Plan Your Success Following Substance Abuse Treatment
Drug abuse and addiction affects millions of individuals worldwide. Addiction to drugs is a widespread and crippling disease, but it can be managed with the right rehab aftercare plan. Much like diabetes or arthritis, drug abuse is a debilitating, long-term condition. Substance abuse and similar problems last a person’s entire life and cannot be “cured.”
However, psychotherapy, counseling, and medically-assisted detox can effectively manage and treat these conditions. A quality rehab aftercare plan is also an important part of the equation.
Clients in recovery from drug addiction require the same comprehensive medical support system that is available to those with any other chronic illness. A person with an addiction disorder needs ongoing treatment and management of their disorder if they are to remain sober and healthy, much as someone with diabetes has to monitor their blood sugar levels and take other steps to keep the disease under control.
Keep reading to find out more effective aftercare programs, crafting your aftercare plan, and how Icarus Behavioral Health in New Mexico helps each of its clients succeed long after graduation!
What Defines Addiction Aftercare Programs?
Getting sober is a major victory. However, withdrawal and detoxification from narcotics are only the beginning of treatment for drug addiction. Addiction aftercare programs are a continuation of drug addiction therapy that begins after a person has achieved sobriety. Both inpatient and extensive outpatient care are options, in addition to mutual support groups for addiction aftercare programs.
Relapse rates for substance use disorders can reach as high as 60%, affecting about 10% of the adult population in the United States. Clients who utilize aftercare programs, on the other hand, have lower relapse rates than those who do not.
Staying Sober and Avoiding Relapse
Relapse rates for addiction are comparable to those for other severe chronic health diseases like depression, emphysema, or high blood pressure; in the case of addiction, this would mean a return to drug or alcohol use. Clients are less likely to relapse when they receive these addiction treatment options and access to support groups, and they are also more likely to employ the relapse prevention strategies they learned in treatment. The major goal of aftercare programs is to provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage triggers and avoid situations that hamper the recovery process.
Aftercare’s goals extend far beyond relapse prevention. The purpose of aftercare and mutual support groups is to maintain your motivation to heal as you readjust to life outside of addiction treatment.
Addiction Aftercare Program Objectives
The fundamental objective of an aftercare plan is to teach and practice useful coping mechanisms with the client. Aftercare planning can help you while you navigate the difficulties of sobriety by doing things like:
- Make healthy decisions concerning your lifestyle, activities and relationships
- You should practice the techniques you’ve learnt to deal with stress and intense feelings.
- Find out what sets you back on the road to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, and do what it takes to stay clean.
- If a relapse does occur, the damage should be kept to a minimum.
- Connect with helpful people through mutual support groups and communities that will sustain you as you heal.
Aftercare Options and Building a Support Network
Addiction to alcohol and/or drugs is a complex disease with potential origins and precipitating events that vary widely from patient to patient. Aftercare plans that are designed specifically for each client tend to be the most successful. The following are common types of aftercare planning programs:
Alcoholics Anonymous or other group settings based on the principle of voluntary self-disclosure are common in 12-step programs. Twelve-step programs like AA in Albuquerque (and elsewhere) and NA are common examples. People in recovery might find hope and guidance in these aftercare programs. Because of the supportive community found in 12-step programs, participants are able to work on improving their stress management and coping mechanisms in a setting that is both private and without outside interference.
Outpatient Addiction Treatment
The intensity and specificity of outpatient addiction treatment programs make them preferable to 12-step recovery programs as primary support in early recovery. Intensive outpatient treatment or IOP programs can begin either immediately following a stay in an inpatient substance abuse treatment or after the client has completed detox and withdrawal. It is possible to transition directly from detox to outpatient substance abuse treatment therapy for clients who are primary caregivers, whose addiction was not severe, or whose addiction did not last very long.
Individual and group therapy sessions with licensed counselors and therapists who specialize in treating substance abuse disorders are available to those participating in outpatient treatment programs. Patients can learn vital social and coping skills in a safe, supportive group setting through group counseling, where they can work with and listen to others in a recovery treatment program discuss their experiences.
After the withdrawal and detox phases, clients can continue their recovery with one-on-one counseling with a qualified therapist. Patients with co-occurring disorders need intensive mental health treatment to help them overcome their drug use and stay clean.
Substance abuse survivors can benefit from remaining sober with the help of an alumni program after completing drug treatment. Those who take part in this aftercare plan will also have the opportunity to connect with and stay in touch with both other people who have overcome drug addiction and the professionals who helped them do so in their respective treatment programs.
A common goal of aftercare plans is to help graduates of rehabilitation adjust to life after treatment. Individuals enrolled in such aftercare programs have an easier time adjusting to life outside of therapy. This creates a strong community where people feel safe coming out of their shells to share and learn from one another and where newcomers are welcomed with open arms.
An aftercare treatment program is for those who have completed substance abuse treatment. An aftercare plan helps you maintain your progress in recovery once you’ve returned home by providing the resources, inspiration, and sober reinforcement support you’ll need to do so. This helps you stay on the road to recovery and prevents you from falling off the course. As an added bonus, staying connected with those who have been through drug rehab can help reduce the likelihood of relapse.
Halfway House or Sober Living Home
Sober living houses, often known as halfway houses, offer structure and support to people in the early stages of their sobriety journey. Recovery homes or sober living homes are other names for halfway houses. If you’d feel more comfortable with a more gender-specific environment, you can also try to locate a rehabilitation home specifically for women or men.
Sober living home members are usually on their way to maintaining their sobriety after completing an inpatient treatment program and are ready for a less regimented living environment. Halfway houses are places where people can go to live in safety and find community while they work on their recovery, and some provide additional aftercare services as well.
