Recovering from an addiction is a long-term process that doesn’t end when you leave treatment. After leaving treatment, participating in aftercare is critical. These programs often include 12-step programs, counseling, outpatient care, and sober living. Participating in an aftercare program allows you to anticipate and understand future challenges and come up with solutions ahead of time.
Getting the Most Out of an Aftercare Program
One of the best ways to get the most out of aftercare is by looking for key components of a successful program. The components of a successful aftercare program include:
- Case management services: Throughout your recovery, your case manager is going to be an important asset. During aftercare, they’re just as essential because they help you find healthcare facilities and affordable housing.
- Counseling and therapy: During the rehabilitation process, you’ll likely participate in a variety of counseling and therapy sessions. A good aftercare program ensures those services are still available.
- Family education: Because addiction hurts everyone, your family is also going to need counseling services. Finding an aftercare program offering these services to the family is essential for easing tension and healing.
- Relapse prevention: Even after undergoing the pain of withdrawal during rehab, you might turn back to substances to deal with stress or other symptoms. Relapse prevention therapy, no matter if it’s individual or group sessions, teaches you how to cope without relapsing.
About Including Alumni Programs During Aftercare
You can also get the most out of aftercare by participating in alumni programs. These are beneficial to those who leave treatment for the following reasons:
- You’ll have access to sober events each week or month.
- There’s a telephone hotline you can call when you need support.
- Support check-ins occur by phone or in-person.
- Email, message board, and social media support are available online.
What These Services Mean for Your Recovery
Developing an aftercare plan means you have access to resources, interventions, and activities to help you cope with cravings, stress, and triggers. Your aftercare plan might not look like another person’s, but it might include:
- Participating in an alumni program where you attended treatment
- Spending time after recovery in a sober living facility
- Attending recovery meetings, like a 12-step program
- Reaching out to your support system, including your sponsor
- Receiving individual counseling or participating in group therapy sessions
Your aftercare plan is an important part of your recovery because it helps you face challenges when transitioning out of your treatment program. During the first few months after you leave rehab, that’s when you’re at the highest risk of relapsing.
How to Develop an Aftercare Plan
Getting the most out of your aftercare means developing an effective plan before leaving treatment. It isn’t uncommon for those who are in recovery to meet with case managers, counselors, or therapists to develop an aftercare plan. You can also develop this plan with an addiction professional or outside therapist.
As you create your plan, your support team helps you consider the needs you’ll face when leaving treatment. That could mean finding continued treatment, employment, or housing. After determining your specific needs, the next step is finding resources in your community to help address them.
How long someone stays in an aftercare program depends on their needs. For example, some need aftercare for several weeks after leaving a treatment center. However, others might need these programs for a year or longer. Many treatment programs recommend remaining active and engaged for at least one year.
Contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center to Learn More about Aftercare
At Northern Illinois Recovery Center, we understand the importance of high-quality aftercare. We’re available to help you find the best programs and resources. Contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center at 855.786.1978 to learn more about how we can help and how you can get the most out of aftercare.