Tips for Young Adults Launching Back into Life After Rehab

Ways to Smooth & Enhance the Transition From Rehab to Real Life

Tips for Young Adults Launching Back into Life After Rehab

Most young people who enter drug and alcohol treatment programs did not go in willingly. In most cases, a concerned parent, friend, or spouse used heavy persuasion to convince the young adult that they needed help with their substance abuse. However reticent they were going in, most are grateful that a caring loved one got them the help they needed.

Now that the treatment program is completed, with discharge papers in hand the young adult reenters the real world. Life after rehab is not as simple as it might seem. A residential drug treatment program is a very controlled, stable, and predictable environment. Each hour of the day is planned out and structured for various treatment elements, such as group therapy, individual therapy, 12-step meetings, visiting speakers, and recreation. Suddenly, all that organized living is lifted and the young person will be left to his or her own devices to continue on their path of recovery.

Understanding that for young adults the first 90 days post-treatment represent the most vulnerable period for potential relapse, it is wise to take a proactive stance while launching back into life after rehab. Here are some tips to prepare young adults for the challenges that may pop up once back in the real world.


  • Start with a commitment to restoring physical and mental health. Revamping your daily diet away from junk foods and high fat fare and learning how to eat a balanced diet is the first step. Lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, seeds and nuts, eggs, and yogurt are just some of the foods that will enhance your recovery, and improve your mood. Regular exercise should also become part of your new life in recovery, so take up a sport, join a gym, start running or hiking and let those endorphins elevate your mood. By taking care of yourself and getting stronger you increase your ability to choose fitness over drugs or alcohol.


  • Surround yourself with others committed to sobriety. A proven and powerful tool in recovery is the support you can receive in a 12-step or non 12-step program. This focused fellowship provides the young adult with people of all ages who can act as mentors or good examples of how to manage life after rehab. The groups typically offer social events and conferences that are great sources for making new sober friends and acquaintances who can help you fortify your own commitment to sobriety. These groups also set up a source of accountability, especially if you have a sponsor. Accountability helps deter relapse.


  • Make a life plan and set new goals. In active addiction it is common that all sense of the future is swept under a rug. Eventually you forget the hopes and dreams you once had for your life. Now that your are clean and sober, why not reclaim those dreams and put down on paper a few goals you hope to achieve in the near future. The goals should be small and attainable at first so you don’t overwhelm yourself at the outset. As your recovery strengthens and your mind clears, start thinking bigger. Maybe you want to return to college. Maybe you want apply to a college or learn a new trade. Maybe you decide to become active in a cause or you want to throw your hat in the ring on a job posting at work. Setting goals can be very therapeutic and uplifting.


  • Continue to see a therapist. Some people in early recovery mistakenly feel once they finish the treatment program they are good to go. Nothing could be further from the truth. Continuing on with outpatient care is crucial because bumps in the recovery road are inevitable and having a therapist with whom to discuss the struggles, temptations, and challenges to your sobriety keeps you in an offensive mode. Your therapist can help you identify ongoing triggers and together you can formulate a strong relapse prevention plan. If you live at home and the family dynamic is endangering your recovery, family therapy would be beneficial. Seeing your therapist regularly will also make you accountable to someone for your ongoing recovery.


  • Be of service. It is well known in the recovery community that helping others is a win-win for all. By focusing on serving others instead of obsessing over yourself you find joy and purpose. Look to your local community for opportunities to serve. Consider your own passions, the things you care about that can guide you towards a service activity that will help others while enhancing your recovery. A soup kitchen, a food pantry, an animal shelter, a beach conservation group, or just helping an elderly neighbor with their needs—anything that you can do to bring a smile to someone’s face will make your life after rehab more meaningful.

Launch Centers Helps Young Adults Transition from Rehab to Life

Located in the heart of West Los Angeles, Launch Centers offers an important support component to young people who have done the work to get clean and sober. With close proximity to several top colleges and multiple industries, the vocational counselors at Launch Centers help young adults discover their passions and interests and make a life plan around them. The program integrates vocational, therapeutic, and educational elements so clients can identify personal strengths. Each client will have an individualized plan with goals and measurable outcomes to help them reach their dreams in life after rehab. For more information on this outpatient program, call us today at (877) 895-3231.