Recovering from substance abuse or addiction of any kind is always a difficult thing to do. However, with the proper treatment and recovery system, doing so is more than possible. When it comes to substance abuse, recovery from addiction isn’t an instantaneous occurrence. It takes a lot of time, even past the initial rehabilitation. Thankfully, aftercare treatment options are available once the rehab portion has been completed. Here’s a closer look at why aftercare treatment is so important for a continued recovery.
The Importance of Aftercare Treatment
While completing a rehab program for any type of substance is definitely a huge milestone on the path towards recovery, the path doesn’t stop there. The reason for this is that relapse is always a possibility, even years after you’ve successfully completed rehab. That doesn’t imply that the cravings and yearnings for whatever substance you were addicted to aren’t reduced dramatically, simply that they don’t disappear altogether. In fact, it’s estimated that around 50 percent of people that actually progress through a rehabilitation program will still relapse at some point in the future. These statistics are startlingly high, but can be lowered with aftercare treatment.
It should also be noted that the risk of relapse is at its absolute highest for the first two months following the conclusion of the program. However, this risk does stay relatively high for the first five years after concluding the program in question. Aftercare programs can take many forms, and are all designed to provide support for those moments when staying away from the substance you were addicted to is at its most difficult. These programs hold you accountable for your continued recovery. While treatment and rehab facilities provide you with a lot of knowledge on substance abuse recovery, it’s the everyday situations that can provide you with the most useful learning that will assist in tackling long-term recovery.
Aftercare programs also understand that relapse isn’t something that usually occurs in an instant. It’s a lengthy process that starts with feelings of disappointment, eventually leading to many other red flags that indicate a relapse is about to take place. Aftercare programs will notice these signs and help set you on the path towards recovery once again. These programs also provide you the means of identifying troublesome warning signs, which can be very useful when recovering from an addiction.
Types of Aftercare Treatment Available to Recovering Addicts
There are plenty of types of aftercare treatment available for recovering addicts to choose from. The one that works for you all depends on your personality and the difficulties you’ve gone through during the recovery process, so don’t hesitate to try out as many programs as you want in order to find the one that best suits you. Twelve step programs require recovering addicts to attend group therapy sessions on a regular basis, usually providing each attendee with a sponsor that tracks their progress. These have proven to be extremely helpful.
There are a vast selection of additional support groups you can attend as well. Each group will have different features and programs that might make them appealing to you over possible alternatives. One-on-one counseling sessions are also a fantastic type of aftercare treatment. These sessions allow the recovering addict to work through their issues and talk about any problems that arise throughout recovery. This is just a glimpse at the type of aftercare treatment programs available to you. There are several other types that could prove useful for addictions that apply to a specific substance, so consider your options wisely.
Benefits of Seeking Inpatient Treatment Before Aftercare
While aftercare treatment is highly important for a continued recovery, the chances of relapsing can be reduced even further if the rehabilitation program you attend involves inpatient treatment as opposed to outpatient treatment. Inpatient programs require each patient to stay at a rehab facility for a substantial period of time, typically 28 days or longer. During this period, the recovering addict stays at the facility 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Outpatient treatment allows the patient to attend rehab while still going to school or work. In many cases, inpatient treatment has shown itself to be the more successful of the two options at providing the recovering addict with the tools necessary to avoid relapse.
There are several reasons for this. For one, the recovering addict has absolutely zero access to the substance they were addicted to for the entire duration of rehab. This allows them to progress through rehab without temptations of relapsing. Medical staff is on hand for 24 hours every day, which allows for immediate medical treatment if necessary. In general, staying in these facilities is more conducive to eventual recovery and greatly reduces the chance of relapse.