The hard work undertaken in rehab is just the first step in a series of steps that help you regain control of your life. Addiction treatment helps you withdraw from the terrible grip of addiction and learn coping mechanisms to help you uncover the underlying cause of your addiction. Once addiction treatment in rehab is over, there is still more work to be done.
This article explores the importance of pursuing aftercare following a stay in drug rehab. Why are aftercare programs beneficial as you move back toward your regular daily routines? What options are available?
Why Addiction Treatment Aftercare?
The importance of aftercare cannot be discounted. Think of it this way; it may have taken a lifetime of pain for you to get to the place where addiction overtook your life. Once addiction manifests itself, it will take the skills you learn in addiction treatment to keep you healthy through the remaining years of your life.
Addiction treatment including detoxification and counseling is merely the first step on a long road to recovery. Continuing the journey requires a continuity of care as part of long-term treatment. Studies reveal that aftercare as part of addiction treatment significantly improves long-term positive health outcomes.
Aftercare should be part of a structured addiction treatment program that allows for interactions between clinical staff and patients. Aftercare typically continues for up to a year on an outpatient basis after inpatient addiction treatment.
Some of the typical aftercare options available after addiction treatment include outpatient care, which could include you living at home and attending treatment a few times a week to address recovery issues. Some of the treatment available as an outpatient includes:
- Group counseling sessions are particularly important to you post-recovery. In these sessions, you have the opportunity to share your personal struggles while being validated by people with similar problems. Group counseling provides an important safety net, creating an immediate social network of people that are also learning to live sober.
- Individual counseling sessions are supportive, safe environments where clinical care and caring is provided to you.
- 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can be a lifeline of support for you in recovery. These programs are designed to provide structure and the support of peers to encourage you to stay sober even when it gets tough. These groups are a particularly important part of addiction treatment aftercare and support. While clinically prescribed aftercare support typically lessens after the first 12-months following inpatient rehab, 12-step program participation can benefit you for the rest of your life.
The Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says that the relapse rate after inpatient addiction treatment is between 40 and 60 percent nationally. However, the studies also show that these terrible statistics can be mitigated with the addition of addiction treatment aftercare.
If you are struggling with addiction, these programs can help lessen the risk that life’s stressors will cause you to fall back into old patterns. Together, inpatient addiction treatment and aftercare can help you get your life back and overcome addiction.