If you or someone you care about struggles with addiction, then you probably already know all about detox and rehab. Treating addiction is critical, and the first few weeks are certainly very important. However, sobriety is a lifetime goal. That means that rehab aftercare program, or what happens after treatment ends, is also important. To find out more, call us today at 866.262.0531.
Transitioning Back to Independent Living
One way to reduce the risk of relapse is to slowly transition back to independent living. Not all patients are ready to go from a 24/7 residential rehab to complete independence. This is totally normal and means that a slower transition might be best.
Some patients can opt for extended care. This is a longer program, often for an additional 30 to 90 days. For those with severe addictions, this longer plan allows more time to participate in therapy and prepare for lasting sobriety.
Another option is the step-down approach. Rather than going straight from residential care to living on your own, you can make the transition step by step. This might mean moving to outpatient care after residential care. Then, an intensive outpatient program can be the final step.
Addressing the Root Causes of Addiction
Sometimes, the best aftercare starts during drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Getting sober is commendable, but that alone isn’t enough to guarantee lifelong recovery. Instead, it’s important to start getting to the root causes of addiction.
For some patients, addiction develops because of a reliance on prescription medication. For others, it may be a result of childhood trauma, abuse, or mental illness. Whatever the cause, learning about it through treatment and therapy can help patients find a better, healthier resolution than addiction.
Creating an Aftercare Plan and Support System
Addiction treatment programs can also set the stage for continuing care by helping patients plan for the future. In particular, this means learning what works and who to rely on after treatment ends.
Often, continuing care involves some sort of group meetings. This might be AA, or it could be any other 12-Step group. Learning how these work can be a key part of preparing for a life of successful sobriety.
It can also be beneficial to establish a firm support system before treatment ends. For many patients, this means relying on family members. Other forms of a support system could include peers, alumni groups, friends, co-workers, or therapists.
Relapse Prevention Education
Relapse is perhaps the biggest risk of addiction recovery. A big part of aftercare is relapse prevention. Part of that education can come during rehab. This might include learning the most common triggers for relapse. Often, that means HALT: hungry, angry, tired, and lonely. Patients might also need to identify individual triggers as well as personal coping mechanisms to overcome each one.
It’s important to remember that addiction is a chronic disease. That means there is no cure, but it can be managed. In order to stay on the right track, patients will likely need to stick to some kind of aftercare program. This might include regular check-ins with a therapist, attending support groups like AA or NA, or even continued individual therapy.
The goal of aftercare is to help patients stay sober and avoid relapse. It’s important to remember that addiction is a chronic disease. That means there is no cure, but it can be managed. In order to stay on the right track, patients will likely need to stick to some kind of aftercare program. This might include regular check-ins with a therapist, attending support groups like AA or NA, or even continued individual therapy.
Relapse prevention education can help patients stay sober and avoid relapse. It’s important to remember that addiction is a chronic disease. That means there is no cure, but it can be managed. In order to stay on the right track, patients will likely need to stick to some kind of aftercare program. This might include regular check-ins with a therapist, attending support groups like AA or NA, or even continued individual therapy.
Sober Living After Treatment
Sober living is another option that can be beneficial to patients. After a treatment program ends, patients can opt to live in a community where all residents abide by certain rules. Typically, this means no drugs or alcohol. This can offer accountability and peer support during recovery.
Aftercare and sober living are important parts of addiction recovery. They can help patients stay on track and avoid relapse. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there are resources and treatments available.
Creating Routine for Lasting Recovery
In a treatment program, patients can also learn the value of structure. Establishing a daily schedule with meaningful, healthy habits can be incredibly important for continuing care. Having a routine means fewer opportunities to relapse and more opportunities to enforce healthy habits.
During rehab, patients can establish routines doing all of the following:
- Mindfulness and meditation therapy
- Fitness therapy
- Scheduled meals
- Life skills training
- Art or hobby therapy
Aftercare is an often forgotten, but incredibly important, part of treating addiction. At Crestview Recovery in Portland, Oregon, you can make the most of a variety of therapies that will make recovery a lifelong condition. Call 866.262.0531 to take the first step toward sobriety.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.