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Aftercare Programs

An aftercare plan is essential for long-term sobriety. Understand the different aftercare treatment plans.

What is Aftercare?

Aftercare is a broad term used for a treatment team and patient plan before treatment at a center, increasing the chances for success afterward.

There are various types of aftercare substance abuse programs to choose from. Each individual must tailor plans according to specific needs, location, and available resources.

Relapse is less likely when a solid aftercare plan is not only created, but executed. Recovering patients are more likely to focus on recovery when they have plans in place and additional support at home and in their communities.

Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs are just a small part in the scheme of recovery.

Creating a plan while in PHP or IOP that transitions to aftercare rehab programs are always encouraged.

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Personal Aftercare Plan

Once clients step down from inpatient treatment programs and are in partial hospitalization programs or intensive outpatient programs, they begin to engage in more detailed conversations with treatment teams surrounding life after treatment.

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    Generally, clients take an honest at look everyone and everything involved in their lives. They will be guided to ask themselves some of these common, aftercare-planning questions:

    • What people, places, or things are barriers to my recovery?
    • What are my top triggers at home, at work, and in the community?
    • Who can I truly go to in a time of need?
    • Who will my mentors or sponsors be?
    • What coping skills can I realistically use in certain circumstances?
    • What do I need to do to work on and mend relationships?
    • What will my job situation be when I return home?
    • What will my daily schedule consist of?
    • Which support groups will I attend?
    • When will I see my individual and family therapists?
    • What plan is in place if I relapse?
    • What will my emotions be like when I return home?

    Of course, there are many other questions one might ask themselves during the process of creating aftercare plans. These plans are individualized to each person, especially since each person has unique home, work, and community situations outside of our facility.

    Transition to Aftercare

    The process of transitioning from a treatment facility in any capacity can cause a lot of worry. Thoughts and questions run through our clients’ minds. They wonder what it will be like to return to the same places and to see the same people now that they are sober and working diligently to stick with recovery. There may even be difficult emotions to work through such as guilt, shame, fear, and resentment.

    These feelings are completely normal. This is why preparing in advance with an aftercare plan is so important for all recovering clients.

    There are a variety of steps individuals who are transitioning out of rehab can attempt to relieve some of the challenging thoughts and feelings. Options include meditation, exercise, journaling, talking with a mentor, and creating positive plans for the future.

    Most importantly, the time will come when clients must choose which aftercare programs they will become involved in.

    Addiction aftercare programs for substance abuse are everywhere. Those living in or near large cities will have more options, although towns and rural areas may also have some to choose from. In the end, everyone will have some sort of aftercare option where they live— even if it is virtual.

    Finding Aftercare

    Addiction aftercare programs can be recommended to clients by their therapists, and even by those who have been through treatment before, such as a mentor or sponsor. There are a variety of options to choose from when it comes to finding the right aftercare for you.

    Events that are a part of aftercare plans include:

    • 12-Step meetings
    • Individual counseling
    • Addiction support groups
    • Family counseling
    • Meditation
    • Church or other religious-affiliated places
    • Spiritual settings
    • Mentor or sponsor meetings
    • Work on job skills
    • Try out new sober hobbies

    Each person will have different likes and dislikes, which will be reflected in their plans.

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    Do I Need a Sponsor?

    Simply put…YES. All recovering addicts need a sponsor, whether it be through a 12-Step program or a different aftercare program.

    Having a sponsor is just too beneficial to miss out on the opportunity for guidance, friendship, tough love and empathy.

    According to addiction experts, sponsorship has incredible benefits such as:

    • Sponsor/sponsee relationships keep both people accountable and on track with their own recoveries.
    • Sponsors provide emotional and practical support, stay in close contact with sponsees, share personal experiences, and encourage sponsees to attend meetings.
    • Sponsees can do their part by attending and volunteering for meetings and participating in sober activities.
    • The sponsor/sponsee relationship is a vital part of the recovery process, but addiction treatment comes first.

    Those who are in PHP or IOP programs and can get out in the community, while also remaining in treatment, can start attending AA/NA meetings and develop relationships with  sponsors. Meanwhile, sponsors can prepare sponsees for life after treatment.

    Reasons For Aftercare?

    Aftercare has a long list of benefits— there is no reason not to create an aftercare plan during treatment. Being proactive and motivated to stay sober will set patients up for lasting success long after they leave treatment.

    The top reasons for aftercare are:

    • Aftercare is the most logical next step in treatment.
    • Aftercare research is evidence-based and has shown great success for recovering users.
    • Aftercare provides community, support, and guidance.
    • Aftercare programs hold recovering addicts accountable.
    • Aftercare options are abundant and widespread.

    Essentially, there is no reason not to plan for aftercare.

    Commonly Asked Questions

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