If there’s one thing we know here at Castle Craig, it’s that the hard work does not end when you leave our castle grounds.
Hopefully, after a five-week residential stay with us, you will feel revived and happier than you have in a long time.
Finishing the programme, in turn, can motivate you towards sustained recovery and abstinence – but as we know, recovery from drug addiction is a lifelong process.
But you don’t have to do it alone – our aftercare programmes mean that we’re here to support you throughout your journey.
What to Expect After Drug Rehab
After inpatient rehab, you will continue the lifelong road of recovery in your normal life. In most cases, this means you’ll return to work, your loved ones, and the hobbies you enjoy (as well as some new interests you’ve picked up along the way).
All of these aspects of life have the potential to either help you stay sober or trigger potential cravings for alcohol or drugs.
Returning home after drug rehab can understandably cause anxiety for people who are new to recovery. While rehab gives you the tools to create a life you enjoy without drugs, it’s up to you to use those tools to stay sober after you complete inpatient treatment. Fortunately, you won’t have to do it alone. With proper support and a solid aftercare plan, you can continue to enjoy your freedom from drugs long after inpatient care ends.
What Happens After Drug Rehab?
In truth, leaving rehab is stressful, and research shows that the majority of relapses occur in the first six months after treatment. By understanding your triggers, which is something you’ll work on in residential care, you can help to protect and prepare yourself for the inevitability of facing these triggers without giving in to them.
Spending time in rehab helps you to build a solid foundation of routines and strategies that help you to manage staying sober after your time in treatment ends. While it may seem daunting now, after your treatment program you’ll be ready to reenter the real world and prepared to face the challenges of lifelong sobriety.
From following a daily routine, to eating healthy meals, to taking care of your mental health through habits like exercise, meditation, and therapy, your life after rehab will require a commitment to ongoing care for yourself.
Of course, you may be worried about once again facing the difficult life circumstances that may have contributed to your addiction in the first place. For example, most of your friends from before rehab may be drug users, or your work-related stress may have contributed to your substance use. During rehab, you’ll make a plan to help you prepare for these challenges so you can continue to enjoy a substance-free life well after returning home.
How to Stay Sober After Drug Rehab
To stay sober after rehab, you need to have a structured plan in place for managing triggers, as well as staying mentally and emotionally healthy. Prior to an inpatient treatment programme, it’s likely that substance use was how you coped with the stress and difficult situations or emotions. After rehab, instead of engaging in these unhealthy behaviours, you’ll need to stay focused on managing stress in healthy ways via a comprehensive aftercare plan tailored to your unique needs.
Here at Castle Craig, we ensure that no patient leaves inpatient care unprepared. Your continuing care is an essential part of staying sober, which is why we provide a personalised two-year aftercare plan with all the information and support you need to return home and continue enjoying a sober life.
We offer a variety of telehealth continuing care options, as well as check-in calls, an aftercare alumni community, and an annual reunion to stay connected to the Castle Craig community. We also help our patients to connect with support groups in their community.
How to Avoid Relapse
Relapse still commonly occurs even after successfully completing treatment because addiction is a chronic brain disease. At Castle Craig, we consider it crucial for those committed to recovery to follow a well-constructed aftercare programme. This will help you spot possible triggers at an early stage so that you can prevent relapsing into drug use. Relapse prevention is built into our treatment programme from the very start, and you’ll work on your plan weeks before your discharge.
Outside of your unique aftercare plan, there are several ways you can work to avoid relapse when you face a drug craving or trigger to use. For one, creating a supportive environment is instrumental in avoiding relapse. This means surrounding yourself with compassionate loved ones, removing temptations such as alcohol or drug paraphernalia, and avoiding stressful situations or toxic people that contributed to your drug addiction in the past. Some other ways to prevent relapse include:
- Distracting yourself when a craving arises. Most cravings pass in under 30 minutes, so if you have a prepared list of activities that you can use to distract yourself in the meantime, you’re more likely to successfully avoid relapsing. This could include calling a friend, enjoying a hobby, or attending a 12-Step meeting.
- Leaning on your support system. When a craving or trigger presents itself, communicate this to someone you trust. Loved ones and others in recovery can offer empathy, support, and distraction when you’re facing an urge to relapse.
- Relaxing and decompressing. Stress is a huge contributing factor to relapse, as most people first start to use drugs to deal with difficult emotions and stressful circumstances. If you find yourself becoming anxious or stressed, take a step back and prioritize becoming relaxed and at ease again.
