Treatment is just the first step of recovery. Addiction aftercare programs are a vital second step for relapse prevention. The changes that begin to occur in early recovery can be overwhelming, and even the slightest inconvenience can set a recovering addict back onto a course of self destruction. Effective aftercare planning can help to create routine and prevent those trials from diverting someone off the path of recovery.
What is Aftercare?
So what happens when treatment ends? Will you know what do you do when the safety net of having 24-hour care and support goes away? That’s where addiction aftercare planning comes in. Having a plan for once a person leaves treatment and ways to maintain all of the work that was put into changing during the beginning stages is crucial to maintaining recovery from drugs and alcohol.
Just like with any chronic affliction, the disease of addiction needs continuing care in order to maintain recovery. Addiction aftercare consists of essentially the same things that other health concerns consist of. Things like general understanding of the severity of the disease, setting and maintaining appointments, outpatient care, as well as identifying potential triggers for relapse in symptoms are parts of aftercare planning for any ailment. The same is true for relapse prevention.
Types of Aftercare Programs
Addiction aftercare programs consist of different types of support and accountability for those recovering from addiction to maintain the course they’ve set out on. The chances of treatment being successful can be greatly influenced by the follow through with post treatment support groups and accountability programs. Any combination of the following forms of aftercare can be beneficial to succeeding in maintaining recovery.
Being in a setting where there is the safety net of little to no outside influences is a start to learning individual likes, dislikes, and coping with the outside world. When that gets taken away, reintegrating back into society and everyday life can be overwhelming. Having the structure and accountability that is provided by a sober living environment can be an effective addiction aftercare component.
There are different options for support groups. The traditional 12 step fellowships are very helpful for those who are trying to maintain recovery. These groups offer peer support and experience in recovering successfully from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The more common 12 step groups are Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, and these programs are free to attend.
When life gets hard, having a professional to talk with can help to keep the demons at bay. In early recovery, the brain is trying to rewire itself back to normal functioning and during this time things like cravings and racing thoughts can be detrimental to a person’s recovery. Being able to address these thoughts and feelings with a profession is important to not acting on the desire to use again.
Benefits and Goals of Aftercare Programs
The statistics of relapse occurring in people in recovery are high, even among those who have been recovering for a long period of time. However, addiction aftercare programs and planning help people become self-sufficient and build self-confidence. Those two traits can help people seeking recovery to maintain the lifestyle they desire to live. Aftercare helps to prevent relapse, and can help individuals to learn how to make it through days where they want to use without doing so.
Healthy coping skills and positive routines are main goals of aftercare programs. Healthy coping mechanisms can help a person make better choices than using drugs and alcohol to get through less than desirable days. A person can learn to identify triggers, and then ways to counteract those triggers to make it through without picking up. Having the skills to make better decisions can prove to be a key component of recovery.
Creating a Plan for After Treatment
When it comes time to transition back into normal everyday life, having an effective and solid plan for addiction aftercare is important. Having those resources given during detox and treatment when it is time to go home can and probably will be the most helpful to making it through those hard days. Coping skills, and things like meditation or breathing techniques can help recenter and refocus on things within someone’s control.
When leaving the safety of a treatment center setting, choosing and implementing different aftercare programs will help to provide support needed when all of the skills learned in treatment aren’t working. Finding a safe place to go and express thoughts and feelings will help with those racing thoughts or cravings to use drugs and alcohol again.
Aftercare Programs in Nashville, TN
Coming home after treatment can be a pivotal point in a person’s journey of recovery. Having the right aftercare program available can be crucial to success. At Brentwood Springs, our team strive to provide all of the resources necessary for successful recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling, contact us and let us help you navigate this new lifestyle.