How to Stay Sober After Rehab

How to Stay Sober After Rehab

How can you stay sober after rehab? The answer to this is certainly easier said than done. Once you’ve completed your rehab program – many of which are residential or inpatient – do you know what things you should do afterwards? What happens once you’re “out” of there? While you’re in an inpatient facility, there are many physical barriers that keep you from using drugs or drinking alcohol. You’re monitored 24/7. You’re more likely able to control your inclinations or cravings with the continuous support and supervision of doctors and caretakers as well as therapists and fellow recovering addicts while in rehab.

But this changes right after you leave the facility. Once you’re back home, you’re faced with new challenges. The physical barriers that prevented you from relapse or succumbing to your withdrawal symptoms are no longer present. It’s you against you. So how do you stay sober post-rehab?

The Risk After Rehabilitation

It should come as no surprise that your risk of relapse would increase greatly after you get back home from rehab. You’re not in an unfamiliar and secluded place like Thailand anymore once your rehab program has concluded, after all. In this regard, going to a top-rated rehab center – one that fully prepares you for post-rehab recovery – is of utmost importance. Nothing written in this article can substitute for proper preparation given to you by clinics like Lanna Rehab. The clinic you’ve chosen should work closely with you during a 4-week to 6-week period in order to ensure that you have the necessary tools to stay sober once you’ve left the care of the rehabilitation center.

  • Watching Out for Triggers: In order to stay sober after rehab, you need to first take your initial rehab program seriously. You can’t expect to stay sober by taking a halfhearted approach to your main rehab program from the beginning. Returning home after rehab is both scary and exciting. However, it’s important to brace yourself with many of your addiction triggers that come in the form of people, places, environment, and activities. Luckily, your main rehab should arm you with the cognitive skills to meet these challenges without succumbing to relapse.
  • Simple Temptation: Your greatest enemy is yourself. This is true with drug and alcohol addiction as it is with life. You can deal with physical addiction from the substances you’ve taken through detox. It’s tougher to deal with mental addiction and everyday temptation. Temptation is the number one trigger you’ll encounter as soon as you return home from Lanna Rehab. This may come in one or several of many forms, and rehab aftercare should give you the tools or weapons you need to identify and deal with everyday temptation as it arises. Defeat yourself first and no temptation can overcome you.
  • Bumping Into Addiction Triggers: Your rehab clinic will advise you that one of the ways to deal with addiction triggers is to avoid them. Emotions, situations, and people can be considered triggers that can compel you to drink or use certain substances. Once you’re home, you’ll inevitably be exposed to such things at one point or another. If you can avoid them, do so as much as possible. However, once the avoidance technique proves ineffective, it’s time to learn to deal with the triggers themselves head on.
  • Cognition and Common Addiction Triggers: You will be taught many strategies to better cope with addiction triggers so that you won’t end up relapsing when all is said and done. With that in mind, you should be aware of what these triggers are first. Cognition is required first before you can cope with them. If you’re unaware of them, you’re likelier to succumb to their triggering effects.

    Watch out for the common addiction triggers. They include the following:

    • Being around old friends who are drug users themselves
    • Ending up in certain places where drugs and alcohol is widely available
    • Going and hanging out in so-called bad neighborhoods where drug addicts frequent
    • Experiencing certain emotions, whether negative or positive, that compel you to drink or use
    • Working in an environment where excessive alcohol consumption is not only acceptable but encouraged

Important Changes When You Get Home

People practicing thai chi in the park in the summertime

In order to stay sober after drug and alcohol rehab, you have to realize that the rehab itself is only a first stepping-stone towards your sobriety and recovery. After leaving the rehab center, you’ll be faced with multiple situations and challenges that might serve as temptations towards falling back into your “dark side”. Don’t give in. Or rather, there are ways to train yourself to beat these enablers that can push you towards the slippery slope of addiction.

  • People: The people around you can serve as enablers or even suppliers of your drugs and alcohol. The temptation to consume different substances might even root from your own family and friends as well as coworkers. If your family is causing you grief when it comes to drug and alcohol consumption, have them attend family therapy with you to clear things out. You need some sort of change to get out of your substance abuse rut.

    As for friends, you can at least pick which ones to keep and which ones to cut off. As with any toxic person in your life, you have the choice to either cut them off of your life or keep them around with the caveat that they won’t string you towards a downward spiral of debauchery. You want to be around people who lift you up and make you better, not drag you down the dirt.

    Don’t be afraid to forge new friendships. After drug rehab, it’s important to dump your enablers and drug suppliers to keep you away from temptation so that you can make new friends. Your old social circle that’s involved in alcoholism and drug abuse will only pull you back to the path of self-destruction. Force new friendships with positive people who share positive and constructive interests such as like theater, music, cycling, arts and crafts, and so on.
  • Places and Environment: Where do you live? It can influence your drug and alcohol consumption significantly. If you hang out in certain bad neighborhoods with bad influences, you might end up pressured to fit in with peer pressure. Even after rehab, you will go back to your bad habits if you don’t have a chance in scenery as well as the people you hang out with. Substance abuse can happen in the poorest of towns or even in the richest of places. Instead of depending on fair-weather friends, strengthen your support system by attending family therapy and picking positive influences in your life.

