When a relapse happens within the first few months after completing a treatment program, it may be because the patient did not continue their addiction recovery with an addiction aftercare program. Your first 90 days are when your chances of relapse are at their highest. An addiction aftercare program is essential in maintaining your sobriety when you begin transitioning from our outpatient treatment program back into your daily routines.
While there are many different types of programs that people can have access to, depending on what type of addiction was being treated or what treatment center is chosen, there are several common aspects shared among all programs which include:
- Psychosocial support
- Psychiatric care
- Medical care
- Self-help groups
- Social support
At Chapters Recovery Center, our addiction aftercare program will give you the continued support you need as you return to your life. Addiction recovery is a life-long process, and we will be there the entire way. Have you or a loved one completed a treatment program and need continued support in their addiction recovery? If so, contact us today to speak with one of our caring therapists about our addiction aftercare program.
Jump to Section
What is an Addiction Aftercare Program?
An addiction aftercare program provides support in the early stages of a patient’s recovery. It can prevent relapses and allow them to continue working toward life-long sobriety. As you return to your old life, you will find your triggers and stresses still. An addiction aftercare program helps bridge the gap between the addiction treatment center and your home life.
The level of assistance each person needs will vary depending on the severity and length of their addiction. We can help you maintain your sobriety after attending one of our other substance use treatment programs. We offer three distinct treatment options.
Why is Drug Rehab Satisfaction Important?
Many people in the medical field believe that approaches to addiction treatment should be tailored to each individual. When you’re assessed for your level of addiction, we determine what your needs are and what can improve your chances for a successful recovery.
This might include detoxification, counseling, or other services that promote a healthy lifestyle change. Through our professional guidance and personal support, we give you the tools you need to maintain sobriety and prevent relapse long term. Our caring staff members strive to help their clients develop strong coping skills so they can continue growing in recovery.
What Are the Main Goals of Aftercare Programs for Substance Abuse?
Aftercare programs for substance abuse aim to help clients adjust to life after rehab. This can include:
– Identifying and working through triggers for relapse
– Developing coping skills when dealing with stress, sadness, anger, etc.
– Creating a plan for minimizing these negative feelings if they arise
– Working on building new, sober social circles
During treatment, clients are taught how to overcome their addiction. Addiction aftercare programs give them the tools they need to stay sober in the real world. It’s important for clients to understand that recovery is an ongoing process and it can be difficult at times. The goal of aftercare is support and guidance which will help individuals build a solid foundation for staying sober while offering encouragement when necessary.
What is Involved During Aftercare?
Aftercare programs vary depending on the individual needing care. For some people, this might mean daily phone contact with counselors while others may only need monthly check-ins through email or live chat. Telemedicine is recognized for its efficiency.
There are different types of aftercare support. The first is an alumni program which is a group consisting of those who have completed a rehab program, they meet on a regular basis and offer each other encouragement and advice. Outpatient care groups involve schedules made by individuals that include things like daily meetings as well as additional support from family members.
12 Step Programs
Other forms of addiction aftercare programs can consist of self-help meetings such as AA/NA or alternative therapies such as yoga, meditation, art therapy, or even horse riding. These activities will help build mindfulness and encourage mindfulness in others setting ground rules for successful recovery.
Addiction comes with its own set of consequences that often require professional treatment to sort out the individual’s psychological issues. Aftercare programs for addiction treatment should include not only the person who has completed rehab but also their families and other loved ones. They are often an important part of the recovery process since they help to lessen or prevent relapse that might lead back to drug abuse.
Programs that Include Family Members
While there are aftercare programs for substance abuse that can be implemented, it is also useful for family members and friends to participate in these programs as well. Having many people participate helps to deepen relationships between individuals rather than allowing them to feel isolated which can increase the risk of relapse. Typically, family members are encouraged to participate in their loved one’s aftercare programs because they play a significant role in the success of the individual.
There are several different types of addiction aftercare programs depending on what type of treatment was used during rehabs such as 12-step based programs, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or pharmacotherapy.
Where Does Aftercare Fit In the Continuum of Care?
After you’ve received initial treatment for a substance use disorder, aftercare is an
essential part of your ongoing recovery. The continuum of care model allows recovery to be viewed as a long-term process rather than an event.
For some people, recovery may be lifelong, while others may require additional treatment for occasional or episodic use of drugs or alcohol that puts them at risk of returning to the problematic substance use they sought help for in rehab.
Many different types of addiction aftercare programs are available, depending on what type of treatment was used during rehab. For example, 12-step based programs are among the most common approaches to addiction recovery and will likely be part of your aftercare whether you attended a residential rehab program or an outpatient program. Twelve-step meetings are free and typically held in group settings where anyone can attend even if you don’t have a home group in your area.
Aftercare programs provide support for people who have completed rehab or a similar treatment program and are trying to maintain their sobriety. Counseling is a common type of aftercare that can be found at many rehab centers, even if it wasn’t the main focus of the care provided during addiction help.
A counselor can give you advice about how to avoid temptations that could lead to a relapse and will monitor your progress on an ongoing basis. If you attend outpatient rehab, he or she may also help you with compliance and make sure you continue attending scheduled appointments regularly.
