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Many people believe that the addiction recovery process comes to an end once treatment does, but this isn’t the case at all. Most recovery center implement aftercare programs to ensure that patients make a smooth, easy transition back into their daily routines. But what exactly is aftercare in addiction recovery? Simply put, aftercare is a method of continued treatment that typically follows the completion of primary treatment, like an inpatient program or intensive outpatient program.

Aftercare and Relapse Prevention

Aftercare may seem superfluous, but it is actually a necessary part of addiction recovery. This step of the treatment has a substantial influence on the reduction of relapse rates through its relapse prevention plans customized for patients. Today, roughly 2.15 million people— that’s 9% of the population of the entire U.S. population— have a substance use disorder; among this number, relapse rates can reach as high as 56%. Research has shown that these rates plummet among people who utilize aftercare services. Building and following a solid relapse prevention plan is a key factor in staying sober once you leave the rehab facility.

Aftercare Treatment Options

Just like any kind of addiction treatment program, aftercare is not a cookie-cutter operation. It is tailored to your psychological, mental and emotional needs for addiction treatment. There are several different kinds of aftercare treatments offered by rehab facilities that can help you prepare a relapse prevention plan and build the coping strategies you learned during rehabilitation:

  • Group counseling: In this form of aftercare treatment, you will be able to build both social and coping skills in a group setting by not only sharing your own experiences with addiction but also listening to those of others.
  • Individual therapy: This form of aftercare treatment is what most people think of when they think of therapy during or after rehabilitation. Meeting with a therapist one-on-one will allow you to further the progress you made during your initial treatment at the addiction center.
  • Outpatient treatment: This aftercare program is the most convenient for those who wish to return to work or school after rehabilitation. If you want to live at home and resume your normal routine while resuming treatment when it is convenient for you, this is the best aftercare program for you.

SAMHSA’s Outline of a Successful Aftercare Program

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the four major aspects of treatment that make for a successful and effective aftercare program are:

  • health-related services such as prescription medication provision, substance use checks, mental health assessments, educational courses surrounding the individual’s addiction, and even infectious disease testing
  • home services that ensure the safety and stability of the patient in recovery, including transportation to and from appointments, connecting to any available services, and even finding new housing if the situation calls for it (eviction, homelessness, etc.)
  • life coaching and motivational services that help the patient in addiction recovery build a stronger sense of purpose; the best aftercare programs assist their patients with working through work, school, or other responsibilities
  • a sense of community that fosters strong relationships, instills a desire to  improve current ones, promotes healthy new friendships, and encourages  involvement in the community

Aftercare with True Possibilities

Continuity of care is one of the most important parts of the addiction recovery process. Once patients leave inpatient or even intense outpatient treatment, they might be tempted to return to old patterns of behavior and eventually relapse without an aftercare plan. At True Possibilities, we strongly encourage every one of our clients to pursue treatment in aftercare for the betterment of their journey to full addiction recovery and sobriety. If you are interested in our aftercare program, our team of caring professionals will provide you with a comprehensive plan that will come into effect once you complete your initial rehabilitation. Remember, true addiction recovery can take a lifetime, and you’ll have a better chance of reaching sobriety if you continue to work at it.


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