how to prepare to leave addiction treatment in California

Preparation Steps for Leaving an Inpatient Treatment Center

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The Separation is in the Preparation and Preparing for your Departure from Inpatient Treatment is Essential

When you are battling drug and alcohol addictions, an inpatient treatment center in California can be your ‘home away from home’ for several weeks or even months. It’s the place where you will learn more about your addiction, including how it came to be and what you need to do to prevent it from advancing.

Once your treatment is over, the idea of leaving can be exciting, as you are eager to move on with your life, free of drugs and/or alcohol. However, exiting the facility can also be a little overwhelming and worrisome. If you aren’t prepared, it can be difficult to enter the real world and maintain your sobriety.

With the right knowledge, you can leave an inpatient treatment center in California prepared to take on the excitement and the challenges that lie ahead as you continue the path of sobriety. At Ocean Hills Recovery, we provide all our patients with the skills and strategies they need in order to obtain success once they leave our inpatient rehab facility.

Here’s a look at our top 13 tips to help you prepare for leaving our inpatient treatment center in California.

  1. Locate an Outpatient Rehabilitation Facility

After you leave an inpatient facility, an outpatient program can offer you the guidance and support that you need as you return to the real world free of drugs and/or alcohol. No matter how minor or severe your addiction was, an outpatient facility can help to keep you on track.

  1. Consider a Sober Living Home

Sober living facilities are safe havens for people who are working toward sobriety. You will live in the company of others who are also working toward a sober life, develop a sense of community, and have access to counselors and other professionals who will be able to assist you through the delicate time right after leaving an inpatient facility.

  1. Look into Group Meetings

Group meetings can also offer you the support that you need after leaving an inpatient treatment center in California. There are countless 12-step programs available in the state of California that offer group meetings. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is one of the most widely used 12-step programs, but there are several others, including Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous.

  1. Find a Sponsor

A sponsor, someone you can count on to offer guidance and support outside of group meetings, can prove to be a very valuable asset in sobriety. Consider someone you are comfortable with and who has been sober for a prolonged period of time.

  1. Become an Alumni

Look into enrolling in the alumni program at the inpatient facility you attended. You will be able to attend meetings that are set up by the facility, develop relationships with other alumni and continue to learn valuable skills and information about sobriety.

  1. Seek Employment

Whether it’s asking your previous employer if you can return to work, or it’s trying to finding a new job, acquiring employment can do wonders for your sobriety. You’ll gain an important sense of usefulness, your self-esteem will be built up, and you will be able to learn valuable lessons regarding responsibility, which is so important for sobriety.

  1. Understand Relapse

Many people who leave an inpatient program assume that they are “cured” from their addiction. This is a common misconception, as addiction recovery is a continuous process. Once your inpatient treatment program is complete, there is still a lot to learn and do. Understanding how relapse works, how to avoid it and what to do if you do relapse is an important part of sobriety.

  1. Develop a Plan

Create a plan before you leave your inpatient treatment center in California. While it’s true that you do have to take things day by day, it can also be helpful to know what your endgame is; what do you hope to achieve after completing an inpatient program.

  1. Don’t be Too Hard on Yourself

People who are recovering from drugs and/or alcohol tend to be really hard on themselves. Damaged relationships, lost jobs and other issues that have developed are all a result of addiction, and often, people in recovery beat themselves up once they realize how much damage their addiction caused, not just for them, but for the people they love, too. Don’t be too hard on yourself; if you are, you can increase your chance of relapse.

  1. Avoid Triggers

You likely have triggers that increase your desire to use drugs or alcohol, and being around those triggers after inpatient treatment can increase your chances of relapse. Identify your triggers before you leave an inpatient program so you know what and who to avoid.

  1. Volunteer

Just like a job, volunteering gives you a sense of responsibility, and it just makes you feel better about yourself. See if you can volunteer with a local charity, or even with your inpatient facility. It’s amazing how kindhearted good deeds can boost your self-esteem and self-worth.

  1. Talk to You Loved Ones

Make sure you talk to your loved ones prior to departing an inpatient treatment center in California. Take the time to explain how you feel and any issues that you are afraid will arise after treatment. You will be surprised how much your loved ones will support you as you start to walk the path of sobriety.

  1. One Day at a Time

Having a plan of action is important, but so is taking things one day at a time. The more stress you put on yourself, the greater the chance of relapse will be. 

how to prepare for leaving inpatient treatment

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If you have any questions as you prepare to leave an inpatient treatment center, or if you need a reliable support system, please contact us as We have helped countless patients fight back against addiction and attain a life of sobriety.

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