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Life After Alcohol Rehab: Navigating the Journey to Lasting Sobriety

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There are a number of challenges individuals may face when transitioning out of an inpatient rehab facility and back into their everyday lives. Rehab is certainly an essential component of recovery, but true recovery lasts a lifetime. That means long-term recovery strategies should be put in place to help support the lasting recovery process.

From developing a toolkit of coping mechanisms, finding support groups, and rebuilding family bonds to establishing stable neurochemical balance, the transition out of rehab involves building the foundations necessary to keep the other building blocks of recovery upright. During this time, it’s important to remember that just as every individual is different, every road to recovery is different. What one individual needs is not the same as another, and lasting recovery involves providing personalized treatment and recovery plans to help each person find the right path to staying sober.


Understanding ATMC’s Biophysical Approach to Alcohol Recovery

At Alternative to Meds Center, we know that the way to wellness is not only through treating the symptoms of addiction; we must also gauge the effects of disruptions in body chemistry, address mental health, reduce or eliminate the impact of pharmaceutical medications, and establish the right mix of alternative, holistic, and psychotherapeutic methods. We value our primary services over more traditional 12-step programs because these tend to not only ignore the effects of biochemical disruptions like low blood sugar or harmful prescription medications, but they may even promote secondary physiological addictions when implemented without a careful eye on biochemistry. 1 However, as you will see, that does not mean there is no place for them.

Research has shown that addressing the biochemistry in the brain — the neurobiology of addiction — is a highly effective tool for addressing addictive behaviors. Disruptions in this neurobiology can not only change the way the brain functions but, if left unaddressed, leave people more vulnerable to relapse after completing treatment.2 Unfortunately, the most prominent 12-step methods were designed in the early 1930s when the scientific understanding of addiction was not nearly as advanced. So, while programs like Alcoholics Anonymous effectively use group therapy and support systems to help addicted individuals work through a series of steps that have helped many addicted individuals feel better or less isolated; they do not account for the chemistry in the body that may influence the addictive behavior. For example, as mentioned earlier, something as simple as the gallons of coffee and loads of sugar offered at most meetings can create the potential for chemical and psychological addiction. The availability of these substances can impact the physiology of the body and make it difficult to navigate addictive behaviors; meanwhile, the failure to address the neurobiology of addiction and adjust all factors leading to biochemical imbalance often means the root cause of the addiction remains in place, unchecked.1

At Alternative to Meds Center, extensive lab work coupled with the latest research and methodologies to address the neurobiology of addiction can help begin healing where it truly matters: at the source of the addiction. Rigorous testing helps our expert staff identify the neurotoxic materials that create the addictive cycle and then use non-invasive and drug-free means to rid the body of those toxins. In short, our one-of-a-kind program takes into account the science of the body to help create the healthiest version of each individual so they can address any psychological effects of addiction instead of treating the symptoms.

This is not to say there is no place for 12-step methodologies — in fact, 12-step models of support are accessible on request while enrolled inpatient at Alternative to Meds Center, and transportation to local meetings can be arranged around your usual program activities. Some may feel the support provided by these programs creates an attainable and measurable goal that can keep motivation high while addressing many of the personal, social, and spiritual factors of addiction. When addressing the biochemistry behind the addiction and implemented alongside a range of personalized therapeutic options, a powerful force is created that can truly foster healing.3

Here at Alternative to Meds Center, we are dedicated to examining the root causes of addiction in each client before creating a personalized treatment menu featuring improved nutrition, holistic detoxification therapies, neurotransmitter balancing, supplements, group and individual counseling, and more. Our commitment to our clients is to provide the path to recovery that works for them while helping them physically and mentally heal. This work has been backed by prominent medical professionals like Dr. John Motl, MD, who is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.


The Role of Environmental Factors in Alcohol Addiction


Just as AA and other 12-step programs address the psychological and social aspects of addiction, many rehabs have placed an intense focus on treating mental health symptoms and addressing trauma. However, while mental health and trauma are certainly critical components of many instances of addiction, most rehabs and addiction professionals overlook the role of other environmental factors in alcohol addiction, especially environmental toxins.

