Continuing Recovery With Aftercare Programs
The 5 Ways Aftercare Can Help Build A Foundation For Long Term Recovery
Completing a drug or alcohol treatment program is a big accomplishment, but the hard work doesn’t stop there. If you’re committed to living a sober life, then there are additional steps you must take.
Some common obstacles to recovery and relapse triggers:
- Not having the right tools to deal with stress and emotional turmoil after completing a treatment program.
- Not accepting professional help or guidance from therapists, counselors, or doctors.
- Conflicts with friends, family, or peers.
- Not having support from friends, family, or peers. Not living in an environment that supports a newly sober lifestyle.
- Losing or waning motivation for staying sober and changing a lifestyle.
- Negative thinking and feelings of low self esteem and self worth.
Choosing continued support after completing treatment helps you deal with these common challenges and significantly lowers the chances of a relapse. Aftercare should follow a structured program and should go on for a long period of time after treatment. Aftercare has been proven to improve the chances of a successful and long lasting recovery, as well as minimizing the likelihood of recovery.
What Aftercare Can Do For The Recovery Process
An aftercare program is specially structured to offer the kind of ongoing support needed to encourage a lasting and successful recovery. Someone who begins aftercare treatment has usually completed a detox, inpatient, and outpatient program. Aftercare is a good idea for anyone with any amount of treatment completed. It will increase their chances of staying sober and building a lasting foundation for recovery.
Aftercare consists of a few basic components, including but not limited to clinical and social support. Therapeutic services with the original treatment center are a good idea, as well as help from other sources. These other sources can include 12 step meetings, group therapy, individual therapy, medication, or sober living.
Support is a huge part of a successful recovery. This can come from a biological family, or a community of other sober people, or even both if possible. The transition isn’t easy, so any help or support received goes a long way.
How Aftercare Helps A Newly Sober Person
Some of the specific ways aftercare can help someone recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction are included below:
- Increasing awareness and knowledge of their triggers.
In recovery, you learn what your addiction is made of, specifically what forces in your life contributed to a substance or alcohol abuse problem. The more knowledge you have, the more power you gain over your addiction. This self awareness should continue to be a focus in aftercare, where counseling and group therapy can be used to identify addiction triggers.
- Learning how to cope.
It may seem like part of recovery is learning how to avoid triggers to stay sober, but oftentimes that goal is unrealistic and impossible to achieve. Instead of avoiding triggers, it’s a good idea to learn how to cope with them as they arise. In your recovery, you will inevitably confront some obstacles. Developing the skills to deal with these obstacles is a major part of aftercare and an important building block of recovery.
- Developing positive, supportive relationships.
Love and support are other building blocks of a successful recovery. Aftercare focuses on finding and building that kind of support. Family, friends, therapists, and group members can all fulfill the role.
- Keeping stress in check.
It’s impossible to avoid or eliminate stress altogether, but you can definitely find healthy ways to manage it. Stress management activities are included in any aftercare program and can include activities such as exercise, meditation, or volunteering.