Aftercare for Treatment of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse

By The Care Centers. Posted on Sat Feb 20 2016

Treating alcoholism and substance abuse is not like treating a sore throat or the common cold. While a few weeks or months in a rehab facility will help a patient immensely, they do not walk out of rehab completely “cured” of their addiction. That’s why so many rehab clinics and facilities put a large focus on aftercare.

The Next Step in Sobriety
Aftercare is defined as any treatment or further interventions following your initial treatment in a rehab facility. For most people suffering from addiction and seeking a sober and productive life, aftercare includes support groups and meetings, one-on-one counseling sessions, and/or group therapy sessions. After release from a rehab facility, it can also include follow-up appointments with addiction counselors at the facility to ensure that you’re continuing to make good progress and avoiding relapse.

Relapse Poses a Serious Risk
Aftercare is essential for patients recovering from alcohol and drug addictions because it significantly reduces the incidence of relapse. While it can be argued that relapse is a part of recovery, it is also incredibly dangerous, both physically and emotionally. A patient who relapses into heroin use, for example, may misjudge how much they need to feel high, resulting in an overdose. Relapses are also dangerous because patients may feel guilty and hopeless, and they may give up on recovery entirely.

Developing Coping Strategies to Avoid Relapse
While you are in rehab, you will be living in an SLE (sober living environment), and you will not be surrounded by the temptations and triggers that you will face when you return to your normal life. Aftercare sessions help keep you grounded, remind you of why you’re committing yourself to getting sober, and they help you build and develop the coping skills you’ll need to avoid relapsing. Whether you’re looking for a way to handle stress or anxiety without drugs or you need help telling people no when they invite you out for a drink, with aftercare you’ll have the support and guidance you need to stay sober and healthy.

Types of Aftercare
The most common type of aftercare is a 12-step group. Going to AA, NA, or other 12-step meetings can help you keep perspective on your problems and how you deal with your addiction. You’ll also hear others speak honestly and openly about their temptations and their triggers, so you’ll get a better sense that you’re not alone and that others are out there struggling with you.

Other types of aftercare include support groups, booster sessions with a therapist or counselor from your rehab facility, individual counseling sessions, and/or dual diagnosis support. So, you’ll have help with more than just your alcohol or drug problem but also with any other disorders you struggle with, such as bipolar disorder or depression.

If you’re looking for help with alcohol or substance abuse for yourself or someone you love, reach out to The Care Centers today and find a rehab facility near you where you can get the initial treatment and aftercare you need to get sober and stay healthy.


Tags: Substance Rehab