After completing treatment for an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you will need to continue to seek support to stay sober. This is known as recovery aftercare. This support system will include reaching out to a sponsor and attending individual or group therapy sessions. It also includes maintaining relationships with others in recovery, which is a critical factor in relapse prevention. These aftercare programs will help you maintain sobriety and work through any issues that come up, which will increase your chances of success long-term.
When you are ready to leave a treatment program, your therapist will develop an aftercare plan for you. This will be an individualized plan that will take into account your specific needs. For example, you will likely need to find housing or employment, and a plan should be put into place for this. The plan may also address any mental or physical health issues you might have, such as a PTSD diagnosis or anxiety. Your case manager will be there to guide you through this process and ensure that all your needs are met before you leave the facility.
While there are many options for recovery aftercare, the most important aspect is that you are able to access the programs and services that will best support your sobriety. Your therapist will help you review available programs and choose those that will suit your needs. They can include things like family and individual counseling, support groups, sober living homes, and more. These programs will give you the skills and knowledge that you need to successfully transition back into society, which is a critical part of relapse prevention.
Relapse rates are high for those in recovery, and that is why a well-thought out aftercare plan is so important. This is a system of support that will make it harder to return to substance use, and it will also teach you how to cope with triggers. Those who have a higher risk for relapse should consider entering an intensive outpatient rehab program once they finish inpatient drug or alcohol treatment.
Most outpatient rehab programs will require you to attend meetings or counseling sessions on a weekly basis, and these will increase in frequency over time. This is a key component in substance abuse recovery because it will prevent you from returning to drug or alcohol use after you leave treatment. You will also need to continue to follow healthy lifestyle practices that will support your sobriety. This can include getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and exercising. These healthy habits will lower your risk for relapse and help you enjoy your life in recovery. If you do relapse, an aftercare plan will also provide you with a relapse prevention strategy that may involve returning to treatment, making an emergency appointment with your doctor or therapist, talking to a sponsor, or going to a sober living home. This will help you regain control of your life and get back on the path to sobriety.