When someone has attended rehab and completed a personalized treatment program for substance abuse disorder, they are always recommended to pursue an aftercare program. Aftercare programs for substance abuse consist of follow-up treatment to reinforce everything that was learned in rehab so that patients can apply those principles with greater ease in recovery.
For many people completing treatment in residential substance abuse rehab, the thought of returning to their homes and the previous people and places they associate with their addiction can be daunting. Aftercare drug treatment goes a considerable way to providing recovering patients with the extra support they need in the early days to ensure they make good progress in sobriety.
There are several types of after programs available to appeal to people from all walks of life and with varying belief systems. The main objective of substance abuse aftercare – as with detox and rehab treatment itself – is to provide each patient with their own ‘safety net’ to encourage and motivate them to remain abstinent. Completing treatment for substance abuse disorder is extremely challenging and much is achieved although aftercare for substance abuse should never be underestimated for its value in maintaining those objectives.
How Long Do Aftercare Programs Last?
When people have been in the grips of substance abuse, they each have their own unique challenges to face. The same is true of treatment and recovery and for that reason; each step of their journey needs to be charted to meet their personal needs. Therapists, clinicians and counselors work with patients throughout detox, rehab and aftercare drug treatment to ensure that all their needs are met in the most effective ways.
For some people who have become deeply addicted to substances, their road to recovery may be longer than for others who have recognized their illness sooner. As with substance abuse treatment itself, after rehab care lasts for as long as the patient needs that extra support to enable them to maintain sobriety. The frequency of counseling session will also be scheduled around the patient’s individual needs and so aftercare can extend from months to years or even a lifetime.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Aftercare Program
Committing to after rehab care has been shown to greatly reduce the potential for relapse. This is because it arms patients with effective coping mechanisms that they can apply in real-time in their everyday lives. Substance abuse aftercare also eases the transition from the relatively safe environment of a rehab center into the family home and counseling can be of great support to patients and their loved ones through this time.
As mentioned above, there is a wide variety of after rehab care available to cater for all needs and beliefs. It is important to feel aligned with the philosophies of an aftercare support group because relationships formed within them are based on complete trust. For some, this may mean a 12-step program and for others less inclined to submit themselves to a “higher self”, a secular group is more likely to be a better fit.
How to Choose a Program with a Strong Aftercare System
Finding the right fit when it comes to substance abuse aftercare is crucial because many people with addiction issues will have become alienated from almost everything and everyone around them when in the depths of their illness. A sense of “belonging” within a group of people who understand, and more importantly, empathize completely with them, gives the extra boost to a recovering addict’s self-confidence and reinforces their determination to stay sober.
It is important to remember that addiction affects more than one person and the illness can have a significantly damaging impact on families and close personal relationships. A good aftercare drug treatment program will help the loved ones of addicts who may feel nervous about them returning after rehab and guide them through the process together. Addiction is an illness that can be overcome when people are prepared to fight for positive outcomes and the more support that can be garnered on the way through after rehab care, the better.