Support System

How to Stay Sober After Rehab: Building a Support System

You didn’t seek help with your addiction because you want to relapse. That’s why knowing how to stay sober post-rehab is absolutely critical.

Research shows that lacking a stable living environment is the #1 obstacle to long-term recovery after rehab.

So, how can you foster a drug- and alcohol-free environment to ensure you stay abstinent in the real world? The first step is to create a sober living plan, which includes building a support system.

Want to know how to build a solid support system that will hold you accountable to your goals? Then keep reading this guide to learn how to get sober and stay sober after rehab.

What Is a Support System?

A support system is a social network of people. These people offer emotional support during tough times. For example, if you’re worried about relapsing, your support system can remind you why it’s so important to stay sober.

Research shows that support systems don’t just enhance your coping skills. Having people you can call in times of need can also benefit your well-being, reduce depression and anxiety, and help you combat stress.

Whether you’re wondering how to stay sober for a week or how to stay sober forever, forming a strong support system is the first step toward meeting your goals.

What Does a Strong Support System Look Like?

Support networks come in many varieties. Your support system could exist in the real world or online. It could be made up of strangers (e.g., other people in recovery) or people you know (e.g., acquaintances, friends, and family).

Regardless of the support network you feel comfortable with, keep in mind that not all support systems offer good support. There are three qualities that make a good post-rehab support system:

  1. Accountability
  2. Fellowship
  3. Goal-orientation

Accountability means that each member of the group takes responsibility for his or her actions. It also means that each member of the group holds each other accountable for sobriety goals.

Fellowship refers to a group of people who share a common goal or common interests. For example, 12-step groups encourage people in recovery to share their experiences with others who’ve faced similar struggles.

Finally, it’s critical that you and your support system share the same goal: long-term sobriety.

Why Are Support Systems Critical for Long-Term Sobriety?

According to research, recovery support groups and social networks are the strongest predictors of sober outcomes.

For example, followed 300 people recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. The study found that those who attended 12-step programs were abstinent for at least six months longer than those who did not.

At the same time, the study also looked at outcomes for people whose social networks participated in drinking and doing drugs. These people in recovery had worse sobriety outcomes than people with a sober social network.

In another study, researchers looked at the factors correlated with long-term substance abuse recovery. People who had been in recovery for an average of 12 years reported the following as most important for their journey:

  • Social support
  • Support from their community
  • Joining a 12-step program

It’s important to note that simply joining a 12-step program isn’t sufficient for long-term abstinence. Regular attendance and sponsoring others are important reasons why 12-step programs are so effective for fostering sobriety.

How to Stay Sober With a Post-Rehab Support System

As we’ve mentioned, a good support system is a sober support system. After all, your odds of staying in recovery increase significantly if your social network stays sober, too.

If your friends or family aren’t willing to not partake in alcohol and drug use while you’re recovering, it may be a sign they don’t share your goals. In that case, you shouldn’t include these people in your support system.

This is why many people choose to join support groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Participants share your experiences and your goals, making them ideal for leaning on during hard times.

Support groups allow recovering individuals to share their stories. Hearing others’ experiences and perspectives can help you learn what long-term recovery really looks like. That way, you’ll be inspired to stay sober for good.

By now, you may be wondering: what if I don’t have a support system? The good news is that you can sign up for a sober living program. These programs serve as an intermediate step between inpatient rehab and the real world.

What to Do If Your Support System Isn’t Enough

By now, you may be wondering: what if I don’t have a support system? The good news is that you can sign up for a sober living program. These programs serve as an intermediate step between inpatient rehab and the real world.

For example, Cenikor’s program provides a controlled environment for people to live in post-rehab. You can take steps toward reintegrating into your community while receiving the support you may not have access to in the real world.

But what should you do if your support system failed to help you stay sober? Going back to rehab is always an option, but you could also take advantage of an outpatient program.

Outpatient programs offer services to people with addictions who can’t afford to take off work or time away from family. These programs can also support people in recovery who don’t have sound support systems.

And don’t think outpatient services can’t provide you what you need. These programs include comprehensive care and trained professionals. You’ll have access to:

  • Drug screenings
  • Intervention services
  • Recovery support

And that’s not all. Many outpatient programs also provide individual group counseling sessions. That way, you’ll feel supported every step of your journey to lifelong recovery.

Cenikor Is Here for You

In this guide, we’ve given you how to stay sober tips about support systems. Research supports the benefits of strong social networks and 12-step programs for long-term sobriety outcomes. When all else fails, sober living and outpatient programs can help you recover.

Are you searching for a rehabilitation center in Texas? Cenikor has locations across the Lone Star State. Call us today to get started with a Cenikor program near you.

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