Aftercare in Addiction: Why It Is Important to Recovery

 In Recovery

The rate of drug addiction is a growing issue in today’s society. When you decide to seek help, having the right resources in place is crucial in safely quitting harmful substance use. Receiving proper care includes finding services and resources even after going through inpatient care when you have to return to daily activities. Luckily, more and more programs are being created to help patients stay successful in sober living after inpatient treatment.

Definition of Aftercare

Aftercare is also referred to as continuum care or recovery management. It is any program that is used immediately after receiving inpatient treatment. The intentions are to prevent any potential relapse and maintain a drug-free lifestyle.

This long-term care incorporates medical, psychosocial, and economic programs that focus on outpatient recovery. The programs are not as intense as inpatient programs and offer more freedom with shorter hours of supervision while still keeping you accountable and on the right track.

Aftercare is a crucial part of the recovery process. It can be hard to navigate life after recovery on your own, so don’t be ashamed to look for help as you transition back into daily living.

Creating an Aftercare Plan

As your intensive treatment comes to an end, you should talk to your mental health professional about creating an aftercare plan. Aftercare plans can serve as a foundation for your life after treatment to help you maintain sobriety. It can involve any continued care, emergency contacts, scheduling appointments with your clinicians, and anything else you would like to add. This is critical when you are in early recovery.

Take some time to think about what you would like to include in your plan. Here are a few tips to help you determine what you need:

  • Sit down with your therapist and assess where you currently are in your recovery. Once treatment is completed will you still need support before becoming fully independent? Would you still like a sense of community to support you during your recovery? Maybe you still need to work on coping strategies or learn how to create a daily routine that supports sober living.
  • Consider your current situation and how it will affect your plan. What are your housing and living arrangements like? Will you need to find or find a way to maintain employment? If you still need to develop financial wellness habits, consider that when creating your plan.
  • Work with your therapist to find proper post-inpatient resources. If you need outpatient treatment, determine what kind of program would work best for you. Take into consideration your personal responsibilities and finances.
  • If you are seeking continued care, know that your needs will determine the length of treatment. You may require a few weeks, a couple of months, or a longer duration. The most important thing to remember is that not everyone’s progress or journey looks the same, so take as much or as little time as you feel is necessary.

As you grow and develop, modify your aftercare plan to reflect the progress you are making.

Types of Aftercare Programs

There are many types of aftercare programs. Below are a few examples that you can look more into to decide what suits your individual needs.

  • Individual therapy: A therapist creates a one-on-one environment that allows you to vocalize and explore your emotions, feelings, and behaviors.
  • 12-step meetings: This program follows the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous to lead addiction therapy groups in the early stages of recovery.
  • Group counseling: There are many different types of group therapy offered for addiction treatment, such as support groups, psychoeducational groups, and cognitive behavioral groups.
  • Sober living homes: Sober living homes are designed to help you transition from inpatient treatment to outpatient treatment. They are used to help you learn to live a day-to-day substance-free lifestyle while giving you support.

How Can Family and Friends Play a Role in Aftercare?

As for family members and friends, you can start educating yourself on addiction and the symptoms that come with it. Addiction is an intricate illness that can be hard to understand at times. You may wonder why someone would want to use substances as a coping mechanism or why their behavior changes when they become addicted. Take time to research what the person may be going through and ways you can safely help them through it.

Keep all substances away and out of reach from the person going through addiction. Another way to help your loved ones maintain sobriety is to keep your own environment substance-free. Do not put them in any situation that can trigger them or set them back. Be a role model in showing them that a substance-free lifestyle is possible.

Help celebrate small wins and victories. Overcoming addiction is not an easy journey, and keeping up sobriety can be even more challenging. Stay aware of any signs of relapse. The point of being a support system is to offer not only encouragement but also celebrate the accomplishments.

Addiction recovery and your road to sober living do not stop once intensive treatment has ended. Creating an aftercare plan can help you transition out of inpatient care and into recovery management. Needing continued care does not mean that you have failed at recovery. It simply means that you are committed to living a substance-free lifestyle. We at Mountain Peak Recovery want to continue to see you flourish even after receiving complete habilitation. Our aftercare programs are designed to give you added support as you transition out of inpatient programming. We offer a serene sober living home nestled in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, along with other outpatient options. Our mission is to help you reawaken the light within that was once dimmed by addiction and mental health struggles. Give us a call at (801) 824-8829 to receive more information on how we can aid in your addiction recovery now. 

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