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What to Do After Your 30-Day Inpatient Rehab Stay

What to Do After Your 30-Day Inpatient Rehab Stay

Completing a 30-day rehab program is something to celebrate. Ending your relationship with substances takes immense courage, and inpatient treatment marks the start of a lifelong healing process. While embarking on this new chapter can initially feel overwhelming, you can achieve a healthier, happier life with professional aftercare support and guidance.

Here’s what to do after rehab and steps to help you throughout recovery. 

What to Expect After Rehab

Leaving your rehab center and stepping back into the real world is a significant step, but know that you’ll have unwavering support from your treatment provider. With aftercare, you can apply the skills you’ve learned in treatment to your everyday life, developing a routine built around your recovery. 

Here’s what to expect in life after rehab.

Following an Aftercare Program

Like managing any chronic disease, addiction recovery requires ongoing treatment sessions to maintain your sobriety. To guide you in the right direction, your care providers will help you establish a routine that might involve some or all of the following options.

  • Individual and group therapy sessions: You can significantly benefit from individual or group counseling sessions after leaving rehab. Licensed therapists can offer steps to help you manage cravings, address co-occurring mental health conditions, and offer tips for navigating life after addiction treatment. 
  • Specialized health provider: You might also need to see a doctor specializing in addiction treatment. If needed, your provider can offer medications to control your symptoms, block the effects of drugs and alcohol, and help you manage triggers more easily.  
  • Holistic therapies: You will also continue holistic self-care therapies, such as mindfulness meditation and nature therapy, to reduce stress and minimize the urge to relapse. 

Seeking Peer Support

Maintaining a support network is crucial to a lasting recovery. After treatment, your care team will recommend attending 12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, where you can learn from others, share your successes or setbacks, and ultimately, stay on track throughout the aftercare process. 

You’ll find plenty of groups in your area that can offer tips for navigating life after recovery and preventing relapse. Building a supportive network of trusted friends, family, and sponsors who can be there for you in tough times is also crucial.

Forming New Relationships

Following treatment, you’ll only want to surround yourself with people who won’t encourage substance use. To protect yourself, this might involve forming new, healthier relationships and avoiding people or activities that could trigger substance use. 

Building a Healthier Routine

Creating a new routine is a crucial part of life after rehab, as many of your previous habits might not be conducive to recovery. You’ll want to practice self-care and take part of your body with activities like:

  • Eating balanced, nutritious meals.
  • Getting proper sleep.
  • Spending time with your support network.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Practicing your favorite hobbies.
  • Attending recovery groups and therapy sessions.
  • Managing stress. 

Aside from physical sobriety and abstaining from substances, you’ll also need to practice emotional sobriety, which involves recognizing and coping with your feelings healthily, rather than numbing them with substances. 

What to Do After Your 30-Day Inpatient Stay

Life after rehab can have ups and downs, but you can take several steps to prevent relapse and enjoy a bright future. Here are a few strategies. 

1. Manage Triggers

In treatment, you’ll identify the people, places, and situations that might influence your substance use. For instance, peer pressure can be a powerful motivator for substance use. People who built friendships around substance use often find it more difficult to attend parties, share meals, and maintain relationships while staying sober. 

Manage Triggers

As a result, sober friends are a vital resource when you’re in recovery. There are also many activities you can enjoy to avoid boredom, including: 

  • Go to the movies.
  • Play sports.
  • Take a painting class.
  • Visit a museum.
  • Go hiking.
  • Play paintball.
  • Learn an instrument.

2. Attend Follow-Up Appointments

You can significantly benefit from attending follow-up appointments after completing formal treatment. Counselors can help you: 

  • Process feelings regarding your return to everyday life.
  • Properly handle family transitions.
  • Strengthen coping mechanisms.
  • Manage relapse triggers and difficult situations.
  • Set goals for the future.

Ultimately, the work you put into your recovery and follow-up appointments is vital to your long-term success. 

3. Focus on Mental Health

Returning to your old routine can introduce stress and anxiety, especially when dealing with cravings and triggers. As a result, you’ll want to focus on the positives of your situation to avoid relapse. Try to find moments in your day when you can do something beneficial, such as exercising or practicing mindfulness meditation.

Meditation can help you clear any anxiety or fear from your mind as you focus on accepting troublesome thoughts and allowing them to pass through you without judgment. The same is true for exercise, as it triggers the release of endorphins to help you feel happy, effectively decreasing depression and anxiety. You can get exercise by walking your dog, swimming, or lifting weights at the gym.

4. Volunteer Your Time

Research shows that helping others can boost health and well-being, supporting overall recovery. Helping people or animals in need can be a rewarding experience, as you can extend your compassion while distracting yourself from triggers. There are numerous ways you can give back to your community, including: 

  • Mentoring an underprivileged child.
  • Participating in a community garden.
  • Donating clothing to unhoused people. 
  • Volunteering at an animal shelter.
  • Serving others through a church.
  • Serving food at a pantry.
  • Visiting older adults in assisted-living facilities.

5. Connect With Alumni

As we mentioned, 30-day rehab programs are only the beginning of addiction recovery. At Gateway Foundation, we offer comprehensive treatment programs and opportunities to connect with a supportive alumni community. These alumni resources can help increase your chances of maintaining sobriety. 

We encourage each Gateway Foundation graduate to take advantage of the ongoing support programs available at each of our treatment centers to cultivate healthy relationships that will last a lifetime. You’ll have various opportunities to help others and promote your recovery efforts from alumni meetings and support group gatherings to community events and outings.

Get Crucial Aftercare Support at Gateway Foundation

Get Crucial Aftercare Support at Gateway Foundation

Though substance use disorder is a chronic, incurable illness, you can manage it with aftercare. From ongoing therapy sessions and support groups to practicing self-care and forming sober relationships, there are various ways you can ensure a lasting recovery following a 30-day treatment program. 

At Gateway Foundation, we are with you for life, offering ongoing access to support structures that can help you during and after treatment. Services include alumni support, social gatherings, and educational programming to help you make sober friends and prevent relapse. 

Contact us today to learn more about our treatment programs and aftercare support services.