How to Stay Inspired to Change After Drug and Alcohol Treatment

May 25, 2023

Written By: Buena Vista Recovery

Completing a drug and alcohol treatment program is a very important and exciting step. Taking that step is integral to your success in long-term recovery. However, after treatment, it is natural to lose some momentum and feel less inspired to continue to make changes that reinforce sobriety. Having a long-term relapse prevention plan is important for long-term recovery, and this can protect you in moments when inspiration dips. While you are likely to go through periods of low inspiration, you can build skills and a supportive community to assist you in maintaining sobriety.

Life After Drug and Alcohol Treatment

After drug and alcohol treatment, you will return home. In doing so, you will be back in an environment where you previously struggled with addiction. Therefore, your life after treatment must be distinctly different than before. This does not mean you need to move or quit your job. Instead, it means you need to stay on the path of change you began when you started treatment.

Fortunately, you learned many of the necessary skills during treatment. Through therapy, both individual and group, and other treatments, you have learned the necessary skills to support your sobriety at home. While these skills will vary, you will likely need to use communication skills to draw boundaries, have a stress management plan, and implement ways to care for your emotional and physical needs.

Maintaining Inspiration After Drug and Alcohol Treatment

During treatment, you were in a place where the entire structure was created to help you heal. However, when you return home, this is very different. Therefore, it is important that you have a plan, keep track of your goals, care for yourself, and build a community that helps support your continued journey of recovery.

Having a Plan

When you are making any change or have a goal, having a plan is important. For example, imagine you have a flight to catch at nine a.m. You need to have a plan regarding when you need to arrive, when you are leaving your house, etc. This is the same with recovery. Upon returning home after drug and alcohol treatment, you will likely have most of a plan that was created by your treatment team. However, as you know, plans change. Changing your plan in recovery is okay. It is actually better to change your plan if the initial plan is just not going to work.

As you have struggled with addiction in the past, you will need to have a plan for managing triggers like stress or certain environments. However, you will also need a plan for how to deal with conflict and other challenges that may have pushed you toward substances in the past.

Tracking Your Goals

Keeping track of your goals is important in recovery and can help you to feel inspired. When you get lost in the daily grind of life, it can feel like you aren’t really moving anywhere. However, when you make specific goals such as doing a de-stressing activity twice a week, and track them over time, you can see that you are continuing to grow and change. Remember, tracking shouldn’t be stressful. It is a method to help you feel excited.


Caring for your needs is important for relapse prevention. In fact, research published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine has shown that when you stop self-care practices, you are taking the first step toward relapse. Therefore, self-care plays an important role in keeping you moving toward your goal of long-term recovery.

Additionally, self-care can help you to feel inspired. When you care for your emotional, physical, and mental needs, you help yourself feel better. As you continue to feel better more often, you are more likely to continue these practices. Remember, recovery can feel like a slow process. However, over time, with self-care, you can feel good and find joy and purpose in your life.


After treatment, you may need to adjust or find a new community that supports your changes. Community plays an important role in your recovery. It is a group that you can rely on for support. Additionally, your connection to the community can help you feel a deeper reason for maintaining your sobriety.

Whether your community is old or new, connecting with others can be inspiring in many ways. First, it can give you new ideas. For example, you might connect with another individual who is recently out of treatment, and through sharing you might learn new methods of stress management, which inspires you to change it up and try something new. Secondly, connecting with a community can help you to feel cared for and important. As you start to feel better about yourself, you are more likely to feel inspired to continue to make positive changes that help you to live the life you have always wanted.

After treatment, it is common to lose momentum. When you return home, the absence of the structure you had in treatment can be hard. However, you can still find motivation and inspiration once you have returned home. At Buena Vista, we understand that recovery is not a one-step process. Out programs arm clients with the tools and understanding about how to make the transition out of treatment, without losing steam. Additionally, we have multiple levels of treatment that can provide you with the support you need to smoothly transition home without losing your inspiration and motivation for sobriety. To learn more about how we can help you, call us today at (480) 741-9414.