Worse, they typically rely on psychotropic medications to address the resulting symptoms. Research is very clear involving the effects of environmental toxins on neurochemistry. Heavy metals, pollutants like herbicides, and other toxins in our air, water, and food can wreak havoc on the body and brain, creating neurochemical deficiencies, damaged or insufficient neurotransmitters, and hormonal imbalances. These disruptions in neurochemicals can be at the root of things like cravings, mental health symptoms, and more. Without addressing these disruptions, individuals released from rehab are at significant risk for relapse.4 In addition, the introduction of psychotropic medications can further disrupt the biochemistry of both body and brain and contribute to increasing levels of neurotoxicity.5

Addressing environmental factors and avoiding the addition of further toxins in the form of pharmaceutical medications is key to the lasting wellness found in recovery after rehab at Alternative to Meds Center. We may implement neurotransmitter repair and neurotoxin removal protocols to naturally encourage the feelings of peace, reward, and fulfillment disrupted by neurotoxins and once fulfilled by alcohol.

The Comprehensive Treatment Experience at ATMC

As you can see, at Alternative to Meds Center, we believe in overcoming addiction through a comprehensive approach that begins with a focus on the biological foundations of addiction. Because we don’t believe in supplementing recovery with the need for medications, we can focus on the source of the problem from both a biological and psychological approach. We don’t create a recovery that simply replaces one substance addiction with a reliance on another. With our holistic approach, we can help safely overcome the biochemistry of addiction.

Here’s how:
  • Intake, Diagnostics, and Lab Testing — At intake, we run a comprehensive battery of lab tests and other diagnostics, both to discover and rule out potential causes of addiction and mental health symptoms. We also focus on potential vitamin and nutrient deficiencies and even metabolic levels.
  • Individualized Treatment Plan — With knowledge regarding the root biochemical issues in hand, we can proceed with creating an individualized treatment plan that corrects the biochemical issue, minimizes withdrawals, and addresses mental health symptoms without the need for psychotropic medications when possible.
  • Medication Tapering — Safe tapering methods allow the body to slowly reduce toxins to avoid dangerous withdrawal symptoms while eliminating use of pharmaceutical medications.
  • Holistic Treatment and Detoxification Modalities — We utilize holistic detoxification modalities, including acupuncture, spa therapies, ionic footbaths, heavy metal chelation, and more. Stimulating the central nervous system, relaxing the mind, and encouraging the natural elimination of toxins can help create lasting healing.
  • Exercise and Nutrition — By helping to control the body’s metabolism, exercise is a great way to stimulate many areas of the body that help with holistic detoxification. Finding the right nutrients and enzymes the body needs through nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed proteins can help the body use naturally occurring elements to help begin holistic detoxification and healing.
  • Clinical Therapies and Group Counseling — Of course, mental health, trauma, and all that come with these aspects must be addressed alongside the biophysical elements of addiction. Individual clinical psychotherapy and group therapy can be an essential way to practice mindfulness, address the behaviors of addiction, and build the support network necessary for long-term recovery.
  • Education — Our addiction curriculum covers a wide range of topics suitable for improving physical health, addressing mental health, and building life skills and coping strategies for after rehab.
  • Discharge Planning — Elements of discharge planning are present in each and every component of treatment at Alternative to Meds Center. From intake and testing all the way to education, each client continuously receives the therapies, knowledge, skills, diet and biochemical repair necessary to make a lasting change and continue recovery.

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After Rehab: Tools and Support for Maintaining Sobriety

As mentioned above, discharge planning is a particularly important step in the recovery process, which is why planning for post-rehabilitation begins at intake. Through our extensive individualized plans that include comprehensive lab work, one-on-one communications with a practitioner, physical and emotional health assessments, a combination of clinical and holistic therapies, and the integration of neuroscience and biochemistry, we are constantly evaluating and refining the plan to meet the needs of each individual so they can find the road to recover while they are with us and have the confidence to support themselves as they transition out of rehab.

Our program seeks to develop healthy habits so that those habits can seamlessly become routines at home. Similarly, we seek to establish healthy biochemistry to eliminate the cause of cravings and mental health issues at their foundation. When it is time for an individual to leave, we provide them with extensive, detailed, and individualized plans based on the ongoing evaluations received while they are with us. Each patient is unique, and so, too, are their needs. We do not believe in a one-size-fits-all plan, whether for treatment or discharge.


