Detox is stage-one of addiction recovery. Treatment comes next. Aftercare support helps bond the positive experiences together for a much greater chance at long-term health. Recovery is not something that you can neatly define, tie up with a bow, and keep on a shelf. It is not something to acquire, but rather a lifelong journey of good choices that promote physical and mental wellbeing. Aftercare support programs help you stay balanced and on your feet through any bumps that appear in the road to addiction recovery.
Here are four reasons aftercare is the best next step for those who have finished detox and rehab.
#1: Long-Term Addiction Recovery Rates Dramatically Improve
According to research consultant William L. White M.A. for HBO’s “Addiction” series, too many people view addiction treatment as something to get through with a specific date in mind. This thinking sets you up for failure. “A few weeks of treatment should not be mistaken for long-term recovery,” he explains.
With an aftercare plan, the chances of reaching and exceeding the important 5-years-sober mark improve. White says the lifetime recovery rate for substance addicts is about 50 percent. With an aftercare plan, you can be on the healthy side of that percentage.
#2: Transition More Easily from Active Treatment to a Normal Routine
Drug addiction is its own lifestyle. Oftentimes, the shift into sobriety involves much more than walking away from the addictive substance; it involves numerous changes, including which friends to chooe and what to do for fun. With detox and a short treatment plan that only lasts a few weeks, you face a major hurdle: transitioning back into everyday life without slipping back into substance abuse.
Aftercare helps smooth the rough edges of transition from a treatment-centric life to a normal one with work, school, and other responsibilities. Without aftercare, there is a sharp break that potentially plunges you back into a life that you might not be prepared to handle.
#3: Learn Coping Skills That Work
One of the greatest benefits of aftercare support is the opportunity to learn coping skills that really work. Aftercare helps equip you to handle trigger points that could otherwise lead back into substance abuse.
Some of the therapies that teach valuable coping skills include:
- 12-step programs
- Medication management
- Case management
- Support groups
- Relapse prevention
When you choose support after treatment, you receive guidance for relapse prevention, sober living activities, building and re-building relationships, and practice points for using new coping skills in the real world.
#4: Gain Meaningful Support During Critical Recovery Points
You may be quite vulnerable immediately following a focused treatment program. For the first 90 days, there is an inordinately high risk of relapse, but aftercare helps buttress the bridge between treatment and a lifetime of recovery, fortifying you to face and conquer vulnerabilities you may have.
Research by USC’s Department of Psychiatry showed a strong relationship between lack of care after treatment, behavioral patterns, and relapse. Of 28 patients studied who refused contact or aftercare within 12 months, 23 suffered relapse. However, of the 44 who exhibited positive behaviors and stayed in contact, only 2 suffered a relapse.
Aftercare is a vital sobriety building block. Not everyone chooses it. For those who do, the odds of long-term success are much higher. That’s why we at Orlando Recovery Center offer several choices, from support groups to sober living accommodations.
If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, we can help. Contact us today and learn about inpatient, outpatient, aftercare and other programs that lead to a lifetime of addiction recovery.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.