What Is Aftercare?

Aftercare is one of the most important parts in the process of addiction recovery. Once an addict has gone through detoxification and rehab, now it is time to continue making an effort to stay sober. There are many ways to accomplish this, but one of the most effective methods is by participating in an aftercare program available to those who wish to strengthen their recovery.

What Are the Elements of Addiction Aftercare?

Addiction aftercare can take many forms, but the objective is the same—to encourage sobriety and give the necessary boost to endure cravings and avoid relapses. Aftercare is the name given to any program for the addict in recovery after he has finished his main treatment. In many cases, the same rehab center offers aftercare programs and the patients are encouraged to make use of them.

Most rehab aftercare programs involve therapy sessions or some sort of counseling. This means regular visits that include only the patient or the whole family. During these sessions, the recovering person often finds new strategies to stay sober and to overcome the underlying causes of addiction. Family counseling is managed in a similar way, with discussions regarding ways to continue helping the member with a drug addiction problem and better methods to deal with problems that may arise inside the household.

Twelve-Step programs are usually a big part of any aftercare program. Depending on the patient and the severity of his addiction, participation in a support group can be as often as several times a week or daily. These groups are a great way to give and receive addiction recovery support and to learn from others about how to live a clean and sober life. There are many programs of this kind available, and most are free of charge.

Everyone is encouraged to attend some sort of rehab aftercare to stay sober. Some patients might believe that after finishing their treatment in a rehab center they will be completely cured from addiction and that further participation in other programs is unnecessary.

However, even the patients with the highest confidence need to realize that, especially in the first weeks after rehab, a relapse could be a devastating setback and there is nothing more beneficial than receiving extra help in these difficult moments by participating in addiction aftercare.

How Do I Find Rehab Aftercare?

Most rehab centers offer some form of aftercare for those who participate in one of their programs. However, it is not always mandatory to use one of those programs. You can plan your aftercare based on your needs and what is available near you. For example, most 12-Step support groups are open to the public and to anyone who wishes to participate.

You can also make use of counseling and therapy sessions available for the whole family. These sessions are not only focused on the addiction, but also how to repair past damages in order to improve the chances of long-lasting recovery.