Millions of people check into addiction treatment every year, but it takes much more than just a few weeks in rehab to achieve lasting recovery. Aftercare, also known as after-treatment care or extended care programs, is one of the most important parts of recovery that can help you avoid a relapse and maintain sobriety for life. There are many different types of aftercare, including support groups, 12-Step programs, dual-diagnosis, and other recovery resources. Regardless of what your specific needs are, finding the right type of aftercare can be a life-saving component of recovery.
Transitioning out of treatment on your own can be difficult and risky to your sobriety. Without a supportive environment, it can be easy to fall back into your old behaviors and triggers. Creating a rehab aftercare plan will help you set clear goals and access the help you need to stay sober.
Aftercare is a critical step in the recovery process that bridges the gap between all the tools you learned in treatment and living your day-to-day life without drugs or alcohol. It helps you establish a sober support network, practice your coping skills in real-life situations and build up your confidence in handling cravings, emotions and stress. It also reinforces the coping skills and knowledge you gained in treatment so that you can avoid relapse and stay sober long-term.
Depending on your recovery, you may need a more in-depth and intensive aftercare program or an ongoing maintenance plan. The best way to figure out what you need is to talk with your therapist during treatment, and they can help you develop an aftercare plan that is specific to your personal needs. A rehab aftercare plan may include meeting with a therapist or addiction professional on a regular basis, identifying a sponsor, and attending support group meetings.
Your family and close friends are essential to your recovery. They will support your decision to live sober, encourage you to continue with healthy habits and relationships, and hold you accountable if you start to exhibit signs of relapse. It is also a great idea to join alumni programs for your drug or alcohol rehab, as this will allow you to stay involved with the community and get updates on new treatment options.
Addiction is a chronic disease with a 40-60% relapse rate. Even with the support and knowledge you gained in addiction treatment, there is a high chance of relapse if you don’t have a strong sober support network. The benefits of aftercare can be life-saving and are worth the commitment to your recovery. It will allow you to avoid relapse, stay sober, and reach your recovery goals. For the most effective outcomes, your aftercare should include a combination of services and therapies that are specific to your needs. There are a variety of aftercare programs available, and many of them are included in longer residential or outpatient treatment programs. Some aftercare programs are free, such as support groups and 12-Step meetings, while others may have a cost. recovery aftercare