How to maintain a social life after rehab

The initial recovery process focuses on withdrawing from and overcoming the effects of drugs and alcohol. Long-term recovery then concentrates on normalising sobriety and the lifestyle that it demands.

Life after rehab will be very different, commanding change in order to protect progress, wellbeing, and mental health. Everything from environments and choices to relationships will need to be revisited and possibly adapted to support long-term recovery goals.

With that, you should expect your social life to change, to keep you on track and disassociated from drugs and alcohol. Maintaining a social life, enjoying get-togethers, and developing healthy relationships is possible for a recovering addict. With some boundaries in place, with an open outlook on life, and with a new routine set, life after rehab can be enjoyed rather than tolerated.

Here are some tips on how to maintain a social life after rehab, which you can slowly incorporate into your post-rehab recovery plan. Whilst change can be difficult to accept, the changes that you make will benefit your recovery results, happiness, and health.

For initial support with addiction, for guidance throughout rehab, or for professional input through life after rehab, we at Step One Recovery are here for you.


How will my social life change after rehab?

Your social life prior to rehab may have fuelled your addiction. Both drugs and alcohol are recreationally and socially abused, found to engulf social circles and activities.

If you’ve experienced many social influences and pressures, expecting a change on a post-rehab basis is a must. Changes will be made to manage your social relapse triggers, place you in positive situations, and help you control your relationships.

If your addiction was caused and fuelled by other influences, for example, due to poor mental health or genetics, making changes to your social life will still be recommended. Relationships are known to be damaged through substance abuse. The condition is tough on family members and friends, to witness and to live through. An adapted social life and attitude can help to rebuild relationships, strengthen support networks, and reduce the risks of future relapse.

Whilst some boundaries will be required to stay sober, a social life after rehab can continue to flourish. An enjoyable and manageable sober lifestyle will be achievable, rather than a restricted-led life.

Learn how to maintain a social life after rehab with our recommendations and addiction recovery services.


How to remain sober yet social?

Remaining sober yet social may currently feel like an impossible balance. Yet post-rehab, you’ll already be positioned to start strongly, armed with reactive and preventive tools. The below tips are also effective and encouraged to make use of, whilst returning to everyday life and aiming for a sense of normality.

By considering them and slowly working them into your lifestyle, you’ll have the basis to maintain a social life after rehab and addiction.


Set some boundaries

To lead a drug and alcohol-free life, you’ll have to set some boundaries. Expecting to return to the same environments, social circles and activities will be naïve. Instead, you’ll need to set yourself some boundaries, helping you understand which activities or associations you can tolerate and that you cannot.

Boundaries will help you be stringent with your social life, helping you keep in the know and control of relapse triggers.


Be open to new social circles and situations

Whilst change can be difficult to accept, especially if you’re needing to adapt to many areas of your life, acceptance will be essential in order to feel content and comfortable in social situations. You must reach a point where you’re open to new social circles and happy to give up the old parts of your life which disserve your health and wellbeing.

Long-term recovery will focus on building and restoring your life to serve your sobriety.


Avoid unsupportive friendships

At some point across your recovery journey, you’ll likely receive some negativity, whether that’s from a friend, family member or a complete stranger.

For those who you see and spend time with, to maintain a social life after rehab, you’ll, unfortunately, need to avoid unsupportive relationships.

Those who doubt you, those who fuel your triggers, those who judge you and those who damage your mental health should be eliminated from your life as much as possible.


Make new friends and nurture supportive relationships

A sober lifestyle will provide you with the blessing of making new friends and nurturing your existing relationships which bring value to your life.

Through post-rehab support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, you’ll have the chance to meet, support and engage with like-minded people. Making new friends can feel like a tough step to take. Yet those who understand your journey will help you maintain a sober social life.

Nurturing your supportive relationships is also recommended. Those who opt for sober activities, those who manage a clean house, those who respect your choices and those who uplift your mental health should be associated with.


Host your own sober events

As many events are alcohol/drug-fuelled, it can feel isolating to attend as sober. To avoid this feeling, hosting your own sober events is an effective solution. You can still celebrate, you can still spend time with friends, and you can still remain social by running your own get-togethers.


Be confident

Doubting your ability to maintain a sober lifestyle will not help your mental health or ability to remain on track. By instead feeling confident in your ability, you’ll have a positive and progressive mindset to support your next steps.

Be confident with every decision you make and how it will bring value to your social life.


Keep up with aftercare

Aftercare services are in place to help bridge the gap between rehab and everyday, normal life. To help you feel a sense of normality, and also deal with the newness of sobriety, aftercare treatments and services are promoted.

You can attend support groups, seek medical advice, develop your relapse prevention plan, and start to form a balanced and sustainable routine. Keeping up with your aftercare schedule will offer many benefits, socially, mentally, and progressively.


Find sober activities that you enjoy

Although life before rehab may have felt consumed by drugs or alcohol, life after rehab can be managed as sober. There are a wealth of sober activities to take up, either arranged for recovering addicts or promoted for overall health benefits. Fitness sessions, spiritual activities, AA events, career-focused meetings, and a wealth of hobbies can be enjoyed without the presence of drugs/alcohol.

It is important to find a sober circle and a sober activity that you enjoy and can sustain.


Addiction support here at Step One Recovery

Obstacles are expected across the addiction recovery process. Whether you’re feeling stuck in the cycle of addiction, whether you’re struggling through the withdrawal phase, or whether you’re feeling isolated through post-rehab life, solutions, support, and treatment are in place.

At Step One Recovery we can help you through your obstacles, whilst motivating you and helping you thrive through sobriety. For our support throughout the entire process, reach out.

A sober lifestyle can be aimed for, can be developed, and can be maintained. Knowing how to maintain a social life after rehab is the starting point. Pressing ahead with such changes will help you feel confident with your sober choices. Start today by believing in social life after rehab.