Getting Ready to Leave Rehab: How to Prepare

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Addiction is a chronic illness that has no absolute cure. Instead, most people in recovery must continue to treat their addiction on a day-to-day basis. This means that, although helpful, a 30, 60, or 90-day stay at a New Jersey rehab facility won’t be everything you need to stay sober. That’s why it’s important to prepare to leave rehab before you are released from treatment.

Although leaving rehab can be an exciting and joyful time, it can also be stressful and overwhelming. If you aren’t prepared with the resources you need to stay sober, you could fall back into the cycle of drug abuse and addiction. Here are some productive steps you can take while in treatment to prepare yourself to leave rehab.

Find a Sober Living Home In Your Area

Some people return to the comfort of their own home after treatment. However, doing so isn’t the best idea for everyone. For some, their home may trigger unpleasant thoughts or make them crave a drink or a drug.

Others simply don’t have a supportive and sober home environment to go to. Even if you do have a supportive home to go to, you can still benefit from going to sober living after rehab.

Sober living homes are drug and alcohol-free environments where people in early recovery can live after they leave rehab. These homes provide structure, accountability, and peer support for people who are recovering from addiction.

While sober homes are not meant to be a substitute for treatment, they are a great way to continue your recovery after treatment. Sober living homes usually have a live-in house manager who enforces the rules, randomized drug testing, and group activities.

If you think a New Jersey sober living is right for you, your substance abuse counselor can help you pick the right one and get you signed up.

Work With Your Therapist to Develop an Aftercare Plan

Sober living is only one form of aftercare. In fact, there are many different types of aftercare programs that can help benefit you after leaving rehab. These include:

  • Intensive outpatient programming (IOP) – You will attend 10-20 hours of group and individual therapy each week on an outpatient basis.
  • Outpatient programming (OP) – You will participate in 5-10 hours of group and individual therapy each week on an outpatient basis.
  • 12-Step meetings – You may attend local 12-Step meetings, free of cost, where you can connect with other people in recovery and begin working the 12-Steps of recovery.
  • Alumni groups – Most New Jersey rehab centers have alumni programs where people who graduate from their programs can continue to stay in touch with one another. Alumni groups may have their own meetings, social gatherings, and community outings.
  • Individual counseling – Many people can benefit from one-on-one counseling after leaving rehab to help manage recovery goals and stay on the right track.

Towards the end of your rehab stay, you will begin meeting with your substance abuse counselor to discuss your different aftercare options. He or she may suggest you participate in one, two, or multiple different types of care.

Locate Nearby Recovery Meetings and Make a Schedule

While in treatment, you may be introduced to 12-Step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). You may also begin meeting people who belong to these groups in your community.

It’s a good idea to compile a list of local 12-Step meetings to have ready for when you leave rehab. Take some time to look through the list and pick out several meetings that you would like to attend. Then, develop a meeting schedule so you know which meetings you are going to on which days.

You can even work with a friend or sober support to line your meeting schedules up so you don’t have to attend a meeting alone. And, you don’t have to worry about not having access to a meeting, because they are available in virtually every major U.S. city. You will have no problem finding plenty of AA or NA meetings in New Jersey.

Start Building a Support Network

Having a sober support network is one of the most important aspects of recovery. If you are isolating, on the other hand, you may be more susceptible to loneliness, depression, and relapse. However, staying connected with other sober people will help you stay sober yourself.

If a sober person visits the rehab center to bring a meeting in, get their phone number. If you make a connection with someone during rehab, collect their contact information. You can also ask your counselor if he or she has any recommendations for a sponsor or sober support that you can contact.

By starting to build a sober support network before you leave a rehab center, you will feel more prepared upon your release. You will have phone numbers to call and people to turn to if you need help, guidance, or support.

Start Your Recovery Journey in New Jersey Today

Leaving a rehab center can feel scary and stressful, especially if you are not prepared. However, if you take these steps to get ready for your release from rehab, you will be on the right track.

To learn more about our treatment programs or to find help for yourself or a loved one, give us a call today.

Medically Reviewed: March 12, 2021

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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