Why Aftercare is So Important Post-Treatment

Recovery Doesn’t End When Rehab Does

When you first complete your addiction treatment program, you may feel as though your addiction is taken care of for good. It’s important to remember that recovery does not end when your treatment program does; recovery is a lifelong process that needs to continuously be worked on. This means that individuals are encouraged to attend aftercare programs and relapse prevention programs in order to help them maintain their sobriety.

When you re-enter society after you have completed addiction treatment, you may encounter some of the old triggers that formerly influenced you to use drugs or alcohol. Knowing how to handle and cope with these triggers is essential in maintaining long-lasting recovery from addiction.

Recovery Tools

There are a number of recovery tools and resources that you can reference post-treatment. Some recovery tools that you should ensure to utilize are:

  • Stress management
  • Coping skills
  • Trigger management  
  • Relapse prevention
  • Support groups
  • Career assistance

If former addicts do not make the effort to maintain their sobriety and utilize the tools and resources that are available to them, they are making themselves vulnerable to relapse. The first 90 days after treatment has been completed are the most imperative times to seek relapse prevention as this is a huge transition phase. Having the resources available will ensure a smooth recovery while lessening the chances of relapse.

Aftercare tools help to ensure that your recovery is on track and that you know how to handle temptation when it is present. It is essentially a continuum of the care that you received during your time in treatment and helps to support your recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.

The Importance of Aftercare

Those who are recovering from addiction should be sure to engage in activities and hobbies that support their sobriety. This can mean joining a weekly support group, picking up an active hobby, cultivating new friendships, and joining mentorship groups. By keeping yourself busy you will have less of a chance to get bored and, therefore, begin to think about using drugs or alcohol. Having substantial support post-treatment will allow individuals to navigate certain stressors that may be encountered in everyday situations.  

Taking recovery seriously will lessen your chances of relapse. Avoiding triggers and situations that may pressure you to use are imperative to your success in long-term recovery. Even one small slip-up can land you back in full-on addiction which means it is super important to ensure that you work hard at your recovery each and every day.

Creating a relapse prevention plan that includes aftercare programming can help you in your quest for long-lasting sobriety. Knowing your relapse prevention plan will allow you to avoid certain high-risk scenarios that may pressure you to use. Knowing yourself is also key to avoiding relapse. If you are an individual who tends to get bored as soon as you get home from work, heading to the gym as soon as you get home will prevent you from thinking about drugs or alcohol in your free time.

Never be scared or embarrassed to ask for help as this is encouraged. There are various support groups near you that are ready to help you design an aftercare program that will benefit you.

Sources:

https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh23-2/151-160.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4553654/

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.