Part 1: Transition from treatmean to early recovery 

The majority of relapses happen within the first few months after leaving rehab; having a solid foundation is one thing, the other is having an understanding of transition. The aftercare process is vital and is being overlooked by many treatment centres.

Below we will address some of the important dynamics that people in early recovery will face once they leave rehab.

(Please note that everyone has different circumstances and these points might not apply to all)


If it’s your first time in rehab, you might be expecting everyone to welcome you back with open arms. You might expect that everyone will be different and the world will have changed. 

This is not a realistic expectation to have, addiction comes with distrust, broken promises and destruction. The majority of the people in your life will have been affected negatively by your addiction and the consequences of this will take time to heal. Expecting people to trust you straight away because you’ve been in rehab is going to set up disappointments for yourself and for the other people involved. Just because you want it to be different doesn’t mean it’s going to be different.

Don’t be Discouraged

The transition period from distrust to trust is a long process filled with progress and setbacks, but stay clean/sober and everything will work out the way it should. People will come and go in recovery, but one thing MUST remain constant; your sobriety.

Recovery is Not the Same as Treatment

Some people do very well in treatment and leave the centre feeling like they are 2 meters tall, able to fly and bullet proof, but what a lot of people don’t realise is that doing well in treatment is not recovery. Recovery is proving yourself over and over that no matter happens in your life, you weather the storm and stay sober. Treatment is “discovery” not recovery.

An attitude of “I’ve got this waxed” is a fatal flaw in early recovery. You don’t know enough to have this waxed, there are still many lessons to learn and leaving treatment with that attitude will render you unteachable, arrogant and most probably high or drunk. Stay open to the fact that you are going to need as much help as possible to get through this transition process and that your best thinking got you into rehab in the first place.

Next Steps

We hope that you found this article about the transition from treatment to recovery helpful and encouraging. If you are struggling with an Addiction or know someone who is. Please feel free to contact us and we can help you with your next steps.

Cherrywood House is a rehabilitation centre for people suffering from substance and other addictive disorders. It is situated in the tranquil, semi-rural environments of Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa. We offer  Residential Programmes, Aftercare Support Services, Outpatient Programme, Family Support Groups. For more information. Visit our Website Here.