Aftercare, Recovery & Beyond
What Happens After Rehab?
Why Aftercare Planning is Important
It might be tempting to assume that once you have completed an addiction treatment program you are good to go. You might have spent a month, or several months, learning important new life skills, coping techniques, new emotional insights, and relapse prevention planning, which is the foundation upon which your long-term recovery will be built. However, addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease that requires a commitment that extends beyond the limits of a rehab program. This is where the aftercare support comes in; the phase of recovery that helps reinforce newfound sobriety with ongoing outpatient group therapy, alumni activities, support group participation, possibly sober living, and general peer support.
The best time to plan your aftercare program is while you are still in active treatment. It is too tempting to ignore the need for aftercare once you have completed the rehab program, a common mistake that can have devastating effects. Early recovery is a very tenuous and vulnerable time, as the newly sober individual adjusts to living without the crutch of their substance. By making an aftercare plan in advance of discharge you can segue into that important next phase without missing a beat.
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Planning for the Future
What Exactly is Aftercare Planning?
Aftercare support provides critical reinforcements to early sobriety in a variety of ways. These include:
- Outpatient counseling sessions. Weekly group or individual therapy sessions offer ongoing support in the early months of recovery when challenges, temptations, or triggers might threaten recovery.
- Support group participation. Attending 12-step or similar recovery groups provides the important social support that can offer fellowship and accountability.
- Sober living housing. Sober living provides a drug and alcohol-free supportive home environment that can be an excellent transitional phase between completing rehab and returning to regular life.
- Classes that teach life skills. Early recovery is about rebuilding one’s life, including making new career or academic goals or seeking a job. Brushing up on interviewing techniques and resume writing can be very helpful.
- Ongoing relapse prevention techniques. Relapse prevention can be continually fine-tuned as you move forward from rehab back into the real world. Relapse prevention is a proactive process that must be constantly self-monitored.
- Alumni activities. Social activities and follow-up contact with others who have completed the program offers important peer support.
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How Aftercare Planning Can Aid Recovery
Staying Connected Improves Success in Recovery
The post-rehab landscape is full of potholes that can quickly trip up even the most determined individual. This is why commitment to lifelong recovery must include an aftercare plan. Especially important in the first several months following treatment, aftercare support can provide the reinforcement needed to shore up recovery skills and succeed in sobriety. Instead of flailing about trying to manage the multitude of issues that commonly present themselves alone, aftercare offers multiple layers of support.
ALUMNI PROGRAM AT QUEST 2 RECOVERY
An important aspect of aftercare is alumni support. Alumni support is provided by the clinical team at Quest 2 Recovery who will check in with the former client on a monthly basis following completion of the program. Periodic motivational guest speaker events and other alumni events keep the client engaged with other alumni in early recovery.
OUTPATIENT PROGRAMS FOR CONTINUED CARE
Outpatient treatment involves the ongoing therapy that will provide emotional support in recovery. Life is messy. Once out of the structured rehab environment, real life can impose stressors and challenges that, if you do not have a solid support base, can test your resolve to stay clean and sober. Having weekly therapy sessions with a psychologist who can offer guidance, introduce new coping techniques, help you refine relapse prevention strategies, and provide emotional support if personal struggles emerge is an important asset in recovery.