What is Aftercare Treatment? 

Addiction aftercare programs aim to support rehab patients during their recovery. The ultimate goal of these programs is to help addicts avoid any possible relapses by providing access to support organizations. 

The risk of relapsing is very common for former rehab patients; however, thanks to substance abuse aftercare, which helps to develop relapse prevention skills, the chances of falling back into old habits are highly reduced.

Through an aftercare program, an individual can be gradually eased back into a regular daily lifestyle, while also getting the chance to work on themselves to better transition into the real world. 

During a typical rehab period of 30 to 90 days, a person gets access to the best medications and therapies that can potentially heal their substance abuse disorder; however, this is just the first step. Achieving full recovery is a lengthy process that can last a whole lifetime; for this reason, an aftercare program is necessary to help and encourage newly sober patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

Research on aftercare provided by the NCBI can offer some stats and studies based on real evidence on how successful these kinds of addiction aftercare programs are.

How to Maintain Rehab Aftercare?

For a former addict, sobriety isn’t just the act of not consuming any drugs or alcohol, but it’s rather a chain of actions and decisions that can shape the way a person lives from day to day. Many individuals state that sobriety is hard to maintain, especially early on in the process of recovery, but, thanks to the gradual creation of new relationships, habits, and routines, maintaining a sober lifestyle can become a lot easier for former rehab patients. 

Maintaining rehab aftercare can be possible, especially if one follows some steps throughout the whole duration of their recovery. Here is a general timeline a former addict can follow to make sure to get the best out of aftercare programs for substance abuse:

1-90 Days After Rehab

When a patient is fresh out of rehab, it’s important for them to develop an action plan with plenty of goals to achieve. During this time, one needs to learn how to deal with negative impulses, as well as finding healthy ways to cope with pain and organize a daily schedule. 

Ultimately, attending support groups and therapy sessions are crucial aspects of maintaining a sober life. 

90-180 Days After Rehab

Three months after the end of the rehab program, a former patient should focus on long-term goals and repair damaged relationships. Moreover, an essential part of addiction aftercare programs is to continue attending support group meetings.

180-365 Days After Rehab

At this point, it’s important to keep celebrating recovery milestones, such as a year or six months of sobriety. It can also be quite helpful to support people who are in the early phases of recovery. Ultimately, you should always seek new goals and focus on developing long-term plans for different areas of your life.

Choose Your Rehab Aftercare Goals

Setting clear goals is an important factor in any substance abuse aftercare program. Throughout the whole duration of the process, it is recommended for the patient to keep attending therapy sessions with professional counselors as well as participating in support group meetings. 

Around two weeks after the actual recovery program ends, the former client should have already set some goals they’re trying to achieve, and they should also try to stick to the schedule. 

There are several goals to choose when it comes to rehabilitation, but, among the most important ones, we can find:

  • Attending a minimum of 4 group meetings per week
  • Exercising
  • Weekly counseling
  • Finding new hobbies
  • Setting professional goals

Enroll in an Aftercare Program

Aftercare programs for substance abuse can take different forms, and there are a lot of them available for people who are trying to achieve a full recovery. For example, a former patient can choose a halfway house, different kinds of therapy sessions, or an intensive outpatient program. 

All of these options are valid and potentially efficient; therefore, patients can pick the solution that suits their needs the most. 

Remember that help is always available, and treatment providers can provide the guidance you need to find the right program for you.