


Sober Recovery Expert Author

If you want to recover from drug addiction, you must take a few specific steps to increase your chances of long-term recovery. Residential treatment in a rehab program is a great place to start you on your road to recovery. Program lengths may vary from 30 days to several months. If you have just returned home from an addiction treatment center, it is imperative that you have an after-care plan in place and follow it 100 percent.
Below are the top 5 reasons why you must have — and must follow — an after-care plan:

1. You are responsible for your own recovery — Nobody else can do it for you!

You have the ultimate responsibility of staying clean and sober. Since it is your responsibility, the best way to ensure long-term success is to have an after-care plan in place when you finish a rehab treatment program. An after-care plan includes a series of tasks you must complete each day to increase your chances of long-term sobriety. Some examples of after-care tasks include:
  • going to recovery meetings
  • calling your sponsor
  • performing exercise regularly

2. New behaviors, attitudes and skills require practice.

The skills, knowledge and attitudes you learned at your residential treatment program are still somewhat new to you. If you have learned how to share your feelings with others and to ask for help, it is important for you to keep on practicing these skills. Do you know of any professional athletes who do not practice skills in between games and in the off season? Keep practicing the skills, attitudes and knowledge you acquired at the treatment center, and make that practice part of your after-care plan.

3. Old behaviors will quickly return unless you have new behaviors to replace them.

Have you been visiting the local bar or liquor store after work on a regular basis for the past several years? If so, that is an ingrained habit and it is an excellent idea to plan another healthy activity to take its place. Try walking in the park, going to the gym or visiting a friend in recovery instead. Old habits do not die easily or quickly. Draw up a list of the rituals you had when you were actively addicted. Replace the unhealthy old rituals and behaviors with healthier new behaviors. Be creative, have fun and ask for help from your recovery friends.

If you want to recover from drug addiction, you must take a few steps to increase your chances of long-term recovery. Residential treatment is a great place to start.

4. You are setting a good example for your peers and for society.

It is an absolute gift to be able to recover from the life-threatening illness of addiction. If your peers see you working hard on your recovery program, they can use that as an example to work hard on their own recovery programs. If the people in your community see you as an active and healthy person, they see that there is plenty of hope for those still suffering! If you want to set a good example for your peers and for society, you must follow a regimented and thoughtful after-care plan for long-term recovery.

5. Your disease will always be waiting for you.

The only possible chance you have of remaining clean and sober is through consistent practice of healthy habits. Don't be tempted to check out your former bar to see how the old gang is doing. You may feel strong enough to just check it out without taking a drink, but once you get there, things may change. Do most people who go to the bar sip on a soft drink all night? Remember that your disease is always waiting for you. Don't let the door back into addiction open even a crack.
Although there are countless other reasons that can be added, these are my top five reasons why you need an after-care or after-rehab plan. Keep these reasons in mind and follow your treatment and after-care plan to the best of your ability. If you do all that, you will be able to get clean and sober, and stay clean and sober.

If you or someone you know is seeking help from addiction, please visit our directory of treatment centers or call 800-772-8219 to start the path to recovery today.

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