Recovery is more than just the process of detox – even though detox is an incredibly crucial part of the recovery journey, it only does so much in helping a person recover. Detox sets the framework on which a person can then build healthy coping mechanisms, reset their lifestyle habits and continue to heal physically and mentally.
Recovery continues long after detox is complete as all these things take time. Some say the actual work of recovery begins when you are physically free of the influence of substances and pursuing therapy and doing self-work for the sake of maintaining sobriety.
What is aftercare?
If detox is the first step of recovery that cleanses the physical body from the damage of substance abuse and addiction, recovery aftercare is the second step that addresses the damage of addiction on the mind. It is the part where therapy plays a huge role, where you are responsible for building healthy lifestyle habits and when you get to claim recovery as your own.
Aftercare is completely personalized – you and your therapist will work together in the initial stages to identify your goals, your needs and your desires for recovery to ensure the treatment you are receiving is applicable to you and is setting you up for success in the future. This is one of aftercare’s primary goals: to prevent relapse and give you the tools needed to maintain sobriety.
Why is aftercare important?
Recovery aftercare is important for a number of reasons, but the primary one is to prevent relapse. During the early stages of recovery, the risk of relapse is rather high, with studies showing that 40-60 percent of people struggle with relapse during the initial months of addiction recovery.
In order to help prevent relapse, aftercare programs are personalized with additional treatment options that allow people to continue seeking the healthy lifestyle patterns they need to maintain sobriety.
Additionally, aftercare programs provide accountability – when you have a counselor to report back to, homework to do for a group therapy session or some other form of continuing work for recovery, your energies remain focused more on health and less on temptation.
What are the types of recovery aftercare?
The special ability of aftercare to be personalized to meet the needs of the recovering individual is one of the reasons aftercare participants can see such success in maintaining recovery. Based on the goals of each person, the program can be tailored to include specific treatment methods.
Sober living homes
Sober living homes come at a variety of levels, with some including around-the-clock supervision, while others offer more freedom, including the ability to apply for and work a job in the community.
Sober living homes are excellent aftercare options for those who are ready to leave intensive inpatient treatment but still need the accountability and routine of a treatment environment. These homes also provide individual and group therapy sessions, nutrition classes and life skills training, including resumé-building and interviewing skills.
Sober living homes truly set their participants up for success as they transition into post-treatment life.
Intensive outpatient programs
While those clients participating in inpatient programs do not get to go home each night after the program conclusion, those who are recovering in an intensive outpatient program do. This can be a great aftercare option for you if you have a secure home environment and have finished the more intensive rounds of treatment.
Intensive outpatient allows some freedom where you need to show up daily for treatment, but then can return home each night; you also have the chance to begin immediately putting into practice the strategies you are learning, rather than waiting for program completion to begin implementing healthy habits into your routine.
Many people recovering from addiction find great satisfaction in participating in a 12-step program. Not only do these programs provide a community-based recovery environment, but with such a strong focus on a higher power, they find strength and peace in the journey.
Additionally, being part of a recovery community with such a strong focus on accountability and healing will not only give you strength when you are feeling discouraged but will offer you unique perspectives from the experiences and struggles of the other individuals in the group with you.
12-step programs are offered everywhere – a simple internet search will help you locate one within a short distance.
For those who were extremely satisfied with the care they received at their treatment facility, or for the ease of remaining at the same location, alumni programs are a great aftercare option. These programs are specifically tailored to those who have completed intensive treatment at a particular facility but desire continual follow-up programs to maintain sobriety.
Alumni programs offer unique comfortability due to your familiarity with the treatment center. This can help minimize any stress you may feel about continuing recovery due to the fact that no adjustment to a new facility is needed.
Ready to start aftercare treatment?
If you have completed detox treatment and are ready to begin aftercare treatment to maintain your recovery, Real Recovery is here to help. With sober living options, personalized care and intensive outpatient programs, we’re here to keep you on the road to recovery.