Why You Need an Aftercare Program

The Benefits of Aftercare

After spending a few months or more in a protected rehab environment, the outside world can seem pretty scary when the recovering addict steps through those doors and back into the community. Rehab is basically a safe retreat where there are no drugs or dealers or daily stress to deal with. The days are filled with structure, guidance, support, and activities and the person feels confident that they have acquired the skills to remain sober. But, the real test comes when they try to find a job or go back to school, or when they try to make amends with loved ones. Suddenly, they are faced with taking responsibility for the path their life takes, and those who don’t take advantage of an aftercare program during this transition period often relapse. This doesn’t mean that the rehab program failed, it simply indicates the importance of continued guidance and support which a recovering addict desperately needs. Aftercare is not only about preventing relapse; it is there to help you continue growing and becoming a stronger, more self-sufficient individual for a lifetime.

What Can You Expect from Post-Rehab Care?

The main objective of an aftercare program is to provide assistance and counseling to recovering addicts during their attempt to rebuild their life. Each program varies with the services offered, but an effective program should include the following components:

  • Individual counseling to address anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other mental disorders
  • Group therapy programs such as 12-steps or self-help programs to help maintain motivation
  • Family or relationship counseling for regaining trust and building stronger bonds
  • Sober living accommodations for a substance-free environment during this sensitive time
  • Assistance with job placement and legal matters
  • Life skills sessions to enhance the person’s ability to obtain employment and manage personal affairs

Many rehabilitation facilities offer an aftercare program as part of their overall curriculum, or you could find a program that will assist you in locating a reliable aftercare service.

You Don’t Have to Do It Alone

Remembering and applying everything learned in rehab is often difficult if you haven’t made the necessary changes to your lifestyle. Successful recovery is entirely dependent on your ability to reject temptation, but if you place yourself back in the same negative environment that contributed to the addiction, you might be setting yourself up for relapse. If it isn’t possible to move to a new location, it is recommended that you at least eliminate the people and places that promote drug use or alcohol use. If you find that you are being tempted, this is when an aftercare program becomes valuable. Counselors are available 24/7 to talk to you when you need encouragement or support, or to help you avoid giving¬†in to triggers.

Some other benefits of an aftercare program are as follows:

  • Ability to handle situations that tempt you to use addictive substances
  • Helps prevent a minor backslide from turning into a long-term relapse
  • Can help you deal with emotions, both negative and positive, that make you vulnerable
  • Provide acknowledgment of your accomplishments
  • Give support when you feel overwhelmed

Aftercare provides the support structure you need in good times and in bad times. The path to recovery is not straight; there are many detours that can completely derail your journey. A good aftercare team can act as your personal GPS, keeping you on the route you planned during rehab. You won’t have to face the journey alone if you join an aftercare program.

Don’t Throw Away All That Hard Work

Even in the most luxurious rehabs, the transition from addict to recovering addict is a difficult and often exhausting experience. Whether you are in the program for 30 days or a year, you have invested a great deal of time and effort in detoxing and learning new skills for functioning in life without the need for mind-altering substances. You don’t want to waste all that hard work, and an aftercare program is designed to ensure that you remain successful. They continue to incorporate the most up-to-date approaches in order to provide the highest level of support possible.

Some of the new and innovative methods being utilized by aftercare programs today include:

  • Online audio or video meetings with clients
  • Reminder emails related to a personalized relapse prevention plan
  • Texting with clients
  • Using iPhone apps that help track meetings, triggers, emotions, attendance, etc.
  • Online group discussions or forums

Many facilities offer aftercare as part of their overall program. Do some research, call some of the facilities and learn as much as you can before making a decision. Or, you can call our toll-free number today and we will be happy to help you locate a program based on your needs.

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