a woman talks through issues in a women's addiction treatment centerSeeking addiction treatment might have felt like a mountain to climb and perhaps you made it through, but are looking for continued treatment. Drug or alcohol addiction treatment can set the stage for healthier coping skills, such as outpatient treatment. 

While spending time at a facility may be the most important part of your initial addiction treatment, what happens after you complete your 30- to 90-day program? Aftercare programs for substance abuse can guide you in the right direction.

Addiction aftercare programs allow you to continue your treatment long after you leave the facility. Aftercare services will vary by the treatment facility. Northern Illinois Recovery Center offers an array of addiction aftercare programs in Northern IL that center around long-term recovery so that you do not relapse.

Our Northern IL Addiction Treatment Center includes sober living arrangements, follow-up therapy, and support groups that strengthen your resolve to stay clean. We also have a partial hospitalization program (PHP) and intensive outpatient program (IOP) in Northern IL. We provide the tools you need for long-term recovery. In short, we are here to help you break the cycle of addiction.

What is the Purpose of Aftercare Programs for Substance Abuse?

Aftercare for substance abuse is a combination of treatments and therapeutic interventions after you complete rehab. These aftercare programs are designed to help you stay sober after completing the addiction treatment program by assisting in your recovery.

Aftercare sets you on course for long-term sobriety after the intense treatment at an alcohol or drug addiction rehab center; it’s that important. You need this aftercare plan to heal and become grounded in your newfound way of life, free from drugs and alcohol. 

The goal is to prevent relapse after rehabilitation through comprehensive therapy modalities that address mental health, physical health, family dynamics, work issues, social interactions, etc. There is no cookie-cutter approach when it comes to addiction treatment. You need to find aftercare programs for substance abuse that fit your individual needs.

What aftercare entails depends on the specifics of your addiction and how it manifests, including:

  • The drug or alcohol yourself;
  • How long you’ve been addicted;
  • Your mental health history;
  • Whether you have any co-occurring disorders like bipolar disorder or anxiety;
  • Your family background (which plays a large role in relapse); etc. 

What is Relapse and How Does it Affect Recovery?

Relapse can be defined as a return to substance abuse after a period of abstinence. In fact, experiencing a relapse is an expected part of the treatment process – hence, the follow-up treatment. 

Sometimes, relapses happen after periods of sobriety as brief as one day after rehab. The temptations of drug use and issues with mental health can make it difficult to stay sober.

It can be caused by stress related to work, family, housing, health issues, etc., but it is often triggered by visitations or contact with friends and associates who use drugs or alcohol. It can also begin after the addict has stopped attending support group meetings or doesn’t have enough healthy distractions in their life after treatment.

The following are risk factors that contribute to relapse:

  • Stressful environments
  • Lack of coping skills
  • Negative thinking patterns
  • Feeling lonely or isolated after rehab
  • Financial instability after leaving an institution that provided free treatment services

As a result, relapse affects 40-60% of recovering individuals. To not fall back into old habits, aftercare treatment must be initiated after patients have been discharged from an inpatient or outpatient treatment program.

One of the most effective aftercare programs is a 12-step program (popular in Alcoholics Anonymous) with a strong emphasis on social support and peer interaction. In fact, refusing to go to meetings after leaving a drug addiction rehabilitation center will leave you vulnerable to relapse. And, after substance abuse rehab, it takes time for your brain to reset itself and develop new neural pathways that promote healthy living. 

If you suffer from alcoholism, attending group therapy sessions can help rewire your brain so you can practice making better choices in the future when faced with certain situations that could lead to self-destructive behavior. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings would be a great option to evolve from alcohol addiction. Additionally, Narcotics Anonymous meetings are available.

How Does Your Support System Affect Recovery?

A quality support system can be the difference between success and relapse after rehab. Your support system is a component of the recovery process. Having a strong support system after treatment can help prevent feelings of loneliness or isolation that might trigger a relapse.

When addicts become sober after treatment, they need to rebuild their lives. This includes finding new friends who are also staying sober after rehab. There is no need to completely cut ties with old friends who still use substances, but contact with these individuals should be minimized after getting clean.

Aftercare programs for substance abuse can make all the difference in whether an addict continues to stay sober after leaving residential drug addiction treatment

A quality aftercare program will include risk factors for relapse:

  1. Triggered visitations or contact with friends and associates who use or abuse substances.
  2. By memories, thoughts, or feelings the addict associates with using or abusing drugs
  3. After returning to a familiar environment – after treatment, there is likely no place safer than home after rehab. However, returning to an environment that resembles where they were when they were actively engaging in substance abuse can trigger cravings after drug rehab for drug addiction.
  4. Triggered after returning to work after getting sober from alcohol, opiates, heroin, benzodiazepines, etc. after completing an addiction treatment program at a top rehabilitation center
  5. Initiated after boredom sets in after treatment for drug addiction at a premier recovery facility.

These are just some of the risk factors for relapse. It can be a daily or hourly battle to stay clean after rehab for drug addiction.

