aftercare

What Are the Elements of Successful Aftercare for an Addict?

The worst part of addiction rehab is adapting to the world once you get back out. You’re faced with integrating back into your home, returning to work, and making amends with family. Sometimes the stress is enough to turn people back to the addiction that they just fought away.

The key factor of avoiding this worst-case scenario is with an aftercare program. In some cases, these programs are the only support a recovering addict is given. To help you find a program that can assist you in this crucial recovery process, here is everything that you should be looking for in an aftercare program along with a few facility options. 

1. What You Need in Aftercare

The first thing that you should know before you decide what kind of aftercare facility to enroll in is what traits a successful one will have. The main things that you should be looking for are, health, counseling for yourself and your family, case management services, relapse prevention, and good staff. 

Health  

When you’re recovering from addiction you will go through a series of painful withdrawal symptoms. How bad they are will all depend on how long you took the drug in question and how much you took.  A successful aftercare program will provide you with the medication you need to ease the symptoms.

Sometimes the source of your addiction involves your mental health. These programs can give you medicine to help you with that as well.

Lastly, part of facing your problem is knowing about it. A good aftercare program will tell you all you need to know about your particular addiction issue and how it’s affecting your body.

Counseling/Therapy

These programs shouldn’t just give you medicine for mental health and send you on your way. You have to be diagnosed first and continue therapy on top of taking the medication. 

While you’ll be able to see counselors during your rehab process, a good aftercare program ensures that you’ll continue to take advantage of this service.

The most stress that you’ll face with the process happens once you’re out of rehab. Going to a counselor ensures that you have someone who you can talk to about this stress. They can talk to you about problems with your family, issues you’re having with finding a job, or financial stress.

Family Education and Counseling

During this time you won’t be the only one that needs counseling. Addiction hurts everyone, including your family. There will be some tension there when you get done with rehab that will need to be addressed with the help of a family counselor. 

It is important that you get into a program that has this service because it doesn’t just help ease tension. These counselors also educate your family about your addiction so they can create a good, healing environment for you at home. 

Case Management and Home Services 

Your case manager will be an important asset throughout your entire recovery process but they will be even more so during your aftercare. They can help with a wide array of things including helping you find health care facilities to get medication that you need. 

They’ll also assist you in finding inexpensive housing if you’re still looking for a job or can’t go back to your old one and cheap childcare for your children while you look for a job and attend your medical appointments. 

Relapse Prevention

Again, with all the stress and withdrawal symptoms that you’ll experience after you’ve finished rehab, it is very possible that you may turn back to your addiction to deal with it. A good aftercare program has the means to help prevent this from happening.

This means is relapse prevention therapy. You’ll attend a session either in a group or individually for therapy. There, they will help you identify your triggers and teach you how to handle them without relapsing. 

The Staff

The very last thing that you should be looking for in an aftercare program is the staff. Even if the program has all the things above, a poor staff ratio or attitude will be completely counterproductive. 

Look for a facility that has a low turn over rate with staff that uses a fun, team approach to things. 

2. Facility Choices

Now that you know what the traits of a good aftercare facility are, you can decide if outpatient recovery or a sober living home would be right for you. Here is a little information on both. 

Outpatient Recovery

When you’re put in rehab you’ll be staying in a facility to have 24-hour monitoring and help. Once you’ve left rehab it can be a little overwhelming to have this care completely taken away from you. This is why sometimes it’s recommended for you to attend outpatient recovery. 

Outpatient care is the same sort of care that you receive while you were in a facility but with a little extra flexibility. You’ll be able to continue your life as normal by going to work and spending time with your kids while attending weekly meetings. 

Sometimes these meetings are done in a group, and sometimes it’s more of individual experience. Either way, it’s an essential part of aftercare in most cases. 

Sober Living Homes 

If you know the home that you would be going back to would be an unstable one that would drive you back into the arms of addiction, then perhaps you should choose to stay in a sober living home for a little bit instead. 

These homes allow you to heal in an environment that is completely drug and alcohol-free. There are strict rules such as you’ll have to attend house meetings, take part in drug screenings, and do chores, but it’s all in the name of helping you cope. Any aftercare program should offer this service to you. 

What Makes a Successful Aftercare Program 

One of the most important parts of addiction recovery is the aftercare you receive once you leave. A good program can keep you out of the arms of addiction, help you patch up your relationships, love yourself again, and give you the means of coping using healthy means. Use these guidelines to find the right program for you. 

Are you ready to kick your addiction for good? Fill out your information to start today in one of our facilities. 

Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.

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