Recovery is a complex and ongoing challenge. As much as you want to feel like you are entirely free from addiction, you know you still have the battle to face. Sobriety is a choice you will make each day after completing treatment at an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab center, which is why it is recommended that you take the time to hone your skills with aftercare in recovery.
When you enroll in addiction treatment at Westwind Recovery®, you will never have to worry about being left on your own after completing your program. We strive to ensure your long-term success with our highly effective aftercare recovery groups. Call us today at 855.340.8832 to learn more about how we provide continued support for your lifelong recovery goals.
What Is Aftercare for Addiction?
Aftercare in recovery is a program that bridges everything you have learned in treatment and what you are afraid to face as you integrate back into the real world instead of just jumping right back into life again. In other words, aftercare programs give you a chance to get one foot back in reality while keeping the other connected with some sober assistance. This bridge was built in response to the concern over the elevated level of relapse in those who successfully completed an addiction treatment program.
Types of Aftercare Programs
Everyone is different, and everyone finds success in diverse ways. Therefore, to find success in an aftercare program, you need to choose the right program for your needs. A few types of aftercare programs available are:
- Various 12-step programs
- Sober living homes
- Halfway houses
- Group counseling
- Aftercare recovery groups
- Continuous individual therapy
- Meetings with an addiction specialist
- Attendance in educational settings to learn new coping and daily life skills
Participating in a combination of the above types of aftercare for addiction will give you the best chance of sustaining your sobriety.
What Do Aftercare Programs Focus On?
Aftercare programs vary depending on the type you choose. Some may focus on coping skills, while others may focus on providing a dedicated support system. Other programs may focus on uncovering deeply embedded emotions that stem from childhood trauma.
Regardless of the focus, the overall goal of each of these programs is helping to maintain sobriety while successfully reintegrating back into society. It takes something different to help each person do just that.
The Importance of Aftercare in Recovery
Depending on your history of substance use, you can have up to an 85% chance of relapsing within the first year of recovery. After all the work you put into it, taking a step back would be frustrating and potentially jeopardize your sobriety. That is why aftercare is essential. Rather than stepping away from the treatment center and relying solely on yourself, aftercare programs keep you connected with individuals who want to see you succeed.
Aftercare recovery groups and programs can increase your success in recovery by helping you:
- Increase your arsenal of coping skills
- Strengthen your support group
- Increase your self-confidence and ability to trust yourself
- Learn to become self-sufficient with your own sobriety
With the variety of aftercare programs available now, there is no need to struggle on your own to stay on track with recovery.
How Long Do You Need Aftercare in Recovery?
Aftercare programs are available to help you until you feel confident and strong in your ability to maintain your sobriety. They can last for as long as you need them, although most aftercare programs last between 90 days and one year. There is no set rule on how long it should last as it depends on where you are in your recovery, how far you have come, and how far you still have to go.
Although not continuously a part of an official aftercare plan, some individuals stay connected with some form of aftercare for many years. For example, some people attend AA and NA meetings, support groups, and therapy sessions for the long term to stay on their recovery path.
What to Look for in a Quality Aftercare Program
Not all aftercare programs are created equal, so it is important to make sure you review the ins and outs of each program before you sign up. Discuss your options with your therapist to determine the best aftercare plan for you. Consider these factors:
- Speak to those who run the program and ask about the dropout rate. Due to the nature of the program, it will likely have a dropout rate of around 50%. Anything more than this can be a red flag.
- Aftercare programs that like to keep their dropout rate lower will offer services to combat it — for example, providing transportation to and from its program. After all, a simple dilemma of getting from point A to point B could mean the difference between relapsing or not.
- Look for a program that focuses on relationships, as this will help strengthen your support system and mend broken relationships from your past.
- The program should provide knowledge and tools that will benefit you and build you up for a successful recovery and reintegration into society — for example, financial and money-managing skills, educational skills, job skills, and parenting skills.
- Because you will need support finding and maintaining housing and employment, you will want to ensure that the aftercare program offers job and housing assistance.
- The program you find should teach relapse prevention.
These are all characteristics of an aftercare program that will help you on your mission to sobriety. You can incorporate these into a combination of aftercare programs that work best for you, including counseling, support groups, and sober living homes.
Find Aftercare in Recovery at Westwind Recovery®
You cannot overlook the importance of aftercare in recovery. While it may be enticing to jump back into life once you complete your treatment program, it is best to do so slowly. Deciding to incorporate an aftercare program into your recovery at Westwind Recovery® may just be the thing you need to avoid a relapse. Call us today at 855.340.8832 to start our aftercare recovery groups.
Dr. Deena is the Chief Clinical Officer of Westwind Recovery®, an award-winning outpatient treatment center in Los Angeles where she oversees the clinical and administrative program and treatment methods. Dr. Deena is a doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker since 1993. LCSW #20628. Originally from the East Coast, Dr. Deena has worked running treatment centers, worked as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals as well as school settings and currently has a thriving private practice in the LA area. Dr. Deena has appeared regularly on the Dr. Phil Show as an expert since 2003. She has also been featured on many other TV shows, podcasts and has contributed to written publications as well as podcasts.