Ideally, it will begin in the rehab center or hospital that initially treated you for addiction. Aftercare can continue even after you’ve left that facility and moved on to another location or home in the world. And when needed, aftercare may also be just one aspect of a long-term treatment program.
How Does an Aftercare Program Promote Life-long Recovery and Relapse Prevention?
An aftercare program promotes life-long recovery and relapse prevention by providing clients with the tools to maintain long-term sobriety. A relapse prevention plan is a series of strategies, specific coping skills, and techniques that help minimize the risk of returning to substance abuse.
An aftercare program for substance abuse can be very beneficial in developing this relapse prevention plan. When a person leaves treatment and returns home, the novelty of life without drugs or alcohol wears off quickly after a few weeks if not days.
Suddenly there are no counselors or support meetings to attend, family members aren’t going through recovery with you anymore, and even daily routines can trigger cravings for substances because they were such an integral part of daily life while struggling with addiction. Many people feel overwhelmed by these triggers and their desire to use again becomes very strong.
Identifying and Working Through Triggers for Relapse
One of the most important aspects of rehab is learning how to avoid triggers for substance abuse (or any type of addictive behavior). However, this process does not end once you leave rehab; rather, it continues throughout your life. With time and experience, many people find themselves
The signs and symptoms of relapse can include the following:
- Mood swings, irritability, and impatience
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Self-destructive behavior
- Withdrawal from loved ones
- Loss of sexual desire
- Idle time (long periods where the person has nothing to do)
- Neglecting important duties
- Difficulty concentrating
- Disinterest in previously enjoyable activities
- Difficulty sleeping
- Going places where drugs are available
- Loss of interest in personal appearance
- Sudden changes in friends
- Stealing money or objects
- Requests for loans
Why Is Aftercare Important?
Aftercare is important because even though addiction is a chronic disorder, it does not mean that treatment should continue indefinitely. For example, a meta-analysis found that individuals who participated in aftercare programs for substance abuse were less likely to relapse than those who did not participate in these continuing care interventions. Aftercare refers back to rehabilitation and recovery efforts following formal drug or alcohol rehab treatment.
What Are Some Tips for Long-Term Sobriety?
Maintaining long-term sobriety after rehab can be difficult without the proper support system in place. A person who manages to maintain sobriety for years or decades does not do so alone; they likely have family, friends, peers, and/or fellow members of self-help groups—like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)—to provide encouragement and support.
Although these individuals may recognize that their loved ones’ presence is helpful in staying sober, they know the importance of separating the act of caring from enabling behaviors. They understand when it is appropriate to allow someone else to help versus when they must take action by themselves. They also recognize the importance of setting goals for themselves.
Developing a Relationship with Your Counselor
It is important for you to develop a relationship with your addiction counselor. It is also essential that you are transparent about how you are feeling. You should feel that it is okay for your counselor to help you change your behaviors, but not so much so that they give up their own life.
Addiction counseling starts the moment you first meet with your counselor. If they talk down to you or disrespect who you are as an individual, this will impede the therapeutic process and hinder him/her from being able to properly help you change your behaviors.
Ongoing Medical Care
After rehab, one must continue with medical care in order to maintain long-term sobriety. Ongoing medical care can incorporate anything from psychiatric care such as talk therapy to prescription medication. It is important that the individual seeks out a medical professional that he/she has an open line of communication and can feel comfortable around.
Rehabilitation facilities often offer resources to those who graduate from their programs, but these resources are not always enough for those who need more than what they offer or those who do not know where else to go for help.
This lack of resources during the transition period post-treatment causes many people to relapse and return to rehab yet again. Sometimes, it takes multiple treatments before individuals find lasting sobriety; therefore the saying “resistance is futile.”
What Treatment Programs Utilize Aftercare in Recovery?
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
The highest level of care in our outpatient treatment center is the partial hospitalization program (PHP). It allows for a gradual transition back to your home with activities and meetings throughout the day. Each night you return home and begin getting accustomed to your new sober life.
Your treatment during this program will include the same therapy options you received during your inpatient program:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Individual and group therapy
- Family therapy
If you do not have a home environment conducive to a sober lifestyle, sober living communities are available until your home life is more stable.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
As you begin to feel more confident with your new sober life skills, the next stage in your addiction recovery is the intensive outpatient program (IOP). You will begin spending more time at home and work while returning for weekly meetings.
You will attend 10 – 12 hours of group and individual therapy each week to help you cope with re-entering society living a sober life in a non-sober world. Going out with friends where others will be drinking or doing drugs will be a big temptation for you. Knowing you have the support of a sober community and caring therapists at your back can give you that extra bit of confidence you need to handle any social situation.
Maintaining a sober life is a life-long commitment, and there will be days where you feel like your cravings are going to bring you down years after completing your treatment program. Through an outpatient program, you will have access to the same treatment with greater levels of independence. Once you graduate, you have access to intensive addiction aftercare programs, but only when you need it.
Seek Treatment at Chapters Recovery Center
At Chapters Recovery Center, we have the best addiction aftercare program in New England. We subscribe to The Big Book of AA for its evidence-based practices, accountability, and support. Through our treatment programs, we provide our clients with the best possible chances for their recovery.
If you or someone you know could benefit from an addiction aftercare program, call today to learn more about our addiction aftercare programs.