Aftercare Programming During Addiction Treatment

Although addiction treatment is the right way to start your recovery journey, it is also essential that you think about what will happen once you check out of a drug rehab program.

Today, NIDA - the National Institute on Drug Abuse - recommends that you stay in a drug rehab program for a minimum of 3 months or 90 days. During this period, you will be able to work towards overcoming your substance use disorder and any other intoxicating and mind altering substances that you might also have been diagnosed with.

The duration of treatment would also help you end your dependence on alcohol and drugs in a safe way. Further, it can allow you to work with counselors and therapists to alter your behaviors, self-awareness, and stress management. By so doing, you may be better able to overcome your addiction in the long term.

Even after graduating from an addiction treatment, however, it is also essential that you continue focusing on your continued sobriety and recovery. This is because you will still have a high risk of relapse.

In fact, over 50 percent of the people who have been through a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program end up relapsing at some point. To this end, you should continue working on your abstinence as well as changing your behavior. This is the only way you can manage your stress and triggers to avoid relapse.

Understanding Aftercare Programming

Most addiction treatment programs will help you formulate an aftercare plan while you are still enrolled in the drug recovery program. By creating this plan, you will be able to understand the steps that you need to take upon graduating from the program.

These steps could prove useful in maintaining your sobriety. For instance, they could involve finding the right sources of social support and encouragement upon leaving the treatment program.

In many cases, the aftercare program might include working with therapists and attending support group meetings. However, there is more to addiction treatment aftercare programming than these meetings. In fact, you should ensure that your plan is tailored to your lifestyle, needs, requirements, and preferences.

By creating a proper aftercare plan, you may be better placed to continue being actively engaged with your addiction recovery. Although detoxification and rehabilitation services can help you overcome your substance abuse and addiction, you also needs to learn how to pair your daily life with abstinence through ongoing support.

The most vulnerable period for a relapse would be within the first 3 months after you check out of an accredited addiction treatment program. According to NIDA, anywhere between 25 and 35 percent of people who have been through such a program may be readmitted into drug rehab for additional rehabilitation as a result of relapsing.

The relapse risk will not reduce for about 4 to 5 years after you have been through rehab. After that, however, this risk may drop to close to 15 percent depending on your aftercare plan.

Since addiction is defined as a chronic and relapsing condition, you can manage it but it might not always disappear forward. This is why you need to engage in professional aftercare programming during your addiction treatment.

Creating an Aftercare Plan

There are some essential topics that you should discuss while creating an addiction treatment aftercare plan with your case managers and counselors. These topics include but are not always limited to:

  • Any other program that might be offered through state and local organizations
  • Childcare
  • Completing your education goals, such as going through vocational training
  • Creating a list of the supportive friends and family members who can come to your aid in case of a crisis
  • Financial planning, where required
  • Getting help with transportation and housing
  • Individual therapy for continuous addiction treatment, when required
  • Locations, frequency, and times of support group meetings like narcotics anonymous (NA) and alcoholics anonymous (AA), and other non-12 step group meetings
  • Maintaining your health insurance needs
  • Managing your time on a daily basis, such as by working on your educational and employment goals, exercising, and working on hobbies to relieve stress
  • Meetings with counselors and case managers to continue monitoring your aftercare plan
  • Nutritional help
  • Parental assistance
  • The names and contact details of your sponsors and other people that you can get in touch for support and encouragement during relapse and crisis situations
  • Your individual self-help goals, such as maintain regular exercise and yoga practice, attending religious services, and journaling

Overall, you should thoroughly and efficiently work on your aftercare programming when you are still enrolled in addiction treatment. This is the best way to ensure that you do not lose the gains you made during your rehabilitation or relapse upon checking out of the treatment center.


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