Aftercare Plan Services Available
Those with a substance use disorder frequently face persistent, structural challenges to staying clean after they’ve successfully kicked their habit. There’s a chance they’ll have trouble locating stable employment or affording adequate living quarters. Clients may also have to deal with the stress of the judicial system if they have been arrested for a drug crime. One’s stress and anxiety levels are two major risk factors for relapsing and drug usage.
It is important facilities are able to provide mental health treatment, even after, to help relieve anxiety and stress or other mental health issues as they arise.
Clients participating in aftercare programs may get access to the following supports, all of which can help in their efforts to lead drug-free, less stressful lives:
- Help in deciding on a career path and achieving it
- Help with legal matters
- Help over the long haul as you navigate the big changes in your life
- Treatment planning
- Goal-oriented coaching
- Cooperation and sharing
- Help in the Classroom
- Help with budgeting and financial planning
Unlike the withdrawal and detox phases, aftercare typically involves less intensive, direct assistance from therapists and doctors. After a patient has successfully completed medically supervised detox, they should be connected with therapists, counselors, and social workers who can assist them in developing a plan for maintaining their recovery.
It’s unfortunate that many people who have battled addiction don’t have family members or friends who can help them through the tough times. Maybe they don’t have any relatives who can assist them, or maybe being around them is a trigger for their drug abuse. Substance abuse rehabilitation patients greatly benefit from having access to aftercare services.
These services can help individuals find a lawyer, learn how to manage money, and find gainful employment once they leave rehab. Clients are less likely to relapse if they are less anxious, fearful, and unclear about their future once they leave treatment. Relapse rates are lower among clients who participate in aftercare support programs, according to research.
Additional Needs May Be Met Through Aftercare
There will still be difficulties and requirements in life after treatment. The following are some of the tools that quality aftercare providers use to help their clients obtain support:
- Alternative housing
- Recurring meetings and virtual communities
- Places for Social gatherings
- Rehab cafes or clubs
- Sports leagues
- Art therapy for addiction on an outpatient basis
Having a stable living situation, a reliable source of income, and important routines in your life will help you overcome the inevitable hardships you will face. Some families will rally around a loved one who is sobering up, while others may feel burdened by their own feelings of stress, guilt, shame, wrath, fear, anxiety, loss, grief, and solitude.
Family Link to Aftercare
Community and interpersonal connections play a crucial role in post-treatment care. You or your adult child may benefit from social assistance, peer mentors, and recovery coaching during the healing process. Following residential treatment with our treatment professionals, we ensure that each client has a solid plan that involves family members (as desired) and helps cultivate a supportive environment following our rehab program.
Now that you understand what aftercare entails, you may rest easy knowing that your treatment journey does not cease after you complete detox and therapy and leave the facility.
Characteristics of a Reliable Aftercare Program
1. Immediate Action
While returning home immediately following primary care is an option for many patients, others do better in a more structured aftercare program. Options for aftercare include:
- Community-based care
- Programs for patients only partially hospitalized (PHP)
- Housing for those in transition, such as an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center
2. A solid Strategy
When you’ve just finished primary treatment and are feeling good about your success, it’s normal to be a little downbeat when you start to consider your options in the event of a recurrence. Since thoughts of relapse and cravings are inevitable, it is important to take a realistic and proactive approach to aftercare by formulating a strategy for avoiding relapse and dealing with it if it does occur.
You can learn more about your risk factors for relapse and how to mitigate them by creating a relapse prevention plan that takes into account your unique situation, your motivations for getting sober, your goals for maintaining your sobriety, and your physical and emotional requirements for sustained sobriety.
3. A support system
Successful rehabilitation requires a solid, trustworthy network of loved ones and friends. The temptation to relapse into substance abuse can be overwhelming without the support of loved ones and others who are also sober.
There are triggers in the form of certain persons, locations, and events. There will be some adjustments to your life after treatment, and some people and things may not make the cut. The individuals in your life, both at home and at treatment, who are dedicated to seeing you succeed in your sobriety journey should be prioritized.
4. Group benefits
Individual treatment, family therapy, and 12-step support groups are all beneficial components of a comprehensive recovery plan. A solid aftercare strategy will help you get in touch with community facilities and services. Staff can refer you to a therapist who specializes in addiction and can help you succeed if you are unable to continue working with your original therapist after treatment ends.
5. Coping Strategies
You may still struggle with cravings and the want to use even after you’ve finished your course of treatment. Having a sponsor or a list of individuals you can call if you’re feeling uncertain are two examples of healthy coping skills that can help you maintain your sobriety and resist temptation, and your case manager can guide you in developing these abilities.
Maintaining Constant Communication With Your Healthcare Provider
After completing your program, you should feel comfortable getting in touch with the staff at your treatment facility at any time. A high-quality aftercare program will maintain regular contact with graduates to check in on their well-being and determine any further support they may require. Keeping in touch with the people you met throughout treatment gives you access to a network of people who are in a unique position to understand and support you.
While reducing the risk of recurrence is the primary focus of aftercare, it is not the only objective. A person’s post-treatment life should be an extension of their recovery process. Aftercare is a set of guidelines for maintaining sobriety and developing the skills necessary to lead a fulfilling and fruitful life after formal treatment has ended.
A Focus on Aftercare Planning and Relapse Prevention
Our work at Icarus Behavior Health in New Mexico doesn’t end when clients leave our care. All of our clients are provided with a wide variety of post-graduation support services.
We involve loved ones in these plans so that our patients may set up and maintain a solid network of support and so that no one is confused about what to expect next or how the therapy is progressing.
Please get in touch with our Admissions staff right away to learn more about how we can assist you in achieving recovery and thriving in post-treatment environments. All calls are completely confidential, so please reach out now to begin planning your success story with us!