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Aftercare Services and Support

Addiction recovery isn’t a final destination people reach after completing a 30, 60, or 90-day rehab program. Instead, recovery is a journey that can span a person’s lifetime. Instead of thinking they’ll be finished or “healed” after completing rehab, people must think of the end of rehab as the beginning of their new life in recovery.

Transitioning out of the familiar, structured rehab environment can leave many people feeling overwhelmed or unsure. Many find that their confidence comes and goes from day to day–or even from hour to hour. It’s one thing to learn the skills you need to stay sober–but practicing them in your daily life can be more challenging than people expect.

It’s important for people to develop and follow an aftercare plan to help them stay active and engaged in the process of recovery. Making a plan and gathering the right support can reduce your risk of relapse and ensure you remain committed to a healthy, sober lifestyle.

This guide will detail how to create a supportive aftercare plan after rehab. Contact the Mandala Healing Center specialists for more ideas and support at any stage of your recovery journey.

Your Aftercare Timeline

Instead of considering your recovery as one event, it might be helpful to think of recovery as a journey of many steps, choices, and events.

For many, the earliest days of recovery are the most challenging. Sobriety is new, and you’ll likely be going through many transitions as you move to a new location, return to work, and experience more freedom and independence.

Each person will have their own experiences and feelings during recovery, and no two recovery journeys will be identical. However, it may be helpful to follow a timeline to help you stay on track with your aftercare plan.

The first 30 days after rehab

Take the following steps during your earliest days of recovery:

  • Identify negative impulses and use strategies you’ve learned to manage them
  • Create an aftercare plan that includes your goals and concrete steps you will take to achieve them
  • Find stable, supportive housing
  • Connect with a therapist or addiction counselor
  • Commit to getting exercise every day
  • Build a daily routine that allows for work, chores, rest, and recovery-related appointments and activities
  • Find a support system that includes at least one person you can call if you feel the urge to use drugs or alcohol
  • Seek out at least two forms of group support, including 12-step meetings

Do not take on additional responsibilities during this time. Say “no” to requests requiring a lot of time, energy, or focus. Your recovery should be your primary activity during this time.

30 to 60 days after rehab

Some aspects of recovery may feel easier, and some challenges may remain. You may develop new problems or have old ones spring up. It’s important to follow your aftercare plan and make adjustments if needed.

  • Continue attending support groups at least once a week
  • Attend individual therapy sessions once a week
  • Keep a journal of your triggers, strategies for managing them, and any other thoughts and emotions you have
  • Consult with a career counselor about returning to work, if possible

90 to 180 days after rehab

You have probably become accustomed to your new habits and routines, but continuing your recovery-related activities and self-care is essential.

  • Think about long-term goals you’d like to work toward
  • Explore a new hobby or re-commit to an old one that brings you joy
  • Work with a financial planner to learn about money-management strategies and make a plan for the future
  • Work to repair damaged relationships

180 to 365 days after rehab

Reaching the six-month and one-year milestones is a major accomplishment. Take the time to celebrate your hard work–and express gratitude to the people who have supported you along the way.

  • Consider mentoring others new to recovery
  • Invest more time and energy in your hobbies and relationships
  • Look five or more years into the future and make new financial, personal, and professional goals

Recovery is a process that requires a lot of time, patience, and support. It’s important to acknowledge your hard work, celebrate your accomplishments, and look forward to the future you choose.

Aftercare Resources

There are many resources available to support people in recovery. During rehab, your treatment team will get to know you and connect you with the professionals and programs you require after you leave rehab.

Here are some of the resources available to support and empower people in recovery.

Facility-based aftercare programs

Some treatment facilities offer aftercare programs that include:

  • Medical evaluations
  • Alumni program
  • Sober living homes
  • Therapy
  • Recovery coaching

Sober living homes

A sober living home offers a safe, stable living environment for people in recovery. Many sober living homes provide private bedrooms and shared living spaces where peers can gather and socialize. Staff may live onsite to provide ongoing support and resources to residents.


Therapy is an essential aspect of an aftercare plan. Regular therapy sessions allow people to process emotions, learn new skills, and identify strategies to manage challenges without relapsing.

Support groups

It’s important to have a community that understands addiction and recovery and can offer non-judgmental advice and support. Regularly attending support groups can help you feel less isolated and more connected to people and resources in your community. There are many types of addiction support groups, including 12-step, gender-specific, and faith-based groups.

Get Help Today

Developing an aftercare plan can help you thrive in recovery. Reach out to the Mandala Healing Center specialists to discover new ways to stay active and engaged in your recovery after leaving rehab.