Navigating Challenges Post-Rehab

After participating in a recovery program, maintaining a newly developed healthy lifestyle is one of the most significant steps to lasting recovery. Without the right foundation and preparation during treatment, a return to addictive behaviors could occur.

While stress, temptation, and social groups could all be factors in returning to addiction, eliminating the neurochemical and environmental chemical influences driving cravings can disarm the influence of these social and psychological factors. Similarly, addressing behaviors through cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness training, along with proper attention to employment, rebuilding social relationships, and establishing a strong support network, are essential strategies to prevent relapse that occur during treatment.6 Together, these discharge planning components can decrease the likelihood of relapse.

Proper discharge planning highlights the importance of these tools and taking self-ownership of lasting recovery. Alternative to Meds Center can help you redefine yourself by reestablishing a healthy connection between the mind and body, then teaching you how to take that new energy and invest it in positive influences.


Life Altering Benefits of a Cleaner Biochemistry

When recovery includes addressing the biochemistry behind addiction, individuals are better equipped to navigate life after alcohol rehab. Learn about the experiences of real Alternative to Meds Center clients.

Joey found his way to us after scouring the country for the recovery center he longed for. He was facing an addiction to cocaine and alcohol, but he found that the appeal of the other clients, the environment, and a desire to change helped to put him on the right path. With our assistance, he trusted the process and focused on the crux of his addiction — a failure to face his true emotions. In the end, he left ready to take his next steps in life.

Mike was looking for a place that would help him be as prepared for life after rehab as he could be. He found his way to Alternative to Meds Center, hoping to overcome his addiction to cocaine, alcohol, and heroin. After initially trying medications to help overcome these addictions, he knew it was his mind, body, and spirit that needed healing. He appreciated that his recovery was focused on the person who had the most influence on his healing: himself. While he knew what he was doing would benefit his family, he ultimately learned to reconnect with himself.

Matt sought to end his addiction to alcohol, originally caused by the impacts of his environment. From his career to his own divorce and the death of his mother, he told himself that he had every reason to drink the pain away. The decisions he made while under the influence of alcohol caused his mind to spiral, resulting in psychological medications to try and get him on the right track. With our help, he regained control over his biochemistry, which allowed him to confront the psychological setbacks that his addiction caused. Once he completed treatment, he was able to regain the mental clarity he needed to move forward in a positive way.

These testimonials are just a few of the ways that our clients have experienced the benefits of clearer biochemistry. Each of these clients experienced the necessary cleansing of the mind and body they needed to address their addiction at the source.


Overcoming Addiction With ATMC


Whether you are facing addiction to alcohol, dependence on drugs, or reliance on medications, it is essential to re-establish the connection between your mind and your body. Addressing your biochemistry can help redefine what it means to take control of your life. By targeting the source of the addiction, you can focus your recovery on your individual needs and find lasting healing.

If you are ready to get help for a friend, family member, or yourself, contact ATMC today and let us help you start on the road to recovery.

1 (888) 907-7075 for Help to Start Your Recovery

Resources :

1. Pennington, S. (2021). Recovery Despite Rehab: Recovery Beyond Twelve Step Programs. Balboa Press. Retrieved February 7, 2024, from

2. Koob, G. F., & Simon, E. J. (2009). The Neurobiology of Addiction: Where We Have Been and Where We Are Going. Journal of drug issues, 39(1), 115–132.

3. Galanter, M. (2018). Combining medically assisted treatment and Twelve-Step programming: a perspective and review. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 44(2), 151-159.

4. Jones, D. C., & Miller, G. W. (2008). The effects of environmental neurotoxicants on the dopaminergic system: A possible role in drug addiction. Biochemical pharmacology, 76(5), 569-581.

5. Whitaker, R. (2016). The case against psychiatric drugs. Cadernos Brasileiros de Saúde Mental/Brazilian Journal of Mental Health, 8(17), 1-16.

6. Hendershot, C. S., Witkiewitz, K., George, W. H., & Marlatt, G. A. (2011). Relapse prevention for addictive behaviors. Substance abuse treatment, prevention, and policy, 6, 1-17.

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