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What to Expect After a Drug Rehab

Life after rehab can feel like waking up from a dream, or more accurately a nightmare. If an addict has been using drugs for a very long time it might feel like they are learning to walk again. 

Starting a new life after rehab can be confusing if you don’t know what to expect. But can you guess what to expect after a drug and alcohol rehab program?

Let’s have a look at some of the ways your life can be impacted after leaving drug rehab.

Expected Changes After Drug Rehab

You’ll Feel Much Better

What to expect after a drug and alcohol rehab program varies from person to person, but one thing is certain, most people end up feeling better.

Rehab is the most difficult part of recovery. While there might be some cravings and emotional trauma to overcome along the way, the worst has already passed. 

It will feel incredibly good to wake up without a hangover, to stop feeling panic attacks, and to not have irrational rage consume you. 

Tasks will be easier, much easier. Things that used to require a great deal of self-will and strength will now feel almost effortless.

The energy of your new self will start to manifest in your surroundings as well. Your home will not look like a tornado stormed by, you’ll start attracting better things, and it will feel as if your luck turned around.

Sunshine and rainbows all the way.


Cravings won’t last forever, but they might be around for a few months after rehab. Yea, we know–bummer. But, the good news is that it gets better with each passing day.

After six months of sobriety, most people will have no trace of cravings and no real physical desire to consume. 

Yes, the obsession might visit you from time to time and plan thoughts in your head. But if you have a solid program of recovery and don’t skip your spiritual maintenance then a relapse will not be something you need to worry about.

Change in Your Finances

One of the first changes you will notice is in your finances. That endless hole burning in your pocket that sucked every penny out of you will be done with.

While you will probably still have some debts and financial amends to sort out, it will all be so much easier knowing you don’t have the weight of your addiction depleting you of every penny.

Changes at Work

If you are lucky enough to still have your job, it’s very probable that your job circumstances will change after you leave rehab.

For some that might mean renewed success in their role and the potential for growth within the company. For others, it might be changing jobs to one that better fits their new lifestyle and sobriety.

If you didn’t have a job before, then you’ll probably be on your way to get a new one, or to train yourself for a future opportunity.

New Life – New Friends

After returning from rehab, you’ll definitely be wanting to hang out with a different crowd. At first, it could be difficult to adjust and find new friends—or how to even learn to socialize without drugs or a drink. But with time, your new circle will be worth its weight in gold and you’ll be asking yourself how it took you this long to get to where you are.


If you are part of a 12-step program then you might be presented with the opportunity to amend some of the errors of your past. If so, you could be on your way to a transformative journey that will help you improve your relationships and heal from past trauma.

Aftercare Programs

After completing a drug and alcohol rehab program, the greatest challenge is maintaining sobriety. 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “stress cues” and contact with drugs or alcohol are the most common relapse triggers. 

Your drinking buddies or the neighborhood pub can serve as stress cues if you once associated them with drugs or alcohol. A cue could also be a powerful negative emotion or mood that you once managed with drugs or alcohol. 

But aftercare programs can help high-risk individuals maintain sobriety and prevent relapses.    

What to Expect After Drug Rehab: The Need for Continued Support

Now that you know what to expect after a drug and alcohol rehab program you are ready to take the next step.

Rehab doesn’t end at the gates of the facility. Sobriety is but a daily reprieve from a life-long condition. In order to maintain your sobriety, it’s critical that you enroll in an aftercare program.

Outpatient LA offers alumni and guests relapse prevention programs that can help them maintain their new-found sobriety.

Contact Outpatient LA today to find out more!

Get Real Help for Addiction Right Now.

Outpatient Los Angeles is available day or night to help you find the best treatment options that meet your personal needs.