It may seem overwhelming at first. But after inpatient care at Castle Craig, you’ll have developed and practised a variety of techniques for managing your triggers and avoiding relapse so you can successfully remain sober.
What to do After Drug Rehab
1. Establish a new routine.
Before rehab, it’s likely that all or parts of your daily routine involved thinking about, acquiring, and using drugs. After inpatient care, establishing a new routine is an important step in managing your cravings and building a life that feels full and satisfying without drugs.
While in inpatient rehab at Castle Craig, you’ll create the foundation for this new, healthy routine with nutritious meals, regular exercise, and partaking in hobbies you enjoy. After rehab, you can continue to follow this routine and add in other rewarding activities that don’t involve drugs or cue you to use.
2. Remove toxic relationships and activities from your life.
For many people who have been addicted to drugs, a large number of their close relationships outside of rehab are with other drug users. When you leave inpatient care, it’s important to remove toxic relationships and activities from your life that may tempt you to start using drugs again.
This means ending friendships with other users and avoiding triggering activities.
3. Focus on mental and physical self-care.
Drug addiction is usually caused by elements of your life that feel overwhelming, difficult, or uncomfortable. In order to remain sober and enjoy your life after rehab, it’s very important that you prioritize your mental and physical health. Continuing therapy to address the underlying causes of your addiction after rehab is a great way to stay mentally healthy and aware of your triggers.
It’s also vital to take care of your physical health: getting enough rest, plenty of exercise, and nourishing meals can all help you to feel your best mentally and emotionally as well, which will make it easier to handle triggering experiences and situations.
Further Treatment Options
For many people, managing life after rehab on their own feels daunting. This is perfectly understandable—the last time you were at home you were sick with an addiction to drugs and your life was unmanageable. In this case, you may benefit from further treatment options available via our aftercare programme.
Castle Craig’s Aftercare Programme
Just as everyone’s addiction story is different, so is their recovery story.
That’s why we provide a personalised aftercare plan for every patient, structured around their individual situation. From intensive 10-week continuing care to check-in calls and our annual reunions, we provide a variety of options to help you stay sober and enjoy your life without using drugs after your time in residential treatment at Castle Craig has come to an end.
We offer several options for continuing care through our telehealth services. Whether you have been through inpatient treatment at Castle Craig or at another rehab, you can take advantage of our telehealth offerings to support your recovery. The following services are provided via Zoom, in the comfort of your own home:
- Intensive continuing care: Three weeks of 2.5, one-to-one therapy sessions per week and two group therapy sessions per week.
- Extended continuing care: 10 weeks of one, one-to-one therapy session per week and one group therapy session per week.
- Group-only continuing care: 10 weeks of one group therapy session per week, for individuals with their own therapist back home who wish to continue group therapy at Castle Craig.
Any of these offerings can be extended beyond the set amount of time allocated for the programme.
After residential treatment at Castle Craig, we make sure that you have the tools and contacts you need to support you in your early recovery back at home in your community. We refer you back to any medical practitioners involved in your care and arrange for a contact within your local AA or NA fellowship to help provide an introduction to these support networks.
With thousands of individuals across the UK and Europe who have successfully completed treatment at Castle Craig, we can always set you up with the right person to guide and support you after you return home.
Even if you come to Castle Craig from the other side of the world, we’ll make sure you have the support you need for your transition back to normal, daily life.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I reduce the chances of a relapse after rehab?
With the right support system in place, you can successfully manage triggers and reduce your chances of relapse after rehab. By establishing a healthy daily routine, removing toxic relationships and activities from your life, and investing time and energy in your mental and physical well-being, you can continue to walk the road of recovery and enjoy a full and rewarding sober life.
What kind of support will I receive after rehab?
After going through our inpatient rehab programme, you’ll benefit from a personalised, two-year aftercare plan built to help you stay sober.
We provide telehealth therapy sessions, connect you with local support groups, and offer a variety of ways to stay involved as a Castle Craig alum.
How can I help a loved one after rehab?
Helping someone with an addiction takes education, patience and empathy. When helping a loved one after rehab, communication is key. They should be able to lean on you if they’re struggling, and you should be able to let them know if you’re noticing signs of relapse in them.
If you’re concerned for yourself or a loved one, please contact us for more information on how to help someone cope with addiction.