If you’ve already been through alcohol detox and drug rehab and you’re still feeling vulnerable, it’s important to create a drug treatment aftercare plan so that your triggers don’t get the best of you. If you’ve come this far, congratulations!
At the same time, if you’ve come this far, it’s important to protect your successes by developing drug treatment aftercare plan that tends to your vulnerabilities and adds to the length of your sobriety thus far. Drug treatment aftercare includes services which will support making the important transition of creating a new life, adopting new habits, and developing new ways of thinking. For instance, aftercare services may include individual counseling, group meetings, ongoing addiction education, social activities and even occasional recreational outings. These services may be offered in male-only, female-only, and teen-only formats to provide the strongest support. Having a drug treatment aftercare plan can be customized to meet your unique needs so that your path towards sobriety is successful with little risk of relapse.
Addiction is More Than Just a Physical Dependence
It’s also important to keep in mind that, in a way, everyone who has struggled an addiction is vulnerable to relapse. No one is ever “cured” of an addiction, even if they’ve gone through drug rehab. Instead, you should know that recovery is a process. It’s an unfolding experience of no longer depending upon something (drugs and/or alcohol) or someone else to live. Once someone has discovered their own way, independent of substances and co-dependency, then perhaps they might be less prone to relapse. However, addiction is not only a physical dependence; it’s a psychological dependence on a drug (alcohol, cocaine) or behavior (gambling, shopping, sexual activity)
Why Drug Rehab Aftercare is So Crucial
For those who are no longer in drug rehab treatment, they may suddenly encounter pressures, responsibilities, and temptations for using again. During drug rehab, the schedule for a recovering addict was well structured and devoted to recovery. However, outside of treatment, that sort structure doesn’t exist and the vulnerabilities of addiction might surface. Despite a recovering addict having made successes with sobriety while in treatment, that success may not have the foundation it needs to be sustainable.
- Create a daily routine for yourself.
- Go to bed and rise at the same time every day.
- Make sure you’re involved in a community of recovering addicts – those who are also attempting to stay sober.
- Exercise regularly
- If you need to work, find a work environment that is not going to tempt you. (Don’t get a job waiting tables at a restaurant that sells alcohol.)
- If you need community 24/7 to stay sober, find roommates to live with.
- Stay in treatment in one form or another – therapy, support groups, AA meetings, etc.
Depending on your needs, you may need to follow your drug treatment aftercare plan for a lifetime or for six months. It depends on the level of your vulnerability and the kind of support you need to stay sober.
Outpatient Services May be Right For You
Outpatient services are a common part to a drug treatment aftercare plan. This type of aftercare offers regular support while you are re-entering daily life after drug rehab. Outpatient aftercare usually provides opportunities to concentrate on skills that can prevent relapse, such as relational skills, tools for managing stress, coping skills for anxiety and/or anger, understanding family dynamics, recognizing and addressing personal triggers, dealing with temptations and sometimes, random drug/alcohol testing.
A drug treatment aftercare plan is a key component to living a successful life of recovery. It is the bridge between sobriety based on external structure to a sobriety based on internal values and desires. A drug treatment aftercare plan can bring you closer and closer to long-term sobriety.
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