    Your environment can also cause you to turn to drugs and alcohol. If you live in the ghetto or a place where you’re pressured to succeed, the only way to cope might be through consuming drugs and alcohol. It gets even worse in places where alcohol and drug consumption is normalized. It can be tough to say no to drinking or smoking marijuana when it’s part of a social function even though you’ve recently fallen off the addiction wagon. In such cases, learning how to drink socially and consume drugs moderately might be in order.
  • Activities: People don’t only use drugs in order to cope with stress or succumb to peer pressure. The simple issue of being bored can compel them to use drugs recreationally, starting with the increasingly legalized Schedule I drug of marijuana. It can start out as a hobby or distraction for many, thinking that drug use isn’t a big deal and they can quit any time. For some people, they can use drugs in moderation. For others, they can fall into the slippery slope of drug addiction or substance abuse. Once they’ve gone through rehab, they can substitute the hole left by drug and alcohol use with something else. For example, they can:
    • Exercise on a Regular Basis: Residential or inpatient rehab programs like Lanna enable you to develop healthy exercise habits. You can keep yourself physically fit in order to assist you in building your strength and enhancing your mental clearness when push comes to shove. You should join a local athletic club or a gym. Even if you aren’t particularly athletic or gifted, anyone can benefit from activities like hiking, biking, or running. Keep your heart rate up in order to keep your mind off of drugs and alcohol when push comes to shove. Relapse is less likely to happen the more your exercise.
    • Eat Healthy: In order to recover faster, you should eat healthily and keep a well-balanced diet. The proper intake of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients will pay huge dividends in the long run in making your body crave drugs less and become used to a sober life. Healthy eating is known to restore you to a more physically fit state and reduce your drug and alcohol cravings significantly. Combining exercise and diet doesn’t only reduce your fat and make your muscles grow. It can also significantly impact your ability to recover from addiction, thus kicking your compulsions to the curb.
    • Get a Creative or Artistic Outlet: Speaking of distractions and recreational drug use, you can also focus on a new artistic hobby like painting, theater acting, drawing, animation, sketching, graphic design, model kit creation, movie watching, and so forth as your new creative outlets. It’s like getting into sports, but this time you’re developing your creativity instead of physical prowess. If you’re bored or if you feel like there’s a hole in your life that drugs and alcohol used to fill, then you can substitute it with more positive recreational activities. Instead of doing something self-destructive like drug use, indulge in something positive and constructive.

The Specifics of Keeping Sober

couple drinking glass of water

Addiction rehab shouldn’t end after inpatient rehab. It should be a continuous, ongoing deal. Completing rehab is only the first step towards sobriety. Arguably, recovering from addiction is a lifelong deal. This is because relapse is a common occurrence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has studies that show how two-third of addicts that have undergone rehab will relapse within the first year of being sober. It takes work in order to achieve sobriety and then stay clean afterwards. To wit, you should specifically do the following things in order to keep relapse at bay.

  • Don’t Be Afraid to Avoid Triggers: You don’t have to confront all your triggers and deal with them, which can lead to you feeling needlessly stressed and pressured. There are times when discretion is the better part of valor. Your life after rehab requires change, because if you’re the only one who changed but the rest of your environment has not, you might be pressured to regress because you’re the odd man or woman out. You will have to change the people you socialize with and the places you frequent. Take an honest look at your surroundings to recognize the triggering situations that can lead to addiction relapse. As much as possible, avoid these places. Otherwise, work with your counselor to develop coping mechanisms that will help you reject temptation and deal with stress better.
  • Specifically Avoid Nightclubs, Bars, and Pubs: Don’t place yourself in situations where temptation is all over you, particularly in circumstances where there’s peer pressure and it’s difficult to impossible to say no. If you find yourself in a bar accidentally, then order a non-alcoholic drink and keep your senses occupied with things other than alcohol. As a recovering alcoholic, it’s best to not stay in places like pubs and nightclubs for far too long. Try to leave ASAP. You shouldn’t also be embarrassed or afraid if you’re unable to control the urge to drink or use drugs. You’re only human, after all.
  • Remove Any Drug Paraphernalia in Your Home and Journalize: Any item or object associated with drug or alcohol use should be removed immediately. You might think they’re insignificant and aren’t as bad as the alcohol and drugs themselves, but they might hold a sentimental or triggering value to you to lead you to drink. Don’t forget to keep on writing on a journal your progress after you’ve left rehab as well. One great method of journaling is known as gratitude journaling. It’s a journal that allows you to write about the things, circumstances, and people you’re grateful for instead of negative lists of everything you hate in life.
  • Replace Old Unhealthy Habits with Healthier Alternatives: It’s not enough to find new activities to replace the hole left inside you from ceasing drinking alcohol or using various drugs. It’s even better to replace your old unhealthy habits that have led you to becoming an addict with healthier alternatives so you can holistically treat your addiction cravings and triggers. For instance, if you’re a lover of wine or a so-called wine connoisseur, you can instead substitute this with an interest in fine juices or vegetarian cuisine. Other activities that can help replace your addictive tendencies and self-destructive habits include volunteering, gardening, reading, exercising, meditation, and learning a new language.
  • Relapse Prevention Plan: The best drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers feature a relapse prevention plan. Following that plan can serve as a good “distraction” from drugs and relapse risk while at the same time focusing on helping you recover from the same issues. Such services prepare you with the realities of human nature and weaknesses. During rehab treatment, you should partner with your counselor in order to develop a relapse prevention plan that defines your objectives after leaving drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
  • The 12-Steps Program: If you’re also undergoing a 12-steps program like those found in Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous, you should keep going regardless of where you’ve reached in the 12 steps. It’s ideal that you complete all 12 steps or let the last few steps keep on going as part of your drug and alcohol addiction aftercare. Speaking of which, rehab programs like Lanna Rehab offer aftercare counseling that enables you complete all 12 steps of your rehab recovery, particularly in terms of individual or group therapy. Join a local support group for weekly meetings and help fellow addicts cross that threshold of sobriety yourself.



