It’s commonly said that recovery is a life-long journey. Even though the difficulty wains off as time passes, once a person is in recovery, that person is always in recovery.This doesn’t mean inpatient and outpatient treatment continue indefinitely. Most of those in rehab are able to overcome the majority of triggers and create a life that makes sobriety sustainable. However, for the person who has broken an addiction, triggers can always come up and the threat of relapse never disappears completely. That’s where aftercare comes in. Aftercare is a transitional step and can help individuals in recovery put long-term plans into place. Here’s what you need to know about recovery aftercare.
What is aftercare?
The first key to understanding how aftercare can help you is by answering the question: what is aftercare? Aftercare in recovery is a step down from more formalized treatment. Aftercare is sometimes called “continuing care” or the “maintenance stage” of recovery. The intense first weeks and months of sobriety (including withdrawal, detox and stabilization) are best completed in the context of inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment. These programs include medical care and supervision, and provide the foundation for identifying and combatting triggers, as well as creating coping skills and making lifestyle changes to support a sober life.Once a person has completed this early treatment, most individuals will transition to aftercare, which includes services like weekly outpatient group therapy, living in a sober living community, 12 step programs, psychiatry, working with a sponsor or having individual therapy.Aftercare may also involve working with a social worker, case worker or other addiction specialist. These support people can help you establish security in your sobriety by managing other challenges in your life. They can assist with the following areas.
Education attainment (seeking a GED or degree)
Resources for you and your family
A social worker or other professional can be a critical part of your aftercare programming. Getting this type of wrap-around support in aftercare can reduce your stress and minimize triggers so you have less incentive to return to substance use addiction.
Aftercare for recovery is critical to long-term success. While intensive treatment programs can help individuals get through the most physically demanding stages of recovery, aftercare is essential to supporting that recovery afterwards. Consider how difficult it would be to re-enter your old life after just completing detox. Recovery aftercare can prevent relapse during this transitional time.This is, in fact, the main goal of aftercare: relapse prevention. Sadly, substance abuse relapse rates are quite high, with estimates ranging around 40 and 60 percent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Recovery aftercare does a great deal to combat the high relapse rates for addiction, but providing safety, security and structure after the most intensive stage in treatment. While a person’s brain is still relearning how to manage cravings, deal with stress and enjoy normal life without drugs or alcohol, aftercare can prove to be an invaluable phase of recovery.
The benefits of aftercare
The main benefit of partaking in aftercare is, of course, relapse prevention. Anyone in rehab is united under this common and overarching goal. However, each person will also enjoy a variety of benefits of aftercare. Here’s what you can expect when you partake in a rehab aftercare program.
Rehab aftercare plan
Transition out of formal treatment on your own leaves you susceptible to relapse, isolation, lack of structure, emotional distress and confusion. A rehab aftercare plan, supplied through a care provider, gives you clear goals, access to help and the resources you need.A rehab aftercare plan is sometimes called a treatment plan, and outlines your goals for recovery, both substance-use related and goals for your personal life. This plan may include goals such as “move to a neighborhood that doesn’t have drug issues” or “find a job that can support my family.” These goals will be combined with objectives, or action steps that detail the process of getting there.
Many rehab aftercare programs also include some social aspect, such as group therapy or 12-step meetings. This allows you the opportunity to find sober acquaintances that can offer you advice, show support and empathize when many other can’t.
As your body and mind mend from addiction, you’ll start to feel like a new person. Recovery aftercare can help you balance your new lifestyle and healthy choices so you have greater mental clarity, fewer mood swings and a stronger body. Aftercare can also connect you to mental health services and resources to get your entire being in the best shape it can be.
Recovery aftercare doesn’t have to wait. If you’re in the beginning stages of rehab or deep into the process, professional aftercare services can make a difference. Wrap yourself in all the support you need and reach out to Silvermist Recovery. Make recovery your own today.
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