Drug and alcohol consumption may have been your life for some time, which has been followed by the unfamiliar process of rehab.

On completion, you’ll have reached another unknown steppingstone, of leaving rehab, of returning to some form of normality, and of maintaining sobriety milestones.

Through such change, it’s natural to feel vulnerable, to feel protective and to feel lost.

At Nova Recovery, we however hope to alleviate your worries and adjustment period, by providing insights and expectations into life after rehab, reflecting the longed-for goal of sober living.

From the importance of preparational steps to splitting your time into sobriety milestones, here’s our response to ‘what to expect after leaving rehab’.

Soon, such steps will feel familiar to you, where sober living will become second nature to you, rather than an ongoing, active commitment. Yet up until that point, you’ll need to preserve your recovery efforts.

Do so with our guidance here at Nova Recovery, recognised as a leading private hospital for addiction and mental health rehabilitation.


Reaching Sobriety Milestones

Completing rehab and returning home will be the first sobriety milestone that you’ll need to reach in order to overcome addiction. You may have already reached this point which is noteworthy.

Life after rehab will then carry the fulfilment of further sobriety milestones, spanned over the next 30 days, 3 months, 6 months, and year.

Such milestones will define your experience after leaving rehab, surrounding your degree of recovery and how much effort you must input into your active choices and maintenance of sober living.

Rehab itself will set you up for recovery success. Yet how you approach and work through each milestone will test that success. This is why it’s very important to plan for life after rehab, to gain some perspective and to build up expectations, to have some degree of control over your long-term recovery journey.

Here’s what to expect after leaving rehab, from the services you can experience, to the steps that you must take to preserve sober living.


What To Expect After Leaving Rehab?

Life after leaving rehab will be very different to your pre-rehab reality. At this point, through a reputable rehab clinic, you will have reached the milestones of drug and alcohol withdrawal, psychological restoration, the ability to cope without consumption, and relapse prevention.

Such a combination of efforts will translate into your ability to lead a sober life. Yet, in order to sustain that, this is where change will be found.

Your life after rehab will need to protect your efforts, will need to reduce drug and alcohol exposure, and will need to reflect a sober lifestyle.

All of this is doable, by preparing for such change. However, active input should be expected of you, throughout your sobriety milestones, to sustain your goals.

At 30 days post-rehab, you should expect to climatise to change, you should expect to visit support groups and start to make this a regular occurrence, and you should expect to make choices that support your efforts this far, to reflect positive coping mechanisms.

What to expect after leaving rehab, after 3 months will surround visible coping on physical and psychological levels. While you may be faced with drug and alcohol exposure, or have encountered triggers, how you deal with this period will translate into your future.

This is a time, to be honest with yourself, to maintain the healthy habits that you develop within your first 30 days, and to aim for a sense of normality.

Over the next 6-12 months after rehab, with the help of aftercare, with great planning and with a healthy lifestyle, you should expect to experience the rewards of your efforts, you should look to find yourself once again, and you should do so with future plans in place.

Life after rehab is a daunting idea. Yet it can be positive with preparational steps, with the right mindset and with active participation, by yourself and those around you to strengthen the desirability of sober living.


Preparing For Life After Rehab

Now you have some idea of what to expect after leaving rehab, it’s important to understand the required steps of planning which will make such sobriety milestones, possible.

Here at Nova Recovery, preparing for life after leaving rehab will begin throughout your active programme.

Through relapse prevention and through goal setting, we will work with you to set out realistic sobriety milestones, we will help you lean on positive coping strategies, and we will also educate you on relapse risks and prevention.

With such planning, you’ll also be exposed to our aftercare services, which will be on offer after completing and leaving rehab. Aftercare services will include AA and NA meetings, a range of support groups, family therapy opportunities and further accountability sessions.

By committing to aftercare and incorporating such steps into your post-rehab lifestyle, you can expect to advance through the above forecasts.

It is however important to remember that each day, week, month, and year will be different for every individual, yet planning ahead with goals and visions will help to develop expectations for life after leaving rehab.

Preparing for life after rehab will also focus on exposing you to sober living, to your new lifestyle and to independent recovery.

The tests should be exposed, as should to triumphs that you can encounter. Such understanding is very important, to also gauge what’s expected of you after rehab.


Sustaining Sober Living With Ongoing Support

Long-term recovery, the end sobriety milestone that you’ll be aiming for is a commitment that you should make for the future.

You’ll need to become accustomed to sober living, you’ll need to normalise your lifestyle to a point where it becomes second nature, and you also need to become used to planning.

With such tools under your arm and the offering of ongoing support, through 12 months of aftercare, self-help and a personal network of guidance, a positive life after leaving rehab can be sustained.

If you’re wondering ‘what to expect after leaving rehab?’, we hope that the above has provided some degree of insight. Yet the best way to experience it will be to complete rehab and embark on your own sobriety milestones.

With our guidance at Nova Recovery, we can vouch for such likelihood, turning an understandably vulnerable time into a fulfilling journey of transformation.

Life after rehab will be tough. You will experience some obstacles which will test your recovery level. Yet with the right approach, you can profit from your rehab investment, and lead a life that you hope for.

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John Gillen - Author - Last updated: September 8, 2023

John has travelled extensively around the world, culminating in 19 years’ experience looking at different models. He is the European pioneer of NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) treatment to Europe in 2010; and recently back from the USA bringing state of the art Virtual Reality Relapse Prevention and stress reduction therapy. His passion extends to other metabolic disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases. The journey continues. In recent times, John has travelled to Russia to study and research into a new therapy photobiomudulation or systemic laser therapy working with NAD+ scientists and the very best of the medical professionals in the UK and the USA, together with Nadcell, Bionad Hospitals own select Doctors, nurses, dieticians and therapists. Johns’ passion continues to endeavour to bring to the UK and Europe new developments with NAD+ Therapy in preventive and restorative medicine and Wellness. In 2017 John Gillen was made a visiting Professor at the John Naisbitt university in Belgrade Serbia.