The role of aftercare in addiction treatment is vital to helping a recovering addict maintain sobriety and prevent relapse after leaving rehab.  Most treatment providers work with clients during intake to create a plan for continuing support after they complete rehab.

Aftercare helps provide the encouragement and guidance a person needs while attempting to rebuild their lives.  After being sheltered within the rehab facility for a few months or more, the outside world can seem overwhelming to the person.  Also, the individual has been accustomed to a daily schedule of goals to achieve and activities to keep them busy. Leaving that structured environment behind can throw a recovering addict off balance, and possibly result in relapse.  For these reasons and more that we will cover below, aftercare in addiction treatment is a must.

Acclimating to the Outside World After Rehab

Most people who have been struggling with addiction for an extended time have lost touch with how to perform daily routines. Throughout their addiction, the main thing on their mind was being high and finding money for more of their substance of choice. Daily responsibilities such as paying bills, cleaning house, personal hygiene, attending school or work, and maintaining relationships are long forgotten.  

Now that rehab is over, it’s time to take up where they left off, and the person is not sure that they can handle it all.  With the right aftercare program, a recovering individual can find a compassionate person to talk to when things get tough.  

Words of encouragement and praise are often hard to come by for someone just out of rehab, especially when friends and family have turned their backs.  The staff and counselors of an aftercare program understand the challenges that await a recovering addict. Their advice and empathy are valuable to someone who is in a transition from addiction.   

Other Benefits of Aftercare in Addiction Treatment

Studies reveal that relapse rates are as high as 40 to 60 percent during the first year after leaving rehab.  However, it’s important to stress that relapse does not mean failure on the part of the individual or the rehab.  It merely means a little more work must be done. Many factors contribute to relapse, so it’s necessary to ensure that the individual has a variety of resources available.  An effective aftercare program can provide those resources or recommend alternatives.

One of the main goals of aftercare in addiction treatment is to help prevent relapse.  But, the role of these programs also extends to helping the individual find the right balance in their new life.  The person must learn to manage new responsibilities while also focusing on remaining sober. It won’t take much to tip the scale the wrong way and send everything tumbling down into the black hole of addiction once again.  

An aftercare therapist can help the individual maintain balance by keeping them on a regular schedule of meetings and therapy sessions that cater to the person’s specific needs.  These sessions help renew their commitment to sobriety.

Types of Aftercare Programs Available

Recovery doesn’t stop the day rehab ends.  It is an ongoing process that will continue for a lifetime.  For that reason, the aftercare program a person chooses should be one they can trust and depend on for the level of support needed.

There are a variety of aftercare programs available today, and a recovering addict can take part in more than one at a time.  Here are a few of the most commonly used services:

  • IOP – Intensive Outpatient  Programs: Typically provides four of five days of programming per week.  The program can include group and individual counseling sessions, wellness programs, and more.  The person can live at home or in a sober living home during this time. IOP’s are designed to support a person physically, mentally, and emotionally as they transition back into society.
  • 12-Step Programs – These fellowship programs such as AA and NA help provide continuing support and guidance as they navigate the complexities of recovery.  Participants share their experience with addiction and recovery, give and receive tips and advice, and improve communication skills and self-confidence.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Known as CBT, these programs are short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment.  It focuses on problem-solving and changing patterns of behavior and replacing negative thinking with positive attitudes.  
  • Support Groups – Local support groups are often designed to cater to a specific addiction.  Recovering addicts are advised to surround themselves with people who are sober, so these groups are excellent resources.  Many new and lasting friendships form among members of these groups.

If one of these programs doesn’t meet a person’s expectations, it is okay to try another.  It may take a few attempts before finding the right one.

What’s Next for a Recovering Addict?

Completing rehab is a milestone to celebrate.  It took a lot of commitment and hard work to get to this point.  But, the hard work doesn’t end the day you leave the facility. You will have to work on recovery each day as you face temptations and challenges.  At Awakenings Rehabilitation, we understand that you may be a little apprehensive about getting back into daily life. That’s why we recommend aftercare in addiction treatment that includes community support and transition planning. Contact us today if you would like more information.

 

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