Due to the severity of addictions, they require counseling, therapy, and medically-assisted detox. It’s critical for those in recovery to have continued access to an aftercare program for on-going maintenance. Alcohol use disorder or addiction affects millions of Americans. Even though the condition is widespread, it is very treatable. However, individuals need professional care to heal properly just like any other disease.
Similar to arthritis or diabetes, addiction is a chronic condition requiring on-going treatment. While these issues are rampant, it’s possible to participate in addiction treatment programs and experience a successful recovery.
What is an Aftercare Program?
It’s a monumental achievement when someone achieves sobriety. However, addiction treatment doesn’t stop after individuals detoxes successfully and withdraws from a substance. An aftercare program is a type of treatment individuals in recovery receive after initially achieving sobriety. Aftercare programs can either be part of an inpatient rehab treatment program or as an intensive outpatient program.
With approximately 10% of America’s population experiencing struggles with substance abuse disorder, relapsing is another issue to contend with as well, with it being as high as 60%. Don’t let that statistic frustrate or scare you. Aftercare programs work as relapse prevention to help reduce or eliminate instances of relapsing.
The Importance of Aftercare Programs
When someone successfully detoxes and achieves sobriety, that doesn’t mean that addiction treatment programs cured them. Instead, these individuals have completed the initial stages of sobriety. The hard truth is that there is no cure for addiction. Ultimately, the goal of rehabilitation treatments is to help patients use coping tools and maintain abstinence for long-term recovery.
That’s where an aftercare program becomes an important facet of a successful recovery. There are many types of aftercare programs, including:
- 12-step groups: The recommendation is that those in recovery attend 12-step programs for 90 sessions in 90 days when they first start. Then, they’re encouraged to continue attending for the rest of their life
- Support groups: If you would rather not to attend a group session with a spiritual base like AA, support groups are a valuable alternative
- Counseling: During these sessions, those who are in recovery discuss issues they’re experiencing and identify which issues led them to addiction
- Dual diagnosis support: If patients have a co-occurring mental health issue, then dual-diagnosis treatment programs are beneficial. Common mental health concerns include depression and anxiety
Participating in an aftercare program is your first step toward relapse prevention. There’s no denying how challenging it is for some to achieve sobriety. Not only does achieving sobriety require a high level of self-care, but also daily mindfulness. Participating in an aftercare program helps patients stay on track with their sobriety plan, as well as achieving their short and long-term goals.
The most common causes of relapse include:
- Spending time with the same people or at the same places as before you went into recovery
- Not identifying or learning more about what could be triggering you
- Having an undiagnosed mental health issue
- Having unrealistic expectations about your recovery journey
- Experiencing high levels of stress without support
Having support that’s already in place when you achieve sobriety is critical for your recovery. You can find this support in aftercare programs, especially if you have concerns about falling back into addictive behaviors.
Learn More About Aftercare at the Northern Illinois Recovery Center
It isn’t uncommon to feel overwhelmed about the recovery process and wonder if an aftercare program is worth your time. Now is the time to get the support and the answers to your questions that you need. Contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center at 855.786.1978 to learn more about aftercare programs and why they’re beneficial.