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Life After Rehab from Alcoholism

Overcoming alcohol addiction is a long process and often the individual may find himself needing to start the process of recovery multiple times before eventually succeeding. In the process of recovery, it is not uncommon for individuals to turn to a new addiction. This is what we call a substitute addiction and it may become so strong that the individual will need to enter rehab again. It is therefore important that, once the individual leaves alcohol rehab, that he or she find alternative forms of entertainment and relaxation, so as not to slip into either former or new bad habits.

Substitution Addiction

There could be many reasons for an individual turning to a substitution addiction after leaving alcohol rehab. It may be due to the anxiety of having to re-enter the real world and deal with all its accompanying stresses and temptations. This trigger, which formerly led to drinking, will now have to be dealt with in a constructive manner. However, this requires a lot of support and self-control and many individuals instead turn to smoking, drugs, binge-eating or prescription medication. This often leads to a new addiction which may be just as serious as the previous alcohol addiction and may require professional help. Sometimes friends and family consider the use of some of these new substances less serious than alcohol addiction, e.g. smoking or binge-eating, and thus fail to recognize or give attention to the new addiction. However, the fact that the individual fails to moderate him or herself shows that the core underlying issues of the alcohol addiction are still there. These root causes are what need to be addressed.

Healthier Alternatives

After completing your time at an alcohol rehab facility, you will be faced with a lot of free time where in the past you would have been drinking. As mentioned above, you will be vulnerable to developing other addictions which may be just as harmful. It is therefore important that you fill this time with healthier alternatives. Such alternatives include physical activity such as sport, working out, or even just going for regular long walks. Free time may also be filled by watching movies. Although this might not seem particularly exciting, a trip to the cinema can be fun and socially-engaging when it is done together with friends or family. You could also help out at a charity organization or start a new hobby such as cooking or painting. Throwing a sober party is another great way to not only fill up your time but also reconnect with people you met at rehab who are also trying to avoid falling off the wagon. No doubt even your non-alcoholic friends will be more than happy to refrain from alcohol one night to show support.

Going Out

If you have come straight out of rehab, then going out to a place where alcohol will be served may be a daunting experience. You will find people pressing you to drink and becoming pushy when you decline. In these situations, it is best to get yourself a non-alcoholic drink, pour it into a glass and sip on it the whole night. That way the fact that you are not drinking will be far less noticeable. Note that non-alcoholic beers still contain a trace amount of 0.5% alcohol and should be avoided if you have recently completed your time in rehab.

It’s important to envision your life after alcohol addiction for your recovery. Our holistic approach to recovery means that during treatment, patients are provided with the building blocks for developing better coping mechanisms. With a combination of evidence-based therapies, activities, and peer support, our patients are well prepared to re-enter society. Speak with one of our admissions counselors today.