Aftercare treatment programs are services that people who graduate from inpatient and outpatient programs are advised to make use of to facilitate long term sobriety in the real world. While aftercare treatment occurs after formal involvement in a treatment program, it is important to understand aftercare not as an end, but as a beginning.
Graduates of outpatient programs already have a strong foundation for lifelong recovery. By maintaining and building on that foundation, aftercare services allow them to go forth confidently and live the lives they dream of. For many of our graduates, aftercare treatment never truly “ends,” since the relationships gained, and the personal growth incurred not only promote long term sobriety but become precious ends in themselves.
Aftercare treatment plans take both the short and the long-term goals of clients into consideration when creating a recovery strategy. Case management teams work with clients on an individual basis to design an aftercare treatment plan that suits their needs. Aftercare programs are designed for recovering individuals who have graduated from inpatient or outpatient treatment and are now living out in the broader world. An aftercare treatment program often involves a combination of counseling sessions, 12-step programs or other support groups, and sober mentoring. While the nature of a person’s aftercare program will vary considerably from person to person, all programs aim to prevent relapse and help recovering individuals continue to take strides forward in sobriety after they’ve finished formal treatment.
Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) are a great option for individuals who want the intensity and structure of an inpatient treatment program with the flexibility of an outpatient program.
Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) provide individuals with a thorough, daily regimen of group and individual therapy that newly sober individuals need in the first few months of recovery.
Outpatient treatment programs are an effective and very flexible kind of treatment program for individuals struggling with addiction, mental health and impulse control disorders.
Aftercare treatment programs are services that people who graduate from inpatient and outpatient programs are advised to make use of to facilitate long term sobriety after leaving treatment.
People addicted to fentanyl or any other synthetic opioid are at increased risk of suffering from severe physical and mental health problems. Fentanyl abuse can also be life-threatening in the event of a fentanyl overdose. A fatal overdose becomes even more likely when fentanyl is used in conjunction with other street drugs. Mixing fentanyl is particularly dangerous, especially with stimulants, which tax the heart and respiratory system while synthetic opioids simultaneously slow down body functions. In the event of an overdose, it is crucial to call 911 after providing the individual with naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of a potentially fatal overdose.
Opioid addiction also puts every component of an individual’s life at risk. In an effort to avoid experiencing excruciatingly painful withdrawal symptoms, most users stop at nothing to obtain the drug and prioritize fentanyl use above all else. Casualties can include career, family, and even personal freedom. Many individuals with substance use disorders have major relationship problems, which can lead to divorce or loss of child custody.
It can be difficult to hold on to a job or manage money, leading to financial ruin and even homelessness. Criminal activities associated with drug-seeking can result in criminal consequences and sometimes incarceration. As all of this is happening, many individuals begin to experience mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and even sometimes psychosis.
People with drug addictions are far more likely to develop mental illnesses, which can further increase their dependency on drugs that provide short term relief. It does not take long for someone addicted to fentanyl to experience some of the life-threatening side effects and risks of an opioid use disorder.
The point of an aftercare treatment program is twofold. Whether a patient just finished an inpatient treatment program, an outpatient treatment program, or an intensive outpatient program, a solid aftercare plan aims to strengthen and build on the program of recovery that individuals have already been working to develop. Aftercare services are also designed to facilitate a smoother transition for people as they leave a treatment program and begin to face the unique challenges of building a life in the world at large. There are many ways aftercare treatment can be implemented in a recovering individual’s life to help. Some of these include but are not limited to:
Not only does having the support of an aftercare treatment program enable people to meet these challenges with poise and equanimity, but it reduces the likelihood of relapse and promotes long term sobriety. Empirical evidence shows that recovering individuals who follow a treatment program for longer periods of time are far less likely to return to using drugs and alcohol.
For most people, making use of an aftercare treatment program is also pleasurable and enriches quality of life. Having the strong social support network that aftercare programs help build allows recovering individuals to enjoy fun activities without the fear that they’ll be the only sober person there. Hobbies and events that at one point were unthinkable without alcohol or drugs, like concerts and sporting events, can become exciting occasions when you have sober buddies there with you.
The type of aftercare that people take part in after graduating from a rehab program or addiction center vary considerably. While long term continued treatment in aftercare programs is always recommended for those who hope to stay sober, people in recovery have a variety of options to choose from. For many people, the nature of their aftercare program might evolve over time to reflect their changing needs. Several of the most prevalent types of aftercare treatment programs include:
Sober living homes can be a great way for recovering individuals to become acclimated to independent life. At a sober living house, people are required to remain sober. Thus, residents are guaranteed a home life that is free from triggers to abuse drugs or alcohol. They can reap the benefits of living with people who share an understanding of the unique challenges of recovering from substance use disorders and who are sure to support them on the journey to long term sobriety. Studies show that people who develop this social support system in a sober living home not only remain sober more consistently, but tend to have improved academic, employment, and financial outcomes.
