When most people think about addiction aftercare program, they may picture things like sober living facilities or 12-step meetings. These are both essential parts of a well-rounded addiction aftercare program, but the truth is that aftercare programs can include a variety of different services, activities and support groups. The goal of an aftercare program is to help recovering drug users maintain their sobriety by identifying and managing potential triggers for relapse as they work towards a life without drugs or alcohol.
A typical recovery program begins with detox, followed by addiction treatment at a rehab facility. When a person is ready to leave a rehab, they will create an aftercare program with their therapist. This will be a plan that provides them with support while they transition back to their home environment, and will vary depending on the needs of each individual. For example, a person with children will likely need to find childcare or other support for their family while a single person might need assistance finding housing or continuing treatment.
Aftercare programs can include a number of different services and activities, but some common elements are ongoing mental health care, such as individual and group therapy, and social support. Often, aftercare programs will include a combination of both outpatient and inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatments are usually longer-term and provide more structured and intense care. Outpatient treatments are more flexible and may include weekly or monthly sessions with a therapist or counselor. Inpatient and outpatient care can be provided at a residential rehab facility or through private therapists.
Addiction aftercare programs are designed to help recovering substance abusers develop a strong support system while they learn how to cope with the stressors of life in recovery. In addition to coping with potential relapse triggers, aftercare programs will also help addicts build their confidence and sense of purpose by providing them with opportunities for volunteerism and social interaction.
The length of time that a person stays in an aftercare program will vary depending on their specific situation and how long it takes them to get back on track with their recovery. However, many individuals choose to stay connected to their aftercare program for many years, attending mutual support recovery meetings, group therapy, and individual counseling as needed.
Relapse rates are extremely high for those who have been struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, but relapse does not mean that you failed. The majority of addicts who undergo addiction recovery will relapse at least once, but it does not mean that you have to return to a treatment facility or give up on your sobriety goals. It just means that you should consider a more comprehensive addiction aftercare program next time around.
Successful addiction treatment focuses on both the root cause of the addiction as well as its personal consequences, such as legal or financial issues. Therefore, the aftercare program that you choose should be fully integrated with your overall recovery strategy and include a wide range of tools to keep you sober and healthy.