Staying Sober After Detox

after detox

If you have battled alcohol or drug abuse, detox is just one step on the road to recovery. Once you have gone through the detox process, residential or outpatient treatment is a safe and caring environment where you can get the ongoing help you need to maintain sobriety. In these programs, you’ll find a supportive environment, professional counseling and various treatment options. According to the National Drug Institute on Drug Abuse, in the United States, there are more than 14,500 specialized drug treatment facilities that provide all types of counseling, as well as behavioral therapy, medication, and case management to help people with substance abuse disorders.

After the detox process, it is normal to have cravings, emotional issues and to feel vulnerable while trying to create a new “normal.” That is why it is so important to utilize the many resources that are available to you whether it be an outpatient facility, a 12 step program or other support tools. The goal after detox is to maintain sobriety and restore your life to a functional level so you can be productive once again at work, with your family, and in the community.

Programs That Can Help

  • Outpatient Treatmentoutpatient treatment is not a 24/7 residential program and can be completed in conjunction with your normal life, including work and school. Instead of living at a center, you will attend a rehabilitation facility up to seven days a week, where there are multiple programs available to help you maintain sobriety.
  • Partial Hospitalization Program – An intensive outpatient treatment program that can help those struggling with addiction, it’s a step down from residential treatment that have classes before or during normal business hours. See this blog for more benefits from PHP.
  • Residential Treatment – this is a 24/7 program, usually for anywhere from 3 to 12 months, the best known being the therapeutic community, which utilizes the entire community i.e. therapists, support groups, staff and other residents to re-socialize the patient.
  • 12 Step Programs the most well known of 12 step programs is Alcoholics Anonymous, a program that provides simple tools or “steps,” as a guide to recovery. This includes support groups, a sponsor, being held accountable for past actions and a culture of sharing and learning through other’s experiences.
  • Holistic Programs – often used alongside traditional recovery programs, this is an integrated physical, mental and emotional treatment program with a holistic focus i.e. yoga, healthy nutrition, exercise, meditation, creative arts therapy and more.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Education(CBT) – based on the idea that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected. Therefore, the goal of CBT is to increase your awareness of your thoughts, actions and the consequences of each and that you have the power through this understanding to influence and then positively change your thoughts and behaviors.

Steps To Support Sobriety

  • Form A Support System – whether that is a 12 step program, a counselor, sober friends, or supportive family, you’ll need a positive, encouraging group of people and programs to help you. See this blog for Choosing a Sober Living Home.
  • Get A Sponsor – One of the beliefs of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) – that a sponsor helps you navigate life after detox to maintain sobriety. According to AA, a sponsor is “someone who has made progress themselves and shares that experience on a continuous, individual basis with another alcoholic who is attempting to attain or maintain sobriety through A.A”
  • Therapy – seeing a professional therapist can be a healthy and helpful way to work through the emotional issues and traumas that led you to substance abuse.
  • Setting Boundaries – healthy boundaries with family and friends will be an important part of maintaining sobriety. Ridding your life of toxic and damaging people is an important step in the recovery process.

How To Avoid Temptations After Rehab

  • Set Goals – setting goals is a way to measure success. Figure out what you want your life to be and take the necessary steps to achieve what you want. See our blog on how to avoid triggers for relapse. 
  • Create New Hobbies That Don’t Include Alcohol or Drugs – Try exercise, reading, volunteering, trying a new sport, watching sports, book groups, and attending the theater.
  • Make New Friends – Along with trying new activities comes the possibility of meeting and making new, sober friends. Surround yourself with people who naturally choose sober activities and enjoy spending time with you doing those activities.

How Do You Safely Socialize After Getting Sober

Socializing can be tricky after treatment, as often it includes alcohol and possibly others using recreational drugs. How do you protect yourself and make sure that you maintain your own sobriety? A few steps to take are:

  • Make sure you take a sober friend with you who supports your efforts to maintain sobriety.
  • It’s helpful to carry a non-alcoholic beverage in your hand at all times.
  • Test the waters first – go to a social event a little late and leave early, so there are no temptations if the party goes into the late hours. Nothing good happens after midnight.
  • If you start to feel uncomfortable, or that your willpower or boundaries are being tested, leave.
  • Have an alternate plan for the evening to look forward to in case you find the social event too tempting; see a movie you were looking forward to or meet another sober friend for coffee or a good meal.

The Benefits of Being Sober

  • More productive – A healthy mind and body, free of the burden of alcohol and drugs, is more productive overall. You will have more energy for work, play, family, and friends.
  • Make money, save money – Now that you aren’t spending so much time, energy and money on alcohol or drugs, you will be more productive and thus not only possibly make more money, but have more money for the other things you need and want.
  • Healthier relationships – showing up for important events, returning phone calls, being on time, and being personally responsible will only serve to have a positive and lasting effect on your relationships.
  • Healthier body – alcohol and substance abuse is very hard on the body. There is also a link between alcohol abuse and cancer! As you maintain sobriety you will not only feel better physically and emotionally, but you will look better, and your body will thank you for it.

Get The Help You Or Your Loved One Need Today

If you believe you are an alcoholic, abusing drugs or you think that a loved one is and you need help, contact or give The Outpatient Center a call at (844)211-7944 today. We are South Florida’s trusted recovery center. Compassionate counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are standing by to help guide you to sobriety.

See more tips on our recent blog ‘5 Important Factors in Preventing Relapse’.


What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?