Aftercare Services in Recovery
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease. Recovery from addiction is a lifelong process. Some people will attend an inpatient treatment center and figure “Hey, I’m cured; I can go back to living my life.” Unfortunately, this is not the case for most addicts, which is why most treatment centers recommend some kind of aftercare service when you get out.
Here are the most common aftercare services in recovery:
Aftercare Services in Recovery: Outpatient Treatment
Most inpatient drug and alcohol treatment centers offer some kind of outpatient treatment as well. Usually, outpatient treatment is used as one of the aftercare services in recovery, rather than primary treatment. Once you have completed a 30 to 90 day program (in some cases longer), you leave the treatment center and return several times a week to continue treatment. Outpatient aftercare services in recovery are a good follow up to inpatient treatment because it keeps a person in recovery accountable and helps them deal with things that come up once they are living on their own. For many alcoholics and addicts, the most dangerous time is right after they leave inpatient treatment. The risk for relapse is very high. Outpatient services at a drug and alcohol treatment center can improve the chances that an alcoholic or addict will stay clean and sober in the long term.
Aftercare Services in Recovery: Sober Houses
Sober living homes offer a concentrated, drug free environment so that individuals who have finished inpatient drug treatment programs can further establish and strengthen their sobriety. This is one of the aftercare services in recovery that is highly recommended, because people who go to sober houses have a better chance of long-term recovery. Sober houses provide an opportunity to cement the coping skills, communication techniques, and healthy lifestyles that are initiated during residential treatment. In addition, sