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Recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) is a journey. Treatment provides people with the necessary tools and skills to manage their condition after they complete rehabilitation and transition into aftercare. Clinicians help clients find healthy ways to motivate themselves and maintain positive lifestyle changes after treatment. As stated in a publication by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Motivation is a critical element of behavior change that predicts client abstinence and reductions in substance use.” West Coast Recovery Centers uses evidence-based and alternative holistic therapies to help clients plan for the future and remain motivated in long-term recovery. Planning for a sober future is an essential part of recovery. 

Preparing for a Sober Life After Rehabilitation

West Coast Recovery Centers guides clients through preparing for a sober life after treatment. Clinicians provide essential insights during every stage of treatment, from detox to aftercare. Increasing quality of life and a client’s ability to function are the primary goals of addiction recovery services. The care team uses evidence-based methods to help clients prepare for independent sobriety. 

A few ways clients and their families may plan for a sober future include: 

  • Developing essential life skills
  • Creating relapse prevention and crisis management strategies 
  • Establishing a strong support system
  • Educating family members on the realities of long-term recovery 
  • Removing alcohol and other substances from the home 
  • Reducing exposure to triggers
  • Setting clear boundaries with friends and family 
  • Learning to manage lingering symptoms and side effects

Treatment programs provide clients with the tools to successfully prepare for a healthy, happy, and sober future. In addition, case managers ensure clients have information about local community-based programs and services designed to provide additional support to individuals in early recovery. 

The Importance of Setting Goals for Long-Term Sobriety

Long-term sobriety requires commitment, dedication, and adaptability. People in recovery face many challenges, and having a clear plan for coping with them reduces pressure and stress. Setting goals is a vital part of planning for the future. If individuals don’t have goals to strive toward, the future may feel directionless and overwhelming. 

Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Everyone has different methods for setting and achieving goals. What works for one person may not work for someone else. However, there are a few tried and true methods that ensure positive results for the majority of people. The S.M.A.R.T. goal system is one of those methods. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), “After you have a general goal in mind, apply the principles of SMART goals to focus in on how to reach it.”

S.M.A.R.T. stands for the following:

  • Specific
  • Measurable 
  • Action-oriented
  • Realistic 
  • Timed

People in recovery narrow down their general goal of maintaining sobriety after treatment by utilizing the S.M.A.R.T. system. For example, instead of setting a goal of “staying sober,” a person in recovery can set a goal of “not misusing any substances for the next month.” After a month, the goal can be expanded. 

Navigating Challenges While Preparing for a Sober Future

People in recovery encounter many unexpected situations in their personal and professional lives. Navigating these challenges is not always easy. However, developing life skills and coping techniques ensures clients in recovery can analyze and respond to unexpected situations. Planning for potential problems before they arise also helps clients feel safer and better able to manage their disorder. 

Strategies for Achieving a Sober Future

Setting realistic and attainable goals is one strategy for achieving sobriety. However, most people need multiple ways to focus their time, energy, and motivation. 

Some other strategies people use to achieve a sober future include: 

  • Attending private or community-based self-help groups 
  • Making changes to build a healthier lifestyle 
  • Attending ongoing individual counseling or therapy 
  • Creating plans for relapse prevention and crisis management 
  • Practicing regular self-care
  • Building a solid support network

Case managers and other members of the care team at West Coast Recovery Centers provide clients and their families with additional support and referrals to resources. 

Celebrating Successes in Recovery

Sobriety shouldn’t be a weight people carry with them through their daily lives. Instead, sobriety should be something to celebrate. People in recovery benefit from focusing on the positives in their lives and celebrating with loved ones when they achieve a desired goal or overcome a challenge. 

Individuals in recovery may celebrate success by doing the following:

  • Sharing their positive experiences and achievements with friends and family 
  • Rewarding themselves for meeting specific goals 
  • Meditating on the positivity of success

Part of recovering from substance abuse involves finding healthy areas to direct time and energy. Planning for a sober future allows clients in treatment to discover new and exciting hobbies or activities they can use to achieve long-term recovery goals. Celebrating these new activities and finding ways to remain positive will increase the effectiveness of planning for the future.

Attending rehabilitation programs provides individuals in recovery with a solid foundation for a sober future. However, clients still need to plan for how to manage the realities of addiction recovery after they complete treatment. The care programs at West Coast Recovery Centers include aftercare planning to ensure clients have access to the resources, information, and tools they need to maintain sobriety. Clinicians collaborate with clients and their families to ensure people in recovery transition out of treatment and into a safe environment where they feel confident in their ability to continue healing and growing. Clients work with their care team and support system to prepare for a sober life. To learn more about our programs and services, call (760) 492-6509.

West Coast Recovery Centers ( 370135CP), Valid through July 31, 2025
Jackson House Visalia (540056AP), Valid through May 15, 2025
DHCS Licensing and Certification Division