Successfully completing a drug rehab program is an accomplishment and is something to be proud of; however, the road to full recovery does not stop there. For that reason, the reaping the benefits of aftercare is the next step in the recovery process.
No matter how severe a person’s condition was including whether the person was using various substances and how often the person used, a person recovering from an addiction will benefit from a transitional period between completing a rehab program and re-entering life. One of the best ways to make this transition is to enroll in an aftercare program that will help the former addict design a bridge to leave behind their old ways and forge a new future.
Aftercare is a continuation of support and counseling once a person has completed a program. There are different types of aftercare programs and they also have different requirements. For instance, one may require that a former addict has been sober for a certain period of time before entering their program while another may allow a person to enter right away. Some aftercare programs specialize in a particular addiction such as alcohol or cocaine, and then there are others that are simply extensions of rehab programs. Which type is best will strictly depend on each person’s specific needs.
To become a functioning and productive member of a family, social group, or business, a person must think about more than themselves and they must also hold themselves to a high standard.
A recovering addict’s family will be one of the most important elements to his or her successful recovery. Some benefits of aftercare will attempt to repair broken bonds, lost trust, anger, and hate, and help return a family to a loving, caring, supportive, and trustworthy state.
In order for someone to have a successful reentry into society, they must be financially independent. This means being employed, having their own residence, and being able to save even if it’s just a little.
Recovering from an addiction is an ongoing process that must be taken seriously. Yes, completing rehab is definitely an accomplishment and is a step towards full recovery, but the highest risk of relapse falls within the first 60 days of leaving rehab. Furthermore, roughly 50 percent of people who complete a rehab program will later relapse. Aftercare programs understand this risk and want to help eliminate it as much as possible by providing continuous support, guidance, counseling, and an environment for which future success is inevitable if a person is truly committed to change. Aftercare programs are also a great way to build a support system of like-minded individuals who have been in the same position and are serious about making a change for the better and will hold each other accountable.
Most drug rehab programs are very strict. They have strict schedules, every day is planned down to every hour, it’s a drug-free environment, clients are constantly monitored, visiting is restricted, and clients aren’t under the pressures of normal, everyday life. In other words, rehab programs are very safe environments. That all changes once a person is discharged back into the real world with their old responsibilities, old neighborhoods, and old friends. Those are not favorable conditions for a recovering addict, and many fall back into their old ways. Ideally, a recovering addict should enroll in an aftercare program for at least the first six months following rehab.
An Aftercare program could become a part of a person’s lifelong health plan. Aftercare can come in the form of group meetings, individual counseling, ongoing addiction education, recreational and social outings with other recovered addicts, or any other activity that encourages a person to stay clean and gives them the support and tools they need to do so. In a sense, the benefits of aftercare never stop for the recovered addict who recognizes how easy it is to relapse.
Aftercare is key to a successful recovery and living sober after rehab. It is the bridge that helps recovered addicts cross over into a new life while holding onto everything they’ve learned and gained along the way.