When it comes to seeking out treatment for addiction, the entire process from start to finish needs to be carefully considered, planned, and followed in order to be successful. While most people focus primarily upon the initial detox and early rehabilitation process, continued care and attention are necessary in order to prevent relapse and the need to start the process all over again. Addiction aftercare is perhaps the most lengthy and important step in addiction recovery and can make or break the success of any addiction treatment program.
Essentially, addiction aftercare is a blanket term for any treatments or programs that a recovering addict uses and relies on after they complete their recovery program. An aftercare plan helps them to continue progressing and succeeding in their sobriety.
Addiction aftercare is important because it continues to build upon the coping mechanisms and skills that are first developed in rehab and initial recovery. It also provides the recovering addict with a support system of professionals and others who are in recovery just like them. Treatments, resources, peers, family and addiction professionals that act as aftercare support sources are vital in ensuring continued success in sobriety.
Unfortunately, with any addiction treatment program there is a potential for relapse. Statistics vary, but a safe estimate is that around half of all people who complete a rehab program will return to drug use. Relapse is most common in the first 2 months following recovery, but the risk remains quite high in the 5 years after initial treatment. This is usually due to a lack of an appropriate and necessary aftercare plan.
What Are The Aftercare Treatment Options?
Addiction aftercare treatments come in a variety of forms. While each recovering addict will benefit more from different aftercare treatments, all are important in maintaining sobriety and assisting with the development of individual coping skills.
12 step programs are among the most common addiction aftercare treatment options available. This is a highly structured program that helps recovering addicts to walk through all of the necessary feelings, self-discoveries and recovery steps that a person needs to go through to move on from an addiction. These steps are usually started while in a rehab program, but must be completed once the patient returns home. The 12 steps include mending relationships that were damaged by actions taken while under the influence of the addictive substance and can help the recovering addict to foster supportive relationships with friends and family.
Support groups are also an integral part of any addiction aftercare program. Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are extremely helpful to recovering addicts. They allow recovering addicts to talk freely and openly with people going through or who have gone through similar experiences and struggles. Regular support group meetings can prevent a person from relapsing as well. There is no limit to how many meetings a recovering addict can or should attend in a week or even in a single day.
In addition to support groups and the successful completion of a 12 step program, a recovering addict can benefit greatly from individual therapy with a counselor or psychologist. Individual therapy sessions can continue the progress made during rehabilitation. They can help recovering addicts determine the root cause or causes for the development of a substance abuse problem and addiction, as well as address their addictive behaviors and tendencies. Figuring out and treating the underlying psychological and emotional factors that contribute to addiction will only serve to further cement the recovering addict’s commitment to sobriety and their ability to maintain it.
The successful completion of a detox and rehab program is only the first step in a lifelong process of addiction recovery, prevention, and sobriety. Addiction aftercare provides the continued support and treatment that a recovering addict needs to stay sober and stay on the right path in their life.
Call Greenville Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers at 864-607-9031 to speak to an addiction specialist who can help you decide which treatment program best fits your needs.
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