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Life after Rehab: How Does Life After Rehab Affect You?


Author: Thomas Roth

Last Updated: 8/17/2022

The step-by-step process of recovery you go through in rehab does not end when you leave. Life after rehab often looks different because everyone lives a unique life. Therefore, it’s realistic to expect variation in life after rehab for yourself and someone else. Still, there are many struggles and victories that recovering alcoholics face together.

Alcohol is an addictive substance that many people have direct access to once they reach the legal drinking age. Another thing most people have around them is addiction. In today’s world, it’s easy to become an addict. Even things like electronics and food are addicting. Rehabilitation centers for alcohol put people through intensive programs to help them regain control of their life. Read on to learn more about life after rehab below.

What is Alcohol Rehab?

Alcohol rehabilitation has many forms including, medical detox, psychotherapy, and the use of medications. At rehabilitation centers, you undergo some or all of these treatments until they know what works best for you and your situation. 

The biggest part of rehabilitation for alcohol is to limit the dependency on alcohol in each person. There are both inpatient rehab centers and outpatient rehab centers. The difference between the two is that for inpatient care you live at the rehab center, while outpatient centers are weekly meetings and treatment sessions.

At rehabilitation centers, programs help you stop drinking and improve your life. The goal is to help you to achieve long-term sobriety.

What are the Benefits of Alcohol Rehab?

There are many benefits to alcohol rehabilitation. The biggest one is to remove your dependency on alcohol and achieve long-term sobriety and live a successful life. This all starts with detoxification or the removal of alcohol from the body.

We list the other benefits of alcohol rehab below.

  • No more addiction to alcohol 
  • Improved liver health 
  • Better heart function 
  • Less plaque buildup in arteries 
  • Improved relationships with friends and family 
  • More time to enjoy life 
  • Better dopamine and serotonin levels 
  • Long-term financial savings 
  • Reduced risk of brain damage 
  • Better dental health 
  • Gastrointestinal recovery 

Depending on the severity of alcoholism, these benefits vary. 

What are the Risks of Alcohol Rehab?

Alcohol rehab is safe and important for people recovering from alcoholism. However, there are risks. While there are rewards and benefits to alcohol rehabilitation, the risks need to be addressed. 

We list these risks of alcohol rehab below. 

  • One of the most dangerous conditions and risks is Delirium Tremens. This is a condition that causes shaking and delirium. According to, between 5-20% of people in detox are affected by it and 5% of those people die in detox. 
  • Another risk is withdrawal during the detoxification process. Withdrawal will cause symptoms such as nausea, headaches, fever, and dizziness. It will also cause more severe side effects such as memory loss, irritability, and increased heart rate.
  • Liver failure is also common 
  • Heart disease is possible 
  • The risk of heart attack is increased 
  • Brain damage may occur 

Depending on the case, the risks of alcohol rehab vary. It’s important to consult with a medical professional before enrolling.

How Much Does an Alcohol Rehab cost?

The pricing for alcohol rehabilitation varies. On the lower end, it costs around $2,000. On the higher end, it costs as much as $50,000. The cost of the program depends on the type of facility you’re in. The more expensive ones are called “Luxury Rehabs” and the extra cost is for amenities such as massages, saunas, and tasty meals. While these luxuries are nice they do not usually contribute to the overall effectiveness of your program. 

When you pay for the program you’re also paying for all of your food and the cost of living for the duration of the program. There are many programs to choose from including 30-day, 90-day, and even 1-year-long programs. The length of your program depends on the level of your addiction and the toll it takes on your life.

How is Life After Three Months of Alcohol Rehab?

When you are in rehab every day can feel like a battle and every day can last a lifetime. One important thing to do is give yourself milestones, and one of the most important milestones is the 30-day mark. 

At this point, you have most likely made it through withdrawal and are doing well in your recovery. 

At this point in your recovery, attending multiple support group meetings in your area is the best way to maintain sobriety. You will also have a sponsor at this point. Most rehab centers will provide someone for you but if you’re in a 30-day program you may need to find someone yourself. A sponsor is someone you fully trust and someone you will go to if you feel the urge to drink.

How is Life After Six Months of Alcohol Rehab?

Another big milestone in your road to recovery is the 6-month mark. At this point, you will have had some really good days as well as some really bad days but now at this milestone you will see how far you have come and you will see the accomplishment you have made. At this milestone, some things in your life will include repairing broken friendships and relationships that were caused by your addiction. At this point, it’s also a good idea to meet with a financial consultant to set financial goals for your future. 

The 6-month mark is also a good time to attend some career fair or send some applications out to attempt to rejoin the workforce. Doing so will help you rejoin society but it will also be another turning point in your recovery that will help you see the progress you have made. Lastly, it’s important to develop some type of hobby. Something that you enjoy doing such as music, art or sports.

How is life After a Year of Alcohol Rehab?

One of, if not the biggest milestones, is the 1-year mark. You have made it a full year since your last drink and that is a massive accomplishment! This is a great time to celebrate your success with those you love. 

Going out to dinner or going to an event with friends and family is a great way to celebrate this occasion. At this point in your recovery, you will now share your story with others in your group who are just now entering into their programs. This will help them see that it is possible and it will provide some hope for them. 

The 1-year mark is also a great time to set up your future goals. A 5-year plan is great to see where you want to be both personally and professionally at that time. While you have made it far and show incredible strength in your recovery, every day is still a battle so look for ways to continue to motivate yourself in your daily life.

Does Relapse Happen After Alcohol Rehab?

Unfortunately, relapse on the road to recovery is a common occurrence. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, relapse rates while in recovery are between 40-60%. Relapse happens because of how much alcohol exists at social gatherings, bars, and in other areas of life. Staying sober after rehab is a commitment that requires strength and willpower.

What Percentage of users Relapse after Rehab?

Half of the people in recovery relapse. More specifically, the number is 40-60%. Relapsing will feel like you just lost all the progress you made in your program but that’s not the case. If it’s not a common occurrence and you still commit to your recovery, you won’t need to go to rehab again. 

However, if it is a pattern of drinking then you may need to enter into a strict or inpatient program again.

How Do I Stay Sober After Alcohol Rehab?

While many think the initial recovery and withdrawal are the hardest parts of your journey, maintaining sobriety is just as difficult. There are many things you can do to prepare for long-term sobriety after rehab. 

Staying healthy is an important way to stay sober. Continue to attend meetings regularly. If you start to skip meetings or stop overall it shows that your recovery is falling down your list of priorities. Recovery should always be at the top of the list. 

Another way to stay sober is to recognize the work you have done already and celebrate your milestones. Whether it is 30 days, 90 days, 1 year, or 10 years, celebrating a milestone shows you understand that it was a hard journey but you are winning the fight. 

Lastly, another way to stay sober is to know when you need help. You can’t be afraid to reach out to a sponsor, a family member, or an outpatient rehab center. If you know when you need help then you will catch yourself before you lose all the progress you made. Rehabilitation centers are there to help you. Use the tools they provide to you and you will be able to lead a long successful life.