Moving Forward: What Needs to Happen When the Addiction Treatment is Completed


Addiction Treatment is Over – Now What?

It takes a lot of guts to admit there is a substance abuse problem and begin the difficult path to getting sober and free again. Addiction treatment is a major step, but it’s not the whole process. In fact, the process will continue for the rest of your life. Here are some of the things that you need to incorporate into your daily life after the time in the rehab center is over and you are back among family, friends, and coworkers. 

Recognize That Recovery Is Ongoing

You’ve heard people say that they got over their addictions, or that they are cured. In reality, that’s not the case. What does happen is that people learn to control their addictions? 

In order to remain sober, you must understand that you have a chronic illness that must be managed for the rest of your life. Just as a person with type 1 or type 2 diabetes has to make lifestyle changes and monitor blood glucose levels in order to take care of themselves, you have to do the same. That may mean coming up with creative ways to function in a world where alcohol and drugs are easy to come by. 

When you stop treating your addiction as a bump in the road that’s permanently in your past and start seeing it as something you can manage effectively, keeping up what you started in rehab will be a little easier. 

Continue Meetings

While you are no longer within the confines of a center where substance abuse is actively treated, that doesn’t mean you are on your own. Group meetings with people who have walked similar paths can be one of the most important resources that you can turn to when things get rough. The ability to go to a meeting and be with people who know what it’s like adds to your own personal strength. You, in turn, share your story and where you are right now, providing strength for others. 

The goal is for a lifetime of sobriety.

Realize That You Have Control

Many of your friends and family will do whatever they can to support you, within the limits of what they know to do. It’s up to you to help them understand what does and does not make it easier for you to remain clean and sober. At times, you may almost feel as if you are teaching adults things that you believe they should already know. Don’t get frustrated; instead, enjoy the fact that they want to learn and help. 

If there are certain places that you feel are not good for you anymore, and even people that you should stay away from or only have contact with in what you feel are safe zones, don’t feel guilty about doing so. The goal is to live your life without letting the addiction overtake you again. If that means some hard decisions and changes that not everyone will understand, so be it. 

You hear a lot about people relapsing after spending time in rehab centers. What you may not hear about as often is people who take their experiences and use them to rebuild their lives and remain clean. No one can force you to be into either category. Own your chronic condition, manage it with the aid of all the resources at your command, and you will be among those who move on to having the best life ever.


10 thoughts on “Moving Forward: What Needs to Happen When the Addiction Treatment is Completed

  1. Ditto. We have moved twice in the last five years. My husband and I are both in “recovery”. So naturally, the first agenda item is to find a local fellowship and introduce ourselves as new to the area. Wow! People are so friendly and willing to help, it’s like an instant group of friends.
    I have heard that phase, you never need to feel alone again, and now I see that in action.


  2. This is great thank you! I believe the first 24 hours to 30 days are just so crucial to someone leaving treatment. It’s so important to have a plan of action and this will help people!!!


    1. Yes, I was just explaining to someone how addiction is like other diseases. For example, people with diabetes don’t think that after 30 days they are cured and can ditch medication and start eating anything they please. Recovery has to be thought of in that same way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! What I have recently run into with clients is they thing just because their issue was pills or heroin, that they can still drink and hang out at bars…they must realize a complete change (just a day at a time) is needed…also people leave treatment having expectations that they are forgiven by everyone, and that’s not the case..


  3. Definitely have a plan before you walk out the door. And keep revising your plan because as I find things getting better, I find better strategies and more oppotunities to ‘plus’ my recovery. Never thought I’d be blogger-ing my recovery. And let’s face it, in the house there’s lots of incentive focused on not using, I might have changed, but the rest of the world is still that same place that made me want medicate in the first place. Plans are good, write it down rinse and repeat…it’s never too late. Thanks Vic and Jaime, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I was first sober, I didn’t have a job, car or any friends. It sounds funny, but with all that time, it was easy to schedule recovery activity into my day. As my life got better, I found many excuses not to “stick to my plan”. That genius thinking almost lost me my sobriety date. I don’t want that to happen again. My priority is sober first, then everything after that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. With a good addiction medicine physician, treatment of the patient with the incurable, lifelong disease of addiction, is never over. Treatment of diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, in reality treat meant of most diseases, is never over. Addiction is a brain disease. If you have it you need to find an addiction doctor who will follow you for life. It is failure of physicians, patients and “treatment programs” to take this long term view of the disease that leads to relapse. It is only now that we are beginning to treat addiction as the lifelong brain disease that it is. Previous generations assumed that addiction was a moral failure that could be cured by “detox” and “talking therapy” or a “spiritual awakening”. While these have their place in the treatment of addiction, they do not produce a cure. To have a patient finish a treatment “program” and cut them loose to thrive or dive back into addiction is malpractice.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Liked by 2 people

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