Drug Rehabilitation

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Aftercare Programs

When people have admitted that they are addicted to alcohol or drugs and have successfully finished an addiction treatment program, the journey to a lifestyle that is addiction-free does not end there. The majority of addicts are often not ready to function normally in the everyday world without adequate addiction aftercare programs.

After they have finished a drug rehabilitation program, a recovering addict still needs some kind of ongoing support for a long period of time. This stage of their recovery usually requires involvement in some kind of aftercare program. Aftercare programs have shown to make a huge difference between the substance abuser relapsing or abstaining from their addiction.

Addiction Aftercare Programs Defined

Addiction aftercare is a program that is designed to offer counseling to an addict on an ongoing basis. These people usually have completed an addiction outpatient or inpatient treatment program. The majority of aftercare programs will only take a recovering addict who has remained behaviorally or chemically abstinent for a certain period of time.

Addiction aftercare programs usually take place immediately following an outpatient or residential treatment program. It usually includes a variety of clinical services along with some kind of social networking. Studies have recently shown that the more aftercare treatment an addict receives, the better their chances are of remaining sober.

Aside from receiving a number of therapeutic services, an addict also gets referrals to outside agencies and resources along with support for attending meetings, continued monitoring, and other tools that can help them achieve a substance-free lifestyle.

The Statistics Do Not Lie

The effectiveness of an aftercare program cannot be denied. According to a report published by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, about 40 to 60 percent of individuals who are suffering from addiction slide back into substance abuse if they have not gotten into an aftercare program. This finding is similar to the relapse rates seen in other people who have chronic conditions that need daily care.

However, it is not a number that any person should be happy with. Another study that suggests the importance of an aftercare program was published recently by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. According to them, 40 percent of addicts have experienced a sustained recovery after they have attended an aftercare program within a few days following drug rehabilitation.

Aside from that, 53 percent of people who enrolled themselves in aftercare experienced an improvement in their quality of life. The importance of aftercare cannot be denied. Along with the use of the right treatment plan, recovery for an addict is often possible.

Qualities to Look for in Good Aftercare Programs

A standard aftercare program often includes random testing for alcohol or drug use. Some programs also schedule retreats and recreational activities throughout the year. The majority of them also have alumni aftercare programs for people who have completed the program to talk and meet with the current aftercare patients.

This provides them with encouragement and hope along with introducing them to people who can serve as role models for recovery. Nearly all aftercare programs schedule group meetings and sessions at convenient times. These are highly interactive sessions where a participant receives group support along with aftercare information. Sessions may include the following therapeutic regimen.

  • Family dynamics
  • Addressing triggers
  • Coping mechanisms in order to deal with abstinence
  • Stress and anger management
  • Relationship skills development
  • Relapse prevention skills
  • Job skills or vocational skills development

Addiction Aftercare Importance

Overcoming years of addiction is often not an easy undertaking for any person. Successfully completing a drug rehabilitation program can be lifesaving. However, it is just a single step in an ongoing and lengthy process towards living a drug or alcohol-free life. Unfortunately, many addicts will never be sufficiently cured of their addiction.

However, they can come to understand the main reasons behind their addiction, how to deal with any kind of contributing factors and learn how to cope and manage cravings and temptations. They are also taught how to develop healthier attitudes that can help sustain them on their long journey towards recovery.

While undergoing treatment, a recovering addict often becomes used to a certain structure, a regular schedule of activity, responsibilities and duties, and recreational time. Unfortunately, people often feel lost after their treatment has been completed. They are put in the real world in order to deal with real situations and feelings. What is worse is that the majority of recovering addicts are often unprepared to deal with this.

Types of Aftercare Programs

The majority of drug and alcohol treatment facilities provide a recovering addict with aftercare programs as part of an individualized treatment regimen. They often offer a recovering addict an intensive outpatient or residential treatment program. Some facilities offer them both.

In essence, an addiction aftercare program is a continuation or extension of initial treatment. Every addiction aftercare program is unique depending on the philosophy and structure of the particular treatment center. Most of them provide their patients with a wide range of therapeutic programs to assist in their recovery.

Lifetime Addiction Aftercare

An addict who has completed a primary care program needs to start looking at various long-term rehabilitation aftercare options that may require attendance at weekly aftercare meetings for a long period of time. The majority of these people have usually completed a day program, an outpatient treatment program, or a residential treatment program.

A lifetime aftercare program involves regularly or weekly scheduled therapy sessions that are facilitated by a well-trained substance abuse counselor. This individual helps people meet their recovery plans while providing them with the guidance as they assess their recovery options. These meetings also offer valuable feedback and support from other participants.

Aside from that, they are given a forum to explore obstacles and issues that they encounter on an everyday basis. An ongoing lifetime aftercare program involves families, the community, alumni of treatment programs, and counselors.

Adolescent Addiction Aftercare

An adolescent who is recovering from an addiction problem often has different needs than an adult addict. Because of this, addiction aftercare treatment is often required to focus on their unique needs. The majority of teenagers who are steadily recovering from addiction should learn to accept responsibility for the outcome of their behavior. These programs also attempt to have adolescents acknowledge and recognize that they are to blame for their substance abuse problem and should accept personal responsibility.

Before Aftercare

Before enrolling in an aftercare program, people should undergo a rehabilitation program. An inpatient rehabilitation treatment approach is highly preferred. Unlike an outpatient rehabilitation program, an inpatient treatment facility has several benefits that could help a person increase their chances of experiencing a drug-free life.

One of their advantages is that they offer privacy. A priority for most inpatient rehabilitation centers is keeping their patient information completely protected. At the same time, people who are outside of the facility are not allowed to gain access to the center without permission. This privacy helps an addict feel comfortable and safe to completely focus on their recovery.

Another advantage is that it has a highly structured and busy treatment program. An individual who is in the program will have each day filled with counseling, meetings, therapy, lectures, fitness programs, and a number of fun-filled recreational activities.

Self-discovery and learning is something that will happen on an everyday basis. It also allows a person to build self-esteem, courage, and strength. All of these factors will ultimately help them stay on the road to recovery.

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