Types of Aftercare

The goal of aftercare is to prevent your relapse and ensure that you have recovery support for the long term. It takes many different forms, and understanding them can make it easier for you to create the right type of aftercare plan for your continued sobriety. Read on to find out more:

Importance of Aftercare

Although your experience in a drug rehab and treatment program can transform your life from substance abuse and addiction to sobriety, it is essential that you continue working on your recovery even after you have been discharged from the program. Without a proper aftercare plan in place, your risk of relapse might still be high.

In fact, NIDA - the National Institute on Drug Abuse - reports that anywhere between 40 and 60 percent of individuals with substance use disorders end up relapsing upon checking out of a treatment program.

These figures have been compared to the rates of relapse suffered by people struggling with other chronic and relapsing conditions like asthma - which require continuous treatment over the long term to manage effectively.

Since the same could happen to you when you were diagnosed with a substance use disorder, it is essential that you have an aftercare plan in place. Only by so doing can you ensure that your treatment program is comprehensive enough to reduce or completely eliminate your risk of relapse.

Understanding Aftercare Support

Addiction treatment and rehabilitation services comprise a long term program. According to SAMHSA - the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - it is recommended that your treatment follows a continuum of care that lasts long.

Today, you will typically go through several stages of addiction recovery before you can start breaking yourself free of the grip of substance tolerance, dependence, and addiction. These stages could also help you develop effective recovery tools so that you can start making the transition from treatment to daily life.

To this end, you should realize that the aftercare segment of your treatment would not be an afterthought. As such, you should not consider it to be optional. It is integral to your progress in recovery.

Although aftercare will technically begin after you have stayed in an addiction treatment facility, you would ideally work with your treatment team to create a comprehensive aftercare plan as soon as possible. Only by so doing can you increase your chances of achieving full sobriety in the long term.

Essential Aftercare Goals

You cannot ignore the importance of a solid aftercare plan. Research studies often report that the rates of abstinence tend to be significantly higher when a patient participates in various aftercare services.

However, there is more to aftercare than just reducing your risk of relapse, or preventing you from recurrent substance abuse. Other goals of this process include, but are not always limited to:

  • Ensuring that you can start making healthier choices about your relationships, lifestyle, and activities
  • Ensuring that you have continuous access to people and support groups that can continue guiding your process of addiction recovery
  • Learning how to continue coping with stress, depression, and other strong emotions that might cause you to start using drugs and drinking alcohol again
  • Reinforcing all the relapse prevention skills that you learned during rehab
  • Teaching you about triggers, and how to identify and deal with them so that you do not suffer a recurrence in your substance use

Common Aftercare Options

After you have been through a drug rehab, you may feel that the hard part of your recovery is over. However, there are other additional services that you are going to require to ensure that you do not start using drugs or drinking alcohol again after checking out of the rehab program.

The goal of addiction treatment is to ensure that you go through withdrawal and recovery in a safe and comfortable environment. It can also teach you new mechanisms to cope with any underlying causes of your substance abuse and addiction.

After your recovery treatment comes to an end, you still need to do more work to ensure that you continue sustaining your sobriety over the long term. This will take the form of aftercare planning and programming that could include the following aspects of recovery:

a) Outpatient Treatment

Most aftercare options will require that you continue participating in a treatment program - but on an outpatient basis - once you have completed your inpatient addiction treatment. By so doing, you can continue living at home or in a sober living/transitional living facility while enrolling for treatment several times every week.

This form of additional treatment could continue addressing all the other recovery issues that were not fully dealt with when you were in a residential treatment program. It could also ensure that you have access to group and individual counseling and therapy sessions, and 12 step support group programs.

b) Counseling and Therapy

Although therapy and counseling are large segments of the typical addiction rehab experience, you can still include them in your aftercare plan. Often, this will take the form of individual, group, and family counseling.

c) Family Education

Your family might also be included in your aftercare plan. This is because their influence could play a major role in your success during recovery. For this reason, you would be encouraged to bring your family along with you during your treatment either on an inpatient or outpatient basis so that they can receive education about how to continue supporting and loving you once you check out of the treatment program.

d) Case Management

Additionally, you could work with case managers after checking out of rehab. This way, they will be able to recommend changes to your aftercare plan, as well as track your progress in recovery. They could also refer you to other support services that you might need to keep up with your sobriety.

e) Sober/Transitional Living Homes

Finally, you might be asked to check into a sober or transitional living facility after or even during your addiction treatment program to ensure that you do not relapse. This is particularly true if your home environment would not support your continued sobriety.

Getting Help

While you are still enrolled in an addiction treatment program, it is essential that you start working on your aftercare plan to ensure that everything is in place before you check out of the program. In the long term, this aftercare plan could reduce your risk of relapse and sustain your recovery.









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