Attending an inpatient substance abuse program is the best way to conquer a long-term, severe addiction, but it is not the end of the recovery process. You’ll make great strides during the detox phase and the early stages of recovery that occur within an inpatient substance abuse program, but after a few weeks you’ll be sent out into the world to cope more-or-less on your own. For many, this is the stage of recovery where the risk of relapse is at its highest.

The good news is that your inpatient substance abuse program will give you a strong foundation to work with as you to the next stage of your life. By the time you leave your program, all of the drugs will be out of your system, you’ll have begun the therapy portion of your treatment, and you may even be involved in a support group. But even with these things working in your favor, this stage of recovery requires commitment and strength.

At this stage, one of the most important things is to continue trying to get to the bottom of why you became an addict. You likely began counseling during your inpatient substance abuse program, and you may have begun to figure out that there are deep elements of your personality that gave rise to your addiction. Yet you’re probably going to need a lot more time with your therapist to achieve peace of mind and to find harmony with the world.

Meanwhile, you may also want to seek therapy for any other mental health issues that may relate to your drug addiction. For example, many people who become addicts do so partially to escape problems with depression or anxiety. Unless you deal with these problems, you’re only treating the symptoms of your disease.

Finally, it’s important during this stage not to give up on your support group. Even if you didn’t get much out of your meetings when you were in your inpatient substance abuse program, continuing your meetings now is the biggest favor you can do for yourself. In the coming months, your group will be a crucial source of comfort and strength.