It’s a good idea after a successful recovery from substance abuse to enroll in aftercare programs after going through treatment at an addiction recovery center. These aftercare programs after rehabilitation are available in most communities and they provide various forms of support such as group therapy, individual counseling, and continuing care.

Generally, aftercare after drug rehab is offered free of charge after completing an addiction treatment program at a top rehabilitation center. It is important however that those who need to follow up support after getting clean continue attending these free addiction aftercare programs even after their weeks or months at the premier recovery facility.

What’s the Importance of Aftercare for Substance Abuse?

Aftercare for addiction recovery is important since after a long rehab, medically assisted detox, or treatment program, addicts need to continue their aftercare programs after leaving the best treatment facilities.

This is because most recovering addicts will still be facing withdrawal symptoms after they stop the prescribed medications and this may trigger them to go looking for their old means of coping with mind-altering drugs. Addiction aftercare can cushion these experiences.

Rehab aftercare helps recovering addicts by providing them with constant support after completing an addiction treatment program and/or after getting clean from substance abuse. 

These aftercare programs offer various forms of therapy such as group therapy and individual counseling thus helping former addicts manage life without using addictive substances anymore. The knowledge gained from a rehab facility must continually adapt.

Transitioning from Initial Treatment

Transitioning from initial treatment to an aftercare program after completing a drug rehab center can prove to be really difficult for people who have been abusing substances and alcohol. Drug abuse can peak its way back into a recovering person’s mind but early recovery is possible.

It can take time after initial treatment for substance abuse to adjust back into the real world and the type of lifestyle that caused them initially to seek aftercare after drug addiction. But, once people find themselves ready after completing their aftercare program, they will go on to show major improvements in their lives.

After finishing up substance abuse treatment at a premier rehabilitation facility, patients are discharged from the facility and sent home with an aftercare plan designed by therapists and doctors after substance abuse who know each patient well. 

The first step should be to set up a formal relapse prevention plan. For example, alcohol rehab could provide you with a series of steps to act to prevent relapse. Relapse prevention skills are critical to success in sobriety.

Drug and alcohol rehab is an ongoing process. You must have witnessed how treatment programs uplift recovering individuals. A treatment provider will work diligently to be the support you need.

Sober Living Program

A sober living program provides a smooth transition between inpatient recovery and going home. A sober living home has been shown to work well for recovering addicts. It is an addiction recovery option that allows you to stay in a facility but gives you more freedom and responsibility as you demonstrate that you can stay clean. 

The structured sober living program at Northern Illinois Recovery Center, which is one of our addiction aftercare programs, offers this transitional treatment. Sober living homes integrate treatment practices that enhance ongoing support.

Here you can remain sober while abiding by a few certain guidelines. You must also agree to participate in certain experiences and activities such as recovery meetings. When you first start the program, the rules will be strict. 

However, they will lessen the longer you stay clean. While this may seem like a rigid way to start your sobriety, you will find that our environment is quite encouraging and supportive. Sober living requires patience and compassion for yourself and others.

Ongoing Therapy and Counseling

Part of your Northern IL addiction aftercare programs may also include ongoing therapy and counseling. Your counseling sessions may be shorter, with fewer meetings with your therapist per week or month. 

However, reconnecting with your therapist regularly can give you the professional support you need. Mental health issues can be barriers but they don’t have to be. Health care providers offer assistance for these conditions.

Counseling offers further insights into your addiction and opportunities to continue professional treatment as you struggle with cravings or temptations that may come your way. Counseling sessions are a great medium for rendering medical advice. Your counseling sessions will gradually become fewer and fewer as you demonstrate a long-term commitment to being clean.

Types of therapy or counseling that we offer include:

Family therapy can be essential for family members and recovering individuals to express themselves in a supportive environment. Individual and group therapy present their own strengths. 

Group counseling sessions are typically moderated by a counselor. Group therapy after treatment can provide you with additional insights. Individual therapy is recognized as a private and convenient solution through the practice of coping strategies.

Our Northern IL addiction treatment center provides a variety of treatments, including addiction aftercare programs, so that you have options. It’s recommended to speak with your health care provider to determine your options. As your counseling continues, you may be able to explore more than one type of therapy, as some therapies are short-term.

Support Groups

Support groups are a staple of aftercare programs for substance abuse. Treatment centers generally offer support groups. The best thing about a support group is that it can continue indefinitely. Your initial treatment or counseling may come to an end, but you can meet with your support group any time you want. Completing treatment can feel liberating.

Although many support groups follow the 12-step program, some provide alternatives through experiential therapy or holistic activities. Northern Illinois Recovery Center can help you find a support group that meets your needs and keeps you motivated to stay strong. 

Learn About Addiction Aftercare Programs

If you would like to learn more about addiction aftercare programs, contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center. Our drug and alcohol detox center in Northern IL can help you with alcohol or drug addiction. Recovery begins when you embrace your courage. To find out more about our aftercare programs for substance abuse, facilities, and staff, contact us. You can start your treatment today.