Whether one goes into a rehab due to a court order, based on family encouragement/insistence or for their own self recovery, they should be applauded. It is not easy to take the first step in recovering from addiction. However, the true test of one’s sobriety happens when the person leaves the safety of a highly monitored rehabilitation facility.

There are many people that leave treatment really wanting to be sober but also fearing they may not be able to stick to sobriety and abstinence. They are aware that abstinence was maintained because they were removed from their familiar environment and relationships, and were housed in a safe, sober environment with extreme monitoring. These patients recognize the importance of carrying over as much of the rehab structure as they can into their old lives when they return home. Aftercare services, such as remote monitoring devices, support groups, and other sources of accountability will greatly increase the chances that these patients will remain sober.

Then there are the few who feel overly confident. They report feeling invincible and do not think they need support once they leave rehab. Those who fall in this group are thought of as still being in their addictive thoughts. They may have maintained a string of days without drinking but they are still in the alcoholic mindset of doing it their way. They have not surrendered to help and will most likely reject further accountability and other aftercare services. As a result they have a far greater likelihood of falling into old drinking patterns and even having their drinking patterns accelerate to fatal levels.

Additionally, there is the group of patients who have every intention of drinking or using once they leave rehab. They have spent a great deal of time thinking about ways of getting around consequences and plan on doing a better job of hiding their use from whoever put them in rehab- the spouse, the boss, the law. This group would also initially reject aftercare support if given the choice; however they might be demanded to use aftercare services by their spouse or employer.

If a person is going to maintain sobriety, they need to want it for themselves and then must have the tools to help them effectively change their behaviors. I would say the vast majority of post rehab patients are in the category of wanting to maintain sobriety upon discharge. It has been found that monitoring services greatly decrease the rate of relapse and therefore should be a tool that is incorporated into their aftercare plan.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Shannon Hanrahan is dually licensed as a Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist. She is an expert in areas ranging from addiction and substance abuse to eating disorders and trauma. Dr. Shannon has been treating and counseling clients in Southern California for 15 years. She started her career working with severely emotionally disturbed youth and after gaining valuable experience and knowledge, she moved onto educating and supervising upcoming therapists.

Quote from Dr. Shannon: “I help people who feel they are stuck and therefore unable to reach their full potential in various areas of their life. I work with clients to address the issues that have them stuck while offering support and education about the behavior patterns they are engaging in that are no longer effective. I encourage clients to find the balance they need to live an authentic lifestyle.”