The Essential Role of Aftercare in Addiction Treatment
Aftercare addiction treatment is necessary to sustain long-term sobriety. After you complete rehab, you are at a tender time in your recovery. You are learning to live life after addiction. More importantly, you are moving forward without drugs or alcohol for the first time in, perhaps, months or years. Even as you come to accept your new, sober lifestyle, you are vulnerable.
Aftercare addiction treatment can help you find positive habits to replace your old substance abuse habits. Plus, you will likely avoid relapse with this ongoing support. As specialists in addiction treatment and recovery, we strongly advise our clients to fully commit to an aftercare addiction treatment program to maintain a clean and sober life.
Let us look together at addiction aftercare options and what strategies might work best for you.
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Define Aftercare Addiction Treatment
Aftercare in addiction treatment is the time occurring directly after rehabilitation. This moment is an uncertain time — one when patients begin to navigate their world without alcohol and drugs.
In short, you must think of addiction aftercare treatment as relapse prevention.
According to the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism: “After the first month following alcohol detoxification, relapse rates range between 19% for inpatients and 34% for outpatients and increase to about 46 and 48% respectively, after six months.” That same article also explains how follow-up care and support play an integral role in maintaining sobriety.
Once a patient receives that much-needed aftercare program, the relapse rate drops. This decrease varies depending on the individual’s substance of choice. An aftercare program for substance abuse includes the follow-up care that each patient needs to remain clean and sober for the long haul. Because we recommend only evidence-based treatments, each client receives a customer aftercare rehab program.
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Aftercare Addiction Treatment Programs
Some recommendations that make a positive, long-term impact include these five treatment options:
- 12-Step Programs: Aftercare for alcoholics typically includes AA meetings, while aftercare for drug addicts includes NA meetings.
- Sober Living Housing: If a patient does not have stable housing or healthy family relationships, we might recommend transitional housing.
- Ongoing Medication Monitoring: We prescribe some patients medications to treat dual diagnosis conditions.
- Counseling: The need for individual and family counseling does not end once a patient checks out of rehab. Ongoing counseling is a vital part of recovery aftercare.
- Life Skills Classes: Some of our patients enroll in courses to learn the life skills they need. For example, some people continue their high school education or complete a GED to leverage their job opportunities.
Remember that staying sober is a lifetime commitment. We will equip you with all the tools, support, and resources you need — it’s up to you to learn how to put these to use during recovery and aftercare.
Aftercare Addiction Treatment and Staying Busy in Recovery
You left rehab, but you still have a lot of hard work ahead of you. Your aftercare program takes up some of your time, especially if you are doing the 90 meetings in a 90-day challenge and attending counseling and follow-up care. But what about the rest of your time?
If you let your mind wander, it will inevitably stray back to your old habits of substance abuse. Staying busy in recovery helps you stay productive. This “busy-ness” distracts you from the lure of using drugs and alcohol.
Hobbies for Aftercare Addiction Treatment
Here are some fantastic hobbies for those in recovery as part of an aftercare addiction program. These will engage your mind and body, arming yourself against relapse.
1 – Yoga:
You might have performed yoga in rehab. If you do not know the poses, check out online videos and take advantage of free classes. Yoga, as evidenced in a review published by the Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice, is one of the most useful aftercare addiction treatment activities for recovering individuals. In yoga, you cleanse your mind, align your breathing, and work your muscles back into good health.
2 – Enjoy Music:
Music is good for the soul. Many find music therapeutic – whether you want to take a classical music appreciation class or learn to play an instrument in your aftercare addiction treatment. Music proves to uplift your mood, ease cravings, and engage the mind immediately. This hobby provides you with the distraction you need and helps you stay focused on the positives in life.
3 – Take an Online Class:
If you have been focusing on recovery, and haven’t worked in a while, take an online class. You will engage your brain, learn new concepts, and prepare yourself for re-entry into the workforce. Not only will you train your mind mentally, but you will also feel proud of your accomplishment when you finish the coursework.
4 – Join a Sports League
If you prefer to stay physically active and want to strengthen your body during your aftercare addiction treatment, join a sports league. Municipalities across the United States offer recreational leagues for a low cost to a moderate cost.
What sports did you enjoy in the past? You can find leagues in all kinds of sports – from dodgeball to bowling to slow-pitch softball awaiting you. You will physically become fitter and healthier. You are also likely to meet some new, positive, health-conscious friends, becoming great support systems.
5 – Creative Endeavors
If you enjoyed arts and crafts, writing, interior designing, photography, or drawing in the past, you’ll be amazed at how it soothes your soul during your aftercare addiction treatment. Engaging in creative endeavors will provide you with hours of enjoyable time.
Not only will you hone some long-lost skills, but you will also find an ideal outlet for self-expression. Creativity also helps enhance your problem-solving skills.
6 – Join the Rehab Alumni Program
At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we offer a rehab alumni program as part of our aftercare addiction treatment. These sessions allow those further along in recovery to mentor our new clients. Let your story serve as a beacon of hope. You will feel proud of the time you spend helping others.
Participation also shows you how much progress you’ve made and assists with the prevention of relapse. Any aftercare plan for substance abuse should include a number of ways you can fill your time in ways that enrich your life and complement your aftercare rehab plan.
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Final Thoughts on Life After Addiction and Aftercare Addiction Treatment
When you leave rehab, you might feel strong enough to take on the world. Undoubtedly, you made significant strides towards your clean and sober new lifestyle.
However, don’t be lulled into thinking that you can skip the next step — aftercare addiction treatment. Aftercare addiction treatment is just as important as your initial treatment plan. You are still forging your new life after addiction. Therefore, the support you receive in an aftercare rehab program serves a vital role. Aftercare addiction treatment will help to prevent you from a relapse.
Congratulations on coming this far in your journey. Onto the next step — aftercare addiction treatment. If you have any additional questions for us, the Resurgence Behavioral Health counselors are always available to help you. Give us a call at 888.700.5053.