Successfully overcoming drug and alcohol addiction is a long process. While successfully undergoing treatment is a major step on the road to recovery, it is only just a step.
In fact, some would say that is the easy part. The real work begins once you finish treatment and return to your regular life and the temptations that resulted in needing to undergo treatment in the first place.
That’s where aftercare programs for substance abuse come in. Aftercare programs help in continuing to navigate on the road to recovery after you have left the treatment center and returned home.
There are many different forms of aftercare that are designed to fit each person’s needs. Let’s take a look at what exactly an aftercare program is and the different types of aftercare programs that are available after treatment is complete.
What is Aftercare?
Aftercare refers to the ongoing treatment that the person will undergo on their own once they have successfully completed inpatient or outpatient treatment. The goals in aftercare are the same as they were in treatment, including:
- Maintaining sobriety
- Preventing relapse
- Having a solid support system to help achieve your goals
After a person completes treatment, it’s almost as if they are starting all over again in the world. They are learning how to live their new, sober life and will experience many things that they hadn’t before when they were using. Aftercare programs for substance abuse are a great way to address these new experiences in a supportive way.
The Steps of Addiction Treatment
When deciding to undergo treatment for substance abuse and addiction, the first step is to undergo detox. This should be done at a dedicated detox or medical facility.
Before undergoing treatment for substance abuse, you will first need to rid your body of that substance or substances. That is done during the detox process. It is important not to self-detox as it can be incredibly dangerous and even life-threatening.
After detox has been completed, the next step is to begin treatment, whether it be inpatient or outpatient treatment. The amount of time spent in treatment differs for every person and is largely dependent on just how bad the addiction is.
At a certain point though, your time in treatment will be done and it will be time to return home and back to your normal life, assuming you entered inpatient or residential treatment. It’s at this point when you will begin your aftercare program. Most treatment facilities provide aftercare planning for their patients. They and will create an aftercare program for them to follow when they leave.
What Kinds of Aftercare Programs For Substance Abuse Are There?
Just like with treatment, not every aftercare program for substance abuse works for every person. Everyone is different and so are their needs. That’s why there are many different aftercare programs available once treatment has been completed.
Some people enter residential treatment because they don’t have anywhere to live while they undergo treatment. Others leave treatment and either have nowhere to go or don’t have a safe place to go where they can successfully stay sober. For people who don’t have a place to go once their treatment has been completed, there are sober homes available.
A sober home is exactly what it sounds like. It is a home or housing complex that is used for the sole purpose of providing a home to those who have completed treatment and need somewhere to go while they continue on their road to recovery. While most sober homes are a temporary home, there are some sober home facilities that offer long-term living options.
When it comes to sober homes, there are several different options available:
- Therapeutic Communities – These types of sober homes provide very structured programs that range anywhere from 6 months to a year. Staff and residents work together to obtain and maintain recovery and educational, vocational, and other support services are offered.
- Recovery Housing – Recovery housing provides those in recovery short-term, supervised housing. This type of sober home provides less intense services and focuses on connecting individuals to outside resources as they transition towards independence.
- Social Model – This is the most common type of sober home that is offered. It doesn’t provide any formal, professional treatment and there is no staff in the home. The social model relies on the individuals within the home to turn to each other for support and guidance. These homes often require that residents work to pay bills and attend outside treatment.
- Residential Re-entry Centers – These are often referred to as halfway houses. They are typically reserved for those in recovery that are also involved in the criminal justice system. They are set up similarly to sober homes, however, they tend to have more structure and accountability.
Some treatment facilities offer their own aftercare programs for substance abuse for their patients once they have completed treatment. While some facilities will offer inpatient aftercare, the majority offer various forms of outpatient aftercare programs.
Just like with treatment, there are three main types of outpatient aftercare programs that mos facilities offer:
- Partial Hospitalization – PHPs are the most intense of all the outpatient programs that are offered. Someone participating in a partial hospitalization aftercare program will typically go to the facility 5 days a week. They will be three for an average of 4-6 hours a day. They will participate in individual and group therapy.
- Intensive Outpatient – Intensive outpatient aftercare programs focus mostly on addiction and mental health care. Those participating in intensive outpatient aftercare will visit the facility 2 to 3 times a week. They will be there for around 3 hours each time.
- Therapy – Most facilities will offer individual and group therapy sessions that are scheduled at specific times. These sessions typically last around an hour. They can be attended weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly depending on your aftercare plan.
One of the most important things for a person to have as they recover from an addiction is a strong support system. Overcoming an addiction is incredibly challenging and it is crucial to have people around that you can rely on for support during the more challenging times.
While some people have the support of family, friends, and other loved ones when they get out of treatment, not everyone does. Many people are alone and on their own after completing treatment for one reason or another.
That’s why support groups are such a major part of the aftercare process. They provide the encouragement and support needed to help keep them on the road to recovery.
Support Groups Are For Everyone
Support groups are even for those who have a strong support system at home. Unless there are others in that support system that have also gone through addiction, they can not truly understand what the person is going through.
Support groups are great for those people as well because everyone can truly understand what the other person is going through and can offer support and guidance to help through the good times and the bad.
The most common type of support group is a 12-step group such as AA and NA. 12-step groups tend to focus a little more on religion, putting an emphasis on a higher power to achieve and maintain sobriety. For those looking for a non-religious or non-spiritual support group, there are other options out there. One such option is peer recovery support networks.
How Do I Pick the Right Aftercare Program?
Like everything else in life, picking the right aftercare program is key when it comes to being successful. If you have already undergone inpatient or outpatient treatment, chances are the facility you went to has a dedicated aftercare program team who will work with you on creating an aftercare program that will work with you.
You can also discuss aftercare program options with your therapist during treatment. You and your therapist and go over the different options and decide which one will be best for you.
Are You Looking For Aftercare Programs for Substance Abuse?
While successfully going through a treatment program is a huge step when it comes to recovering from substance abuse and addiction, it is only a step. Once treatment has been completed, it is an aftercare program that helps keep you clean and sober as you continue your road to recovery.
No matter which type of aftercare program you choose, aftercare programs for substance abuse are vital in providing the support system that you need to successfully defeat addiction.
At CNV Detox we are proud to help all of our patients with setting up an aftercare program that is right for them once their treatment with us has been completed. Our team of trained professionals will work with you to make sure that your aftercare program is custom made to best help you and your needs. For more information on our treatment programs as well as our aftercare assistance, contact us today.