Aftercare: After Substance Abuse Treatment
Having an aftercare plan for your recovery is essential to protecting your sobriety in the long run. Many clients do well with slowly tapering down their treatment plan rather than abruptly stopping everything at once. Substance abuse aftercare provides a smooth transition from treatment to back into society. We always recommend that people start with the most intensive treatment plan possible and graduate to aftercare services to continue education. Aftercare services allow the person to continue attending to daily responsibilities. The more time you can dedicate to your sobriety, the better off you will be. Once the treatment program you have chosen is complete, many aftercare options are available to you. The option you choose will depend on your personal situation and what you wish to accomplish.
What is Aftercare?
Aftercare options are programs dedicated to helping those who have recently finished a residential or intensive addiction treatment program. Relapse rates are the highest in early recovery, which means overdose rates are highest then too. It’s important to focus on relapse prevention so that triggers, cravings, and addictive behaviors do not lead to eventual relapse. It is not always best assimilating back into an old lifestyle directly following addiction treatment. This can provoke an individual to disregard what they have learned in treatment and start to justify drug or alcohol use. Substance abuse aftercare options allow further education, counseling, psychiatric care, therapy, and treatment once a program has ended. Willow Place for Women believes that an addiction community can bring support to those who need it in early recovery. Our aftercare programs allow us to continue this support to all of our alumni for as long as they need.
Relapse in Early Recovery
Only about 1 in every 5 individuals that decide to get help through treatment won’t relapse in their first year. This means that treatment was not enough! It can be hard to completely change lifestyle behaviors in 30-90 days. Sometimes, it takes longer, and aftercare provides the additional addiction treatment help that is lacking in other programs. It has been proven that individuals who participate in aftercare programs are more likely to live longer and have a higher chance at long-term recovery success. Substance abuse aftercare provides the next step, a way to utilize learned knowledge from treatment in everyday life without assimilating back into drug and alcohol use.
Types of Aftercare Services
Aside from rehab, there are many things you can plan to do in your aftercare plan. You can never get enough help, even after treatment concludes. Some essential and helpful components should include:
Intensive Outpatient: This treatment option is a little less intensive than our partial hospitalization program, but provides the same options as to clinical, psychological, and holistic addiction treatment approaches. This is a non-residential program that allows patients to take part in their daily responsibilities while also focusing on recovery. We understand that sometimes we must be accommodating to different lifestyles, and our intensive outpatient program makes it an option for those who need further treatment to get it when they need it.
Sober Living: In early sobriety, having the accountability of living in a sober living home will help to keep you on track. Also, you will be surrounded by peers going through the same situation as you. This provides an alternative to emerging back into the same environment that encourages substance use in the first place. It is important to continue the support and education of treatment once it concludes so that sobriety can be attained long-term.
Individual Therapy: Ongoing therapy is often essential for women in recovery. You can see a therapist once a week, or as little or often as you would like. Having a set appointment will help you know that you always have someone to speak to about any issues that may arise. This gives aftercare patients the chance to address things they may be struggling with like medications, relapse prevention strategies, and mending relationships.
Group Meetings: These provide aftercare patients with the option to discuss problems with peers, develop social skills, and practice coping mechanisms before utilizing them outside of treatment. It is important to develop active listening and communication techniques so that aftercare patients can be successful after treatment concludes.
12 Step Meetings: If AA and NA are helpful, try to hit 90 meetings in 90 days. This constant reminder of why you are in recovery will help to keep you on track and keep your recovery at the forefront of your mind. Additionally, this will keep you emerged into a community that supports and encourages your sobriety. Meetings are a great place to meet sponsors to keep you accountable and get you to meet people who have the same sobriety goals as yourself.
Dual Diagnosis: This program involves psychiatric and medicinal care for individuals who struggle with addiction and mental illness concurrently. Aftercare options include medication management services, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medicinal care. It is important for a person with a mental illness to address their addiction along with their mental illness. This ensures their best chance of recovery success because both ailments can play off of one another, or cause the other to develop.
Many people are under the false impression that once a person goes to rehab they are good, well, and ready to go right back to how things were. This isn’t the case, and for that reason, Willow Place for Women takes time in detailing an extensive substance abuse aftercare plan for each of our clients. Don’t allow yourself to throw away the time, commitment, and effort that you spent on addiction treatment go to waste. There is a way for you to get extra help in the days of early recovery. It doesn’t have to be as hard as you think and you do not have to do it alone! If you are considering enrolling in treatment or have just finished a program, consider aftercare options so that you can be sure that recovery is kept as your first priority once the program concludes.