The Importance of an Aftercare Plan

What is Aftercare and Why is it so Imperative to Recovery?

When patients have successfully completed their addiction treatment program, they will often be advised to utilize aftercare programs. Aftercare programs will aid in your long-term recovery from addiction and substance abuse by providing the necessary support and motivation that is crucial to your sobriety.

Seeking treatment and completing it does not necessarily mean that you are ‘in the clear’. Addiction is a sneaky disease that will creep back into your life in a moment. This is why attending aftercare programs are essential in maintaining your sobriety.

Aftercare programs are integrated into an individual life post-treatment. They usually range from support groups to AA and NA programs which are designed to help patients stay on the successful path of recovery. These programs give individuals the tools and resources necessary, along with encouragement and motivation, so that long-term recovery is achieved.

Defining Aftercare

Aftercare programs and aftercare therapies are designed to help you navigate your life through the early stages of your now sober lifestyle. Since going from an addict to a sober individual is quite the change, there will be hurdles and struggles that you will encounter on a daily basis. Knowing how to cope with those struggles is imperative to your success in sobriety and this is exactly what aftercare programs will help you do.

A good aftercare plan will support your ongoing and continuous recovery by utilizing evidenced-based therapies and treatments. By attending aftercare programs, you are taking charge of your life and allowing yourself to stay focused on your recovery. A life of sobriety is possible with the assistance of relapse prevention programs and aftercare programs.

What Do Aftercare Programs Consist of?

Although all aftercare programs range in the services and support that they offer, there are general components that most programs encompass. Some parts of aftercare plans are added or taken away based on the individual and what their recovery entails.

An aftercare plan will help with:

  • Locating safe housing
  • Any sort of legal assistance
  • Help you seek educational programs
  • Help monitor mental health issues
  • Assist in relapse prevention tactics
  • Locate healthy activities and hobbies

Aftercare services are typically provided by your local healthcare organizations, faith-based groups, or various recovery support groups.

Relapse is a part of recovery that no addict wants or expects to happen. The truth of the matter is that relapse occurs for many of those in recovery, as addiction is a relapsing disease that is chronic in nature. By diligently partaking in aftercare programs and relapse prevention programs, you are lessening your chances of relapse.

Why Aftercare is Essential to Your Recovery

Studies show that recovering addicts are far more successful in their recovery journey when they attend aftercare programming. This is especially true for those who are new to sobriety and who have just completed a 30-day, 90-day, or 120-day in an inpatient or outpatient treatment facility.

Some of the main reasons why aftercare programming is so important for your recovery are:

  1. You are learning from others who are going through the same struggles and challenges as yourself.
  2. Without the ongoing support of aftercare programs, it becomes far too easy to fall back into the grips of addiction.
  3. Aftercare programs provide individuals with meaningful support from a unique community of people who are going through the same struggles as you are.
  4. Aftercare has proven to help individuals maintain their sobriety 20 times more than those who never attended aftercare programming.
  5. There are a wide variety of aftercare programs available to suit your individual needs.

Post-Rehab Aftercare

Once you re-enter society as a sober individual, you may feel intimidated and vulnerable. To help you overcome the hurdles that this new lifestyle brings, a post-rehab aftercare plan is essential.

Some of the programs that aftercare programs offer are:

  • Ongoing case management
  • Intensive outpatient recovery programs
  • Self-help groups
  • 12-step meetings
  • Individual counseling and family therapy
  • Relapse prevention strategies and tactics

It’s important to realize that when attending an aftercare program you must be fully committed and be an active participant. Simply showing up because you ‘have to’ will not give you the success needed to live a healthy and sober life. You must want to sustain your sobriety and this comes with being an involved member of aftercare programming.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.