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How to Stay Sober After Rehab

After inpatient treatment, you feel better than ever. But, you're also met with fear, life stresses and temptation. Setting goals and surrounding yourself with support is the only way to stay on the right path, especially in the first 90 days (and for a lifetime after that). Aftercare plans include sober living, outpatient treatments and personal fulfillment.


Living Arrangement

Sober living is a house specifically for those coming from rehab. It's an ideal blend between treatment and the “real world.” You have normal responsibilities and freedoms, but with accountability measures like curfews, required meetings, drug testing, life goal setting and sober mentors.

Why it matters: Even if you have family to return to, sober living can be a better next step. The same triggers and opportunities to use still exist at home and the longer you maintain sobriety, the more natural it becomes. Plus, your loved ones may have anger, trust and co-dependency issues. While you both may be anxious to get back home, taking a little extra time can make all the difference. After all, most relapses occur within the first six months.

Living Arrangements after Rehab

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

IOP addresses the same issues as inpatient treatment but without 24/7 supervision or support. IOP requires at least a nine-hour weekly commitment, continued for 3-12 months until you feel confident in your sobriety. IOP also usually involves drug testing, support group participation and medication evaluations. The extended therapy helps you learn to voluntarily abstain from drugs and alcohol.

Why it matters: IOP is always ideal, especially when opting-out of sober housing. Meeting with a therapist as often as possible is the best way for anyone to remain in a good place mentally and think clearer about their life and issues. The part-time treatment helps prevent relapse during the most critical time.

Intensive Outpatient Program IOP
Outpatient Program after Drug Rehab

Outpatient Program (OP)

Outpatient resources include both group and personal therapy sessions as well as meetings like AA and our alumni groups. It differs from IOP in the time commitment, dropping to 1-8 hours per week. OP can be through an addiction treatment facility or what you think of as “normal” therapy.

Why it matters: At any time, the addiction can rationalize destructive behaviors like skipping appointments, pulling away from relationships or going off medication. Without a regular reminder of coping skills or warning signs and without relationships that actively provide support and accountability, relapse is a real possibility. OP can be continued forever and as-needed as a safety net.

Happiness after Rehab
Personal Fulfillment

Finding happiness and meaning outside of drugs and alcohol is the core of sobriety. This includes employment achievements like getting a job, going to back to college or getting promoted, as well as social achievements like repairing a marriage or volunteering.

Why it matters: While sobriety always needs to come first, stability and feeling satisfied with life are a powerful shield against relapse. These life achievements offer a purpose beyond drugs and alcohol and increase confidence in your sober self.

The Planning

Staying sober after you leave rehab is what counts. From matching you to your best IOP option and driving you to your sober living house to helping you write a resume or schedule a marriage counselor in your hometown, you'll be set up for success even before you leave.

In fact, there's an entire team dedicated to helping you plan for life after rehab. They'll check in with you, your family and your therapist throughout treatment to ensure everyone feels confident about your departure.

More Answers

As with all aspects of treatment here, your specific aftercare plan depends on your specific situation and is managed by experts that know what really works. You don’t have to have your aftercare plan decided upfront. These decisions come down to what’s truly in your best interest.

Because 65% of clients come from out of state, we maintain relationships with sober living houses, individual therapists and IOPs throughout the country. All recommendations are vetted using our strict 14-point checklist. We stay actively involved with family and alumni long after rehab is over, so we’re immediately alerted to any issues or decline in quality.

You’ll leave with a real plan to keep you sober!

1. Complete rehab successfully and follow your plan for continued treatment, taking all therapist recommendations.

2. Create a solid support network of people who encourage sobriety.

3. Be conscious and reach out to your network as soon as you get cravings and seek more treatment if things escalate in your mind – at very least extra meetings or therapy sessions.

4. Avoid the people, places and things that trigger you.

5. Take care of yourself by setting personal and professional goals, as well as doing the little things like eating right, staying active and getting plenty of rest.

6. Get a sense of purpose and satisfaction from helping others.

Think of sober living costs as rent, which varies by neighborhood, house condition and the number of roommates. Since insurance doesn’t cover housing, you may be tempted to move in with a loved one. Statistics show this could cost you your sobriety.

Instead, we can help you get a temporary job quickly. Employment not only offsets any costs, but it gives a sense of purpose and normalcy. Some may also be eligible for food stamps, unemployment or $1 hot meals.

IOP and OP are usually covered by insurance. After 30 days in rehab, many people have paid the maximum amount for healthcare. That means IOP/OP therapy would not cost you anything for the rest of the year. Support groups are available everywhere for free too.

** We don’t operate sober living facilities. It’s recommended only to improve the likelihood of permanent sobriety. **

Following your therapist’s advice dramatically increases your chances of permanent sobriety. (Turns out, they know what they’re talking about).

If you go home after treatment, be sure you have IOP set up. Then, show up to your appointments. IOPs accommodate job schedules, so that’s not an excuse.

If you’re a family member, plan to:

  • Remove all alcohol from the house, even if they struggle with other drugs.
  • Ensure they’re signed up for IOP and regularly participating.
  • Expect them to be actively looking for or regularly working a job.
  • Discuss triggers and signs of relapse using the Relapse Agreement.
  • Attend your own support groups or private therapy.
  • Keep the conversation open without obsessing.

If either of you feels doubtful, sober living is still an option as a temporary solution to get stronger in sobriety and give more time for healing the relationship.

Treatment Timeline

The process starts today with a simple phone call and ends with a new lifestyle and permanent sobriety.

Go to Rehab
Continue Outpatient
Heal as a Family
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Reviews

Ambrosia gave us hope that our daughter could be clean and sober! It is a professionally run and deeply supportive treatment facility that focuses on family. The caring staff helped open the lines of communication so the healing process can begin. Our loved ones were given the tools they need to succeed with sobriety.
August 18
Tracy A Mother
Ambrosia has given me my son back.
March 1
Denise B Mom
This is a much different type of rehab from what my experiences were in from up north. This was a perfect transition in treatment before going to my first halfway house. The groups were good. Outside and inside meetings were extremely beneficial. Small group was good. I loved the personalized treatment plan per client.
October 3
Louis C.
Our family credits the Wellness Program with our son’s individual success, and with our progress as a family. There was so much we did not understand. They helped him integrate into the sober community and provided much-needed guidance to our family. They explained the different stages of recovery and gave direction on how to assist him without enabling or undermining his efforts.
March 19
Mary & Kevin K. Parents
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