Addiction Aftercare Programs: Do They Really Improve Recovery Success Rates?

When planning to go to rehab, and before it ends, look to the future and addiction aftercare programs.  Just like the long-term management of other chronic conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, long-term self-care for addiction must include planning for the big picture: active rehabilitation, transitional supportive care, and then ongoing maintenance.

What that plan looks like can vary widely, but here’s a closer look at how transitional addiction aftercare works.

Addiction Aftercare Programs Options

Rehab is relatively short but intense.  It’s the time to detox, but also to learn the tools for recovery.  There might not be many weeks or months to practice those tools before a rehabilitation program ends, and launching immediately back into life before rehab can be difficult or even dangerous.

That’s where the first segment of post-rehab comes in: addiction aftercare programs.

Option 1: Outpatient treatment programs.  While less intensive than inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment programs include regularly scheduled group meetings and follow-up with care providers.  Such programs can also be progressive: you may meet every day at first, then a few days a week, gradually down to once per week.  In such programs, you still live at home, and accommodations can be made for work and other aspects of life to continue the therapeutic program.

Option 2: Sober living communities. Sometimes called a “halfway house” because they are a half-step between a treatment facility and open living arrangements.  Sober living housing (SLHs) have been proven to be an essential component of successful addiction recovery for many people with substance use disorders.  Such living arrangements often include onsite therapeutic oversight, community meetings, and activities, and the chance to live in a substance-free environment.  Occasionally such SLHs are even self-created by addicts in recovery wishing to live near each other and support one another.

Option 3: Peer support housing.  Sometimes the best recovery mentors are those who have recently lived through addiction and rehabilitation.  For those inspired to give back, onsite peer support housing can provide the chance to mentor those in ongoing care while strengthening one’s commitment to sobriety.

Whatever the option available and chosen, substance-free social interactions play an important part in long-term recovery, and substance abuse aftercare can help provide that transitional support.

Characteristics of Effective Substance Abuse Aftercare

As with treatment, not all programs are created equally.  Here are some main features to look for to identify effective addiction aftercare:

  • Individuality—a schedule and program to suit individual needs.
  • Access—availability to continued care and peer support, as needed.
  • Skill development—continued mentorship and assistance in the areas of job development skills and relationship building skill development is key to a successful experience.
  • Transportation—whether because someone does not drive or because a license was revoked or suspended while dealing with substance abuse, transportation can often be an issue during recovery. Public transportation access, transportation support to meetings, or even job transportation can be essential components of aftercare and recovery.
  • Socialization—peer support or social activities can be the difference between success and failure in addiction aftercare programs, so look for one that will meet your socialization needs.

Stop the Cycle of Addiction

After rehab, transitional addiction aftercare programs can be the key to long-term successful addiction management and recovery.  For whatever extent is needed, an effective substance abuse aftercare program provides the stepping stones to form a new cycle, breaking the cycle of addiction, and bridging the gap to maintenance programs.

Contact us to speak confidentially with a Serenity Rehab Advisor and stop the cycle of addiction.

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