Structured sober living homes can provide additional support. These types of residences distinguish themselves from other sober living homes in that they aren’t merely a sober place to sleep. Residents of a structured sober living home follow a pre-ordained daily schedule and work with program managers to meet predefined goals. These intensive programs work individually with recovering individuals to make sure people are staying accountable, following a program of recovery, and making progress toward career and educational goals. They can also work with people with mental health or family problems to resolve underlying issues.
Therapy is an essential component of any good aftercare plan. Attending outpatient therapy allows recovering individuals to continue to work on their mental health. It also provides a safe outlet for people to express their concerns and solve problems related to sober life. Therapy can also be a way for people to continue exploring the underlying psychological and emotional issues that led them to destructive behaviors in the first place. There are many treatment modalities available to suit different needs. The most popular evidence-based treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. CBT involves working to understand problematic thinking and behavioral patterns and working to change them. Thus, CBT can be uniquely useful for recovering individuals who hope to identify their triggers and develop healthier coping strategies.
Most treatment programs today are based to some extent on the 12-step model. Many encourage or even require clients to attend 12-step meetings. It should come as no surprise, then, that many continue to reap the benefits of involvement long past graduation. 12-step meetings are not just cost-free, they’re also widely available in all parts of the world. There are a wide variety of programs focusing on different objects of addiction, but all programs are based on the original and still largest group, Alcoholics Anonymous.
Alcoholics Anonymous is both a social support system and a program of recovery. Alcoholics Anonymous’ program of recovery involves recognizing personal limitations are fallibility, chief among them the undeniable fact of being addicted to alcohol and drugs. Thereafter, members work to improve their conduct and stay sober by putting their faith in a power greater than themselves. 12-step programs emphasize that the best way to stay sober is to help other individuals who are trying to recover. Its social support system, which can be found in countless meetings all over the world, involves people telling stories and sharing the challenges they’re facing in sobriety.
Addiction specialists understand that addiction treatment does not just end when a person finishes detoxing from their substance of choice. In fact, addiction is a lifelong condition. While it can indeed be treated, there is no permanent cure. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, long term sobriety requires regular follow-ups and check-ins, at the very least. An aftercare treatment program allows people to remain accountable to themselves and others, continue to learn valuable coping skills, and nurture a sober social support network to facilitate a full and happy life in sobriety.
Relapse prevention planning involves understanding the unique challenges facing the individual. Those with mental health disorders are advised to seek therapy or go on medications to alleviate symptoms — so that they are not instead drawn to the temptation of self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. Many relapse prevention strategies also aim to get family members involved as well. This not only increases accountability, but it fosters the human connections that are crucial for battling addiction, which many call a “disease of isolation.”
The peer mentoring that an aftercare program provides can also be an invaluable tool to prevent relapse. Self-awareness is difficult for most people, but for those suffering from substance use disorder, it can be more difficult. Addictions trick people into justifying behaviors they know are self-destructive. Having sober peers and mentors from sober support groups can be a useful way of getting realistic feedback about oneself. What might seem like a good idea to one person might appear to peers as an easy-to-recognize prelude to a relapse. Having a support system can also prevent relapse by providing friends to lean on in hard times. During difficult life transitions such as a career change, breakup, or death in the family, having access to a support group can be all it takes to prevent a relapse.
Aftercare treatment programs are designed to be flexible so that people can live full lives in sobriety. Unlike the rigorous substance abuse treatment found in a residential or inpatient program, continued treatment via aftercare services is adaptable and open-ended. Most aftercare treatment programs share some common goals, which include:
Whether you’re looking for therapy, a sober living home, or the locations of 12-step meetings, you can rest assured that all types of aftercare are available in your area. If you are graduating from a rehab program or intensive outpatient program at an addiction center, a case manager can likely help you find the services you need. If you are seeking addiction treatment on your own, many resources are available to aid your research.
When patients enroll in one of the many treatment programs offered at Create Recovery Center, case managers begin working immediately on a long-term recovery strategy. While the aftercare plan Create Recovery Center ultimately recommends will vary to reflect the individual needs of each client, all of them will build on the strong program of recovery available at our program. We understand that sobriety involves not just abstinence but building a full and happy life. To that end, services include:
If you are interested in beginning the journey toward long term sobriety, reach out to Create Recovery Center today. A representative will be happy to discuss your unique needs and work with you to design and implement a treatment plan conducive to lifelong recovery.