Drug and alcohol addictions can be complex conditions. When it comes to finding alcohol rehab success, effective treatment is the best answer for dealing with the frustrating ups and downs. Programs designed around treating addiction can help to improve a person’s life. Support continues long after the person struggling with addiction leaves rehab through an aftercare program.
Treatment for addiction doesn’t end after detox or rehab. Making strides toward a drug or alcohol-free lifestyle is a long-term commitment. Extensive options and supports for aftercare are part of a continuum of treatment for the person’s overall addiction recovery.
What Is an Aftercare Program?
The core concept of an aftercare program is continued treatment following a relatively short period of treatment at an inpatient or outpatient alcohol rehab center. From the time individuals enroll in rehab to treat alcoholism or drug addiction, the recovery team prepares them for life after treatment.
A person doesn’t just receive instructions for living sober. The professional staff involved with their treatment from day one continues to monitor their post-treatment progress. This crucial period is when individuals put into practice what they learned in recovery.
Qualities of a Good Aftercare Program
Aftercare program options will vary based on the rehab center. Treatment expands upon the strategies for coping that a person learns during rehabilitation. Most follow a format of group sessions to keep the focus on preventing a relapse.
Attendees may also build on relationship skills and job skills. Improving relational skills is important to help a person repair relationships that became collateral damage to their addiction.
Support from family and friends during aftercare improve the odds that a person stays clean. Having people close by also gives the person a clear purpose and a place to live that is free from temptation.
In addition to housing, aftercare should address other practical needs such as managing money, childcare, and job assistance.
Another good quality of effective aftercare is the length of time for participation. Most programs experience a high dropout rate. This could be for various reasons, including being able to get to meetings. Some programs offer transportation services to help increase retention.
Developing an Individualized Aftercare Program
A quality program includes requirements and goals post-rehabilitation based on specific needs of the person. Some court-ordered treatment plans, diversion, or drug and alcohol assistance programs make it mandatory to participate. Whether voluntary or involuntary, treatment and aftercare should be equally effective.
Various components may factor into the type of plan a person receives leading up to their discharge from rehab. Some receive a relapse prevention strategy before the end of their initial treatment.
An individualized plan for aftercare may also include regularly scheduled follow-up appointments with a therapist. A person might need a controlled living environment such as a halfway house or sober living community.
Time and frequency of post-rehabilitation also depend on the person. Some people only need a few months. Others may continue for a few years. Still, some people will need some level of aftercare for the rest of their lives.
Meetings or counseling sessions may occur daily or weekly. Some people may require less and only attend based on the amount of trouble or stress they have at a particular time.
The Risk of Not Attending Aftercare
Statistics show that nearly half of the people who enter recovery for a drug or alcohol addiction relapse. Most can occur within the first 90 days after treatment.
Fortunately, relapse prevention education is available. During your time at an alcohol rehab center, you’ll learn strategies for coping with triggers that would otherwise cause you to return to old habits. Once you’re done, it’s crucial to continue on with aftercare to keep up with your coping skills and strengthen your support network.
Regardless of which alcohol addiction treatment center you attend or which aftercare option you choose, make sure you’re doing both to ensure long-term recovery.