Getting clean and staying clean in order to keep your new life on track will take more than just rehab aftercare and recommendations. You yourself should have the determination, courage, and patience to keep clean and get used to a life without drugs and alcohol. Yes, it’s easier said than done but it’s a worthwhile endeavor to fulfill when push comes to shove. You don’t want to go through that downward spiral of self-destruction once again. Take these recommendations on how to stay sober after rehab to heart. This is because ultimately, it’s up to you to recover and be a new man or woman. There’s no point in going to rehab only to undo everything soon after through relapse.

Stick with the things you’ll learn during your Lanna Rehab program. This article only serves as a guide that touches upon the potential, general things you need to do in order to remain sober. A rehab center will give you a more individualized diagnosis and specific treatment tailored to your unique circumstances. The good news is that initially overcoming an addiction is much harder to do than staying sober, so the hard work is usually done during rehab. Rehab centers spend a tremendous amount of time and resources in prepping you up for the inevitable encounters you’ll have with addiction triggers after you’ve left inpatient care. All you need to do is believe in yourself and just keep doing (in addiction’s case, not doing) it.

Lanna Rehab Will Help People Get Back on Their Feet from Addiction

Lanna Rehab will help you get back on your feet after becoming addicted even after you’ve long completed the rehabilitation service. It’s that effective. With it, you’re able to go to Thailand and undergo a wellness vacation so affordable you won’t have to worry about insurance coverage or money for your treatment. It’s quite secluded and enjoyable treatment, after all. However, when it comes to aftercare, Lanna Rehab is also a cut above the rest, allowing you promos for an extra month of treatment and post-rehab recommendations.

If a loved one or you yourself are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, then call Lanna Rehab in Chiang Mai. This center is one of the most cutting-edge drug and alcohol rehab facilities. Their hotline is available 24/7. Call now!

Martin Peters

Martin Peters has a BA (Hons) Dip HE Dip RN CSAT III and is the Group Program Director Lanna Healthcare. He is a Registered Nurse and Certified Substance Abuse Therapist working in the mental health field since 1994; Martin has had a wide range of experience in management and supervisory roles within established healthcare systems, and has provided consultancy services to a number of private and public sector organizations in the UK and Asia in terms of management, policy writing, accreditation and recruitment. Martin’s addictions experience has been in developing inpatient services in Thailand since 2009, both clinical and operational. He has been instrumental in expanding and developing a non 12 step inpatient treatment centre and opening a further inpatient centre with a 12 step approach, implementing KIPU Electronic Records, strengthening hospital partnerships, introducing a Scholarship for students under the Masters in Addiction Studies Program at The ASEAN Institute for Health Development and working with an international accreditation body. Martin has also been a speaker at several international conferences on addiction, including ASEAN conferences and has also guest lectured at Mahidol University (Thailand), University of Sarghoda (Pakistan) Institute of Medical Sciences (Pakistan) and has been a representative on the CARF Standards Advisory Committee for 2016.In 2015. Martin became a Co-Founder of Lanna Healthcare, launching Lanna Rehab in March 2016 and opening Jintra in January 2018. In June of 2018, Martin was involved in the merger of Lanna and DARA, becoming Thailand's biggest private licensed operator. Martin is currently a Joint and Asia Health Co Ltd Owner Operator of Lanna Healthcare Co Ltd, which under its umbrella manages Lanna Rehab in Chiang Mai, Jintra Rehab in Chiang Mai and DARA Rehab in Koh Chang - all Thailand MoPH Licensed Addiction Facilities providing world-class treatment in Thailand.

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