Aftercare is any type of ongoing care received after the patient leaves the rehab program. The most common approaches of an aftercare program are outpatient care, 12-step meetings, sober living, and counseling. The most effective takeaway of adapting an aftercare program is it allows the individual struggling to be prepared for future challenges, and develop more effective solutions in advance geared towards relapse prevention. Addiction recovery from substance abuse is an extended process that continues even after treatment is completed.
The best way family members and friends can support a loved one after their rehab process from drug and alcohol addiction is by engaging in self-help fellowship events for relatives and friends such as:
- Encouraging the loved one’s healthy habits
- Celebrating the loved one’s successes
What is an Aftercare Plan?
Aftercare plans support a person in their early recovery process from drug and alcohol and substance use to achieve the three most important categories:
- Assist individuals in working towards their life goals
- Enforce relapse prevention by providing support groups and allowing the person struggling to continue to pursue addiction recovery
- Maintain long-term sobriety for substance use which involves substance abuse treatment
Rehab aftercare programs include interventions, activities, and resources to assist a recovering person cope with cravings, triggers, and stress that might present themselves as the treatment process concludes. Each person’s aftercare program will differ based on each individual’s needs.
An aftercare plan is essential for individuals struggling with substance use and drug and alcohol addiction because there are many difficulties faced when transitioning out of treatment programs. In the first few months of an individual leaving rehab aftercare, the risk of relapse is the greatest. Statistics show that there is about 40% to 60% of people recovering from alcohol and drug addiction who undergo a relapse.
How Long is Aftercare?
The length of aftercare programs will depend on the specific person’s needs. There are some people in the aftercare plan for weeks or months. Other individuals might be in rehab aftercare for a year or more. It is important to remember that it is not a race. The main goal for people in recovery is to stay actively engaged in the plan for at least one year of treatment.
Why are Aftercare Programs Essential?
Aftercare services should be a part of the person’s addiction treatment plan for the following reasons:
- It sets the individual up for long-term success
- It helps the person thoroughly prepare for what may arise in the future
- Life can be extremely unpredictable, so it’s crucial to practice relapse prevention from simple stress caused
- Substance abuse treatment provides continuous assistance for the individual to learn how to deal with life stressors and stay on track
How are Aftercare Programs Created?
As the individual’s addiction treatment finalizes, there will be other options offered. A counselor, case manager, or therapist will assist in
the aftercare program. After the individual’s needs have been established, the support network made of counselors or therapists will assist in finding resources. For example, if the person is unemployed, there will be aftercare services assisting in finding a job. If the person is without a home, sober living homes would be the most effective route to take.
When the aftercare program is created, the therapist will consider the following areas:
- Continued treatment
- How often or long care is needed
- The severity of their treatment process
- How far along the individual is on their early recovery plan
Sober living homes are the most common and used form of aftercare programs. They provide a simple approach to gradually transition back to normalcy. One of the most crucial features of sober living is having a t
rigger-free and safe environment. In a few cases, the people in recovery struggle with having a welcoming and non-toxic home to go to. The primary goal is to practice relapse prevention from drug and alcohol addiction and substance use, so in many ways, sober living is the best option.
Sober living homes are where people in recovery will live for a period. At BRC Healthcare, we make sure these sober living homes get rid of any external factors such as triggers that can cause a relapse. The sober living homes include professional staff assistance as needed, which can be thought of as the individual’s very own support network. If a person is unsure about their living situation, this is the most probable alternative.
There are a few expectations of sober living:
- The person will be expected to work towards their recovery process by staying clear of drugs and alcohol and substance use
- There might be chores and curfews assigned
There are many benefits to sober living:
- Keep residents sober and away from drugs
- Transition smoothly back into regular life
- Provides a safe and open space for individuals to live by instilling relapse prevention
- Helps residents learn accountability and coping strategies to be set up for success
There are many inpatient addiction treatment facilities and residential centers that offer alumni programs for people in recovery. These people have completed treatment successfully and continue to face many challenges in addiction recovery. Alumni programs provide a support network and tools to help individuals cope with addiction as they transition back home after treatment.
The primary goal of an alumni program is to provide those struggling with continued connections like their very own support group. There are many benefits to alumni programs such as:
- Allows individuals to meet other sober individuals to discuss struggles and experiences and receive encouragement and advice
- These events involve participating in sober events so that individuals can begin enjoying life without alcohol or drugs, or substance use.
- The services are as long as the individual needs them or for an extended period.
- There will be an online support program available through message boards, email, and social media.
- By actively engaging in these activities, the individual can stay strong and relapse prevention.
- There are in-person and telephone check-ins.
- The events are held weekly or monthly.
- There will be a telephone hotline to call for support along with a coordinator or director who can answer questions and offer more information.
Clients complete the Twelve Steps over 90 days in an encouraged and structured environment that lays the foundation down fundamentally for a lasting recovery. We provide a knowledgeable staff that offers a distinctive perspective. There will be daily meetings regularly to help clients construct relationships, so they are constantly reminded that they aren’t alone but supported.
We strongly believe that when individuals join a 12-step program and combine it with a structured and systematic continuation of care that utilizes a holistic perspective, a solid foundation is offered. When people struggling have a solid foundation, there is a greater chance of recovery from alcohol and drug addiction and substance use.
Studies show that being involved in sober living while in halfway houses can lead to better consequences. A halfway house is a great option to consider because it supplies support to those in early recovery with substance abuse and drugs and alcohol. They are transitional treatment facilities. It is a requirement to stay sober in this living arrangement, and there are house rules to be followed.
What are the Twelve Steps?
- Admitted we were powerless over alcohol, and alcohol made our lives unmanageable.
- Admitted that, we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves restore us to sanity.
- Decided to turn our lives and our will over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a fearless and searching moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, others, and to ourselves the precise nature of our wrongs
- Are completely prepared to have God remove all the imperfections of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made up a list of people who were harmed, and we became willing to make changes to them all
- Made amends to people directly whenever possible, except when doing so would injure them or others
- Continued to take personal inventory and admitted when we were wrong
- Sought meditation and prayer to improve our contact consciously with God as we understood Him, praying for knowledge only of his will for us, and the power to carry it out
- Had a spiritual awakening as a consequence of these steps, we attempted to convey this message to alcoholics, and apply these truths in all of our affairs
What is the Role of Outpatient Services in Ongoing Therapy?
As individuals complete inpatient addiction treatment, they find that they continue to face stressors and triggers that ultimately challenge their recovery. The most effective approach would be to transition to outpatient treatment. During this time,the individual would meet with a therapist to address all of their issues.
There is a correlation between substance abuse, drug, and alcohol addiction, and mental health, also known as dual diagnosis, so incorporating a counseling session will assist with the following:
- Improve communication with family members
- Assist in helping an individual find a job
- Develop a relapse prevention plan
- Work through substance abuse and mental health issues
It will take time to find the best therapist that the individual will be able to share feelings and thoughts with. The therapist will direct the individual into an outpatient treatment program. The individuals who find this program most effective have transportation, have a support group of family and friends, attend counseling sessions regularly, and live in stable housing.
The two most common forms of outpatient treatment are partial hospitalization programs (PHP) and intensive outpatient/standard outpatient programs.
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
This form of treatment requires the individual struggling to visit a hospital or treatment facility for 20 hours or less every week, and normally during the day. A person might attend a PHP program after they have been admitted for stabilization after a lack of relapse prevention or leave an inpatient aftercare service.
The services included in this program are:
- Group and individual therapy
- Medical services
- Medically supervised withdrawal
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and Standard Outpatient
The main difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment is the amount of time spent in each program. The IOP’s typically require nine or more hours a week of counseling sessions. Most of the treatment contains group therapy, but a patient can also meet with a therapist individually. An IOP can last anywhere from several weeks to months.
Finding A Sponsor
If the individual attends Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous, they will be encouraged to find a sponsor. A sponsor is a more knowledgeable member of the recovery community who supplies advice and shares their experiences for an individual attempting to get or stay sober. Usually, it is suggested to find a sponsor who provides comfort, has at least one year of sobriety, and is relatable. There are many reasons a sponsor would be beneficial for those struggling with addiction.
A great sponsor does the following:
- Supplies support when cravings arrive
- Creates a plan to cope through life without using or drinking
- Encourages participation in group activities and regular attendance at support group meetings
- Presents a good example of sobriety
- Introduces a person to 12-step literature
- Explains the 12-step program to friends and family
- Introduces the person to different people
- Provides support
Get Help at BRC Healthcare Today
BRC Healthcare strives to provide resources for drug rehab aftercare services catered to families with loved ones struggling with drug abuse, substance abuse, and mental health. We aim to break the mold of not thinking recovery is possible because it’s also achievable long-term with proper assistance, treatment facilities, and support groups.
Let us help with long-term sobriety.