Addiction aftercare is a support program for those who have completed the primary stages of drug or alcohol rehabilitation. When a patient leaves rehab clean and sober, they are not yet fully equipped to handle life in the real world. While rehab eliminates temptation and the ability to seek substances, the real world is full of temptations, bad influences, and opportunities to relapse.
The only way to avoid those temptations and/or to deal with them properly is through addiction aftercare. Relapse prevention is the primary purpose of addiction aftercare. In the first two months following the initial rehabilitation process, a recovering addict will be at their most vulnerable to slipping and total relapse. And even if he or she is able to make it on their own through those first couple of months, the remainder of the 5 years following recovery are still difficult and the possibility of relapse is still high.
Sober living facilities mimic the living situation of that in a rehabilitation facility. This type of environment allows recovering addicts to have more freedom to get back to work and take care of daily responsibilities. Sober living homes are usually in close proximity to meetings and will hold those living their accountable for their sobriety.
Aftercare is vital in preventing this relapse and does so by providing support to people recovering from addiction. This support comes in a variety of forms. It starts with helping recovering addicts to mend relationships that were damaged due to drug and alcohol abuse and extends to providing emotional, psychological, and peer support outside of close family and friends. Call Drug Treatment Centers Carteret at (732) 226-8901.
Between 40-60% of Americans relapse after rehab, and return to using drugs or alcohol. Relapse prevention skills are highly important in post-rehab services. Patients learn how to handle situations that place them at risk for relapse. Discussions about experiences in social situations involving drugs can help with coping strategies in the real world. Aftercare will help with choosing appropriate friends and activities that better fit a sober lifestyle.
Therapeutic aftercare can include family therapy sessions. Family counseling can touch on addiction education, how co-dependence affects the family system, and may include group activities that will lend a hand with family healing.
The most important aspect of aftercare is learning the skills needed to avoid a return to substance abuse. One of the key elements in an addiction aftercare plan is learning to identify triggers. Cues that activate a craving to use substances again can be prompted by being in a certain environment, meeting former friends who are still using, and anything that makes one psychologically inclined to want to relapse.
Aftercare for those with a dual diagnosis provides support, life skills training and advocacy for patients who have a mental illness in conjunction with their addiction.
There are ongoing sober living programs for aftercare that are essential to addiction recovery in the long term. Programs exist for aftercare in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, where people make a lifelong commitment to stay sober and attend meetings on a regular basis.
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