Find Drug Rehab Aftercare Programs
Completing a substance abuse treatment program is the first step in sobriety. The followup care can be detrimental to maintaining sobriety and relapse prevention. There are many options available, and most cater to individual needs.
Aftercare programs are typically discussed as part of a quality substance abuse treatment program. A case manager usually includes aftercare plans as part of an individual treatment plan or discharge planning. However, if an aftercare plan was not created during treatment, there are still many options to choose from.
What Is Aftercare?
Some people think that once a substance abuse treatment program is completed, the addiction has been cured. However, that is not the case with a disease like addiction. Maintaining sobriety takes purposeful effort, proper stress management skills, and usually a support system.
Aftercare is a term used to explain follow-up or ongoing treatment after substance abuse rehabilitation. Aftercare has specific goals of maintaining sobriety, relapse prevention, and living the best life possible.
Does Aftercare Really Work?
Addiction can alter the brain, how it functions, how it interprets information, and even how it receives information. These alterations often take longer to reverse than the length of treatment, participating in an aftercare program can help manage stress while the effects of substance abuse continue to be eliminated.
People struggling with addiction are at risk for relapse. Approximately 40-60 percent of people struggling with addiction will relapse, and this seems to be due to lack of support and severity of addiction.
Research shows a connection between length of treatment (including aftercare programs) and periods of abstinence and number of relapses. So, if a person completes a substance abuse treatment program and then participate in an aftercare program, they are less likely to relapse and stay sober longer.
Aftercare Programs – What To Look For?
While there are different types of aftercare programs, many share a common core philosophy: treatment is much more successful when the entire person is treated, and all of their needs are addressed. A solid aftercare plan is comprehensive and includes exploration of an individual’s:
- mental health
- legal problems
- medical needs
- child care
When any of these areas contributes significant stress to the person, it increases risk factors associated with relapse. Providing a support system where a person can address these issues and find solutions is a way aftercare programs are effective in treating substance abuse.
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Successful Aftercare Programs
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has determined that successful aftercare programs include the following four elements:
- creating a sense of purpose
- community involvement
- appropriate housing
- adequate health care options
To provide these components, many aftercare programs provide assessments, testing, medication services, education, vocational training, transportation, and access to services to help with outside resources.
Staff is important to the function and success of an aftercare program as well. Using a multidisciplinary team that works together to provide comprehensive care can help increase success rates. High turnover and limited access to outside services can have a negative effect.
Because addiction is so different for each person, aftercare options vary as well. Many different options are available, these being the most common.
Sober Living / Sober Residences
It is often suggested that a person who has completed an inpatient substance abuse program should transition to sober living option before returning home. Especially if home situations do not have a solid support system or if there is a risk of relapse due to home circumstances. These aftercare options include:
- Therapeutic Community Living – offers a supervised, structured program that can last up to a year. Trained staff work with the residents to develop healthy lifestyle choices, and change negative thought patterns and self-destructive behaviors.
- Recovery Housing – a short term option for people transitioning back into their community. While still supervised, it is less intensive and is more focused on providing access to resources to help residents transition out of treatment.
- Sober Housing – also called sober living. This is primarily an unsupervised environment in which residents live together and offer both support and guidance. Often, these sober living houses are managed by a senior resident, and all bills and chores are divided amongst the people living there.
- Re-entry Residential Housing – This type of sober living is usually for individuals in recovery who are somehow involved with the legal system. This is a structured environment that has a high level of accountability for residents.
People opting to attend one of these types of aftercare program will likely be required to be employed, pay bills, adhere to a curfew, have visitor restrictions, and submit to random drug testing. There are other, less restrictive options.
Outpatient Aftercare Programs
Aftercare programs that allow clients to return home after treatment are referred to as outpatient programs. People with mandatory obligations tend to choose this option due to the flexibility of this option. Additionally, outpatient services can increase or decrease based on the needs of each person. Some outpatient options are:
- Partial-hospitalization Program (or PHP) – is the most structured outpatient treatment option. Typically, the client receives services five days a week, for about five hours a day. Both group and one-on-one therapy sessions take place during PHP aftercare.
- Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) – consists of two or more weekly group sessions that can last up to three hours. These IOP programs focus on both recovery and mental health services. Individual sessions may be available as well, depending on the program.
- Individual or group therapy – weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly sessions that usually are scheduled for one hour at a time.
A more commonly recognized options for aftercare are support groups. These informal networks allow individuals in different stages of recovery to come together and support one another, and also provide guidance that follows a loose structure rooted in recovery. These support groups include:
- 12-step groups – groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Al-Anon, Celebrate Recovery, and Women in Sobriety, meet in a substance abuse free environment that allows support and fellowship. These groups often look to a higher power for help with sobriety.
- Non-twelve step groups – similar to a 12-step program, without religious or non-spiritual approach to sobriety
- Peer Recovery Network – services are offered and managed by others who are in recovery
- Teen Programs – these specialized groups focus on the specific needs of young people in recovery
How To Find A Drug Rehab Aftercare Program
Working with substance abuse treatment staff is a good start to building an aftercare plan. Their experience with substance abuse, recovery, and the individual needs of each client make them an asset when preparing an aftercare services plan.
Additionally, speaking to different types of aftercare providers to determine the level of treatment needed at the current point of recovery can be a huge asset. Addiction specialists have an abundance of knowledge and their perspective can help you make a decision.
Our addiction specialists are prepared to discuss substance abuse treatment and aftercare programs with you right now. If you or a loved one is in need of intervention, we are capable of helping you take the next step. Contact us today.