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What Is the Next Step in Recovery After Detox?

The choice to use or abstain from drugs or alcohol is a personal decision that everyone needs to make for themselves. While many people indulge in substance use for social or recreational purposes, it can easily develop into substance use disorder (SUD). 

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports that 16.5% of the population aged 12 and older met the criteria for SUDs in 2021. That is 46.3 million people in the United States. With SUDs becoming more common, it raises a lot of questions about the detox process, treatment options, and recovery planning. 

Receiving treatment for SUD and recovering successfully is possible. There are many different treatment options available. Most include residential programs that offer everything a person needs to make changes to their lifestyle. Treatment programs also include a variety of different scientifically based therapies, group sessions, and medical resources. The first step in a treatment program is often the detox process.

What Is Detox?

Detoxification, or detox for short, is a process by which your physical body is cleared of any substances that you have been using. This is done under very controlled circumstances under the care of a medical team. Sometimes medications are used to help manage withdrawal symptoms during detox. The length and intensity of detox vary based on multiple factors, including:

  • What types of substances you used
  • How many substances you used
  • The dosage of substances you used
  • Medical history
  • The presence of mental health disorders

Treatment centers can help individuals struggling with SUDs get through detox as comfortably as possible. However, detox is only the first step in treatment and recovery. Ridding your body of substances is not enough. For true recovery to be achieved, you have to make significant and lasting changes to your life. 

Making Life Changes After Detox

After detox, you will enter a treatment program for your SUD. During treatment, you will have the opportunity to examine the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that contribute to your addiction. You will work closely with a mental health professional that specializes in the treatment of SUDs. There are several behavioral therapies that are proven effective for treating SUD, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). 

Sometimes medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is utilized to help you manage lingering withdrawal symptoms. Medication can also be an effective tool to manage mental health symptoms that you may have been trying to manage with substance abuse. When used in conjunction with therapy and other resources in treatment, medications can be a significant factor in achieving whole-person wellness.

Recognizing faulty thinking and how it affects your behavior can provide important insight into what kinds of changes you need to make in your life. The goal of treatment is to help you discover more about yourself and help you develop healthy coping skills. You can then use these tools to help you maintain long-term sobriety.

Preparing for Sober Living After Detox and Treatment

There are several things you can do to begin to prepare for returning to your regular life after treatment. Many treatment programs include aftercare planning to help you. They help with referrals for ongoing support, as well as finding local support groups and sober recreational activities. At Malibu Wellness Ranch, preparing for a whole and joyful life plays a big part in our treatment program. 

Part of our treatment program is helping our clients reestablish healthy living practices that will support their sobriety once they are home. Our counselors can facilitate any communication that needs to happen between our clients and their family members. We will help our client’s loved ones understand what kind of support they will need once they are done with our treatment program. 

Malibu Wellness Ranch prepares our clients for sober living in several ways. Our ranch is 800 acres located in the Pocono Mountains, allowing us to provide our clients with a variety of unique life experiences. While participating in activities like hiking, fishing, and archery, our clients are rediscovering the ability to enjoy life without the use of substances. They are also making important social connections with people who share the same goals. 

Maintaining Your Recovery

There are several factors that are of the utmost importance to maintaining sobriety after treatment. First and foremost, you should always follow your aftercare program instructions. Attend all appointments and support group sessions. Lean on family and friends that can support you in maintaining your sobriety. Avoid people and places that might trigger your SUD.

Malibu Wellness Ranch helps each client formulate a discharge plan when their treatment nears completion.  We help with referrals for ongoing medical and mental health treatments, as needed. If our clients need help finding a living situation that is conducive to maintaining sobriety, we can help them. We can also help our clients find recovery meetings in their local areas.


While detox is an important part of treatment for substance use disorder (SUD), it is only the first step. In order to maintain sobriety and prevent relapse in the future, it is essential that you make significant and lasting changes to your life. The treatment program at Malibu Wellness Ranch combines a variety of therapies with unique recreational activities to help our clients develop the skills they need for success in recovery. We help each client develop a discharge plan that will help them continue to receive the support they need after they leave our care. Call us today at (800) 862-5428 for more information on the Malibu Wellness Ranch approach to treatment and recovery.