Walking out of an addictions treatment centre with a few weeks or months of sobriety under your belt is an impressive accomplishment. Completing treatment isn’t easy, and you have every right to feel proud, but this isn’t time for complacency. Inpatient treatment is only the first step in your long journey to recovery.
According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), the risk of relapse after treatment is between 40 and 60 percent, which is similar to relapse rates for other chronic illnesses, including asthma and high blood pressure. The relapse rate is even higher when no form of aftercare is in place.
Why is Aftercare Important?
- Rehab is a safe place where you’re surrounded by supportive, like-minded people. Temptations and stress are minimized, and you’re safely removed from people, places, and situations that may trigger a return to drugs and alcohol.
- Aftercare provides a helping hand while you’re readjusting to the stresses and temptations of everyday life. The accountability can also help keep you on the right track after completion of treatment.
- Relapse should never be seen as a failure, and a lapse isn’t uncommon, especially in the early days after recovery. If you relapse, aftercare will help you get back on your feet and return to sobriety.
- Most treatment professionals think aftercare is essential for the first year after treatment. At this point, your chance of long-term sobriety increases substantially.
Types of Aftercare Programs
Aftercare is a program of recovery that follows a period of inpatient rehab. Before you leave treatment, most providers will work with you to develop an aftercare plan that addresses your particular situation in terms of child care, housing, transportation, legal problems, healthcare, finances, job, education, and mental health care.
Depending on your particular needs, there are several different types of aftercare programs:
Sober homes: Also known as halfway houses, sober homes provide an opportunity to ease back into everyday life gradually. Sober homes work well for people who don’t have a stable support system at home, or those who have other situations that increase the risk of relapse. Residents of sober homes are generally required to have jobs, to help out with chores, and to attend counseling or group therapy sessions.
Outpatient treatment: This form of aftercare involves attendance at regular outpatient treatment. Some people benefit from intensive outpatient treatment (IOP), which may be daily or several times per week. Others may need outpatient less frequently. In some cases, outpatient treatment is part of a step-down approach and follows residency in a sober home.
Checking in: Most treatment centers offer follow-ups, which generally involves checking in at regular intervals — usually every week, but gradually less often if your recovery program is on track. You may be tested for alcohol and drug use. You’ll be asked about your progress and if there are any specific issues or concerns that may impact your long-term recovery.
Ongoing education: Aftercare provides an opportunity to practice the skills you learned in treatment. You’ll have support while you continue to learn about making healthy choices, coping with stress, identifying triggers that may lead to relapse, and what to do if you relapse.
Family treatment: Your family plays a critical role following the completion of treatment. Most aftercare programs include some type of family therapy or education, which often begins while you’re in treatment. Cedars offers the Discovery Program, providing education and support on recovery for the whole family.
Support groups: Twelve-Step groups and other types of group support can be helpful after treatment. Many treatment centers offer alumni get-togethers, where you can share your experiences with other treatment center graduates.
Therapy: Regular therapy through the first weeks and months will help you tackle depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues that often accompany addiction. Aftercare may also include medications, including those that can help you manage powerful urges.
With a variety of after care available, you’re bound to face many difficult challenges after completion of treatment, and a carefully devised aftercare program can substantially increase your chance of long-term success.
If you are ready to start your journey to recovery, call us at 1-866-716-2006 or email us at email@example.com
If you or your family is struggling with an addiction, please give us a call at 1-866-716-2006 or read about our Cedars Discovery Program, for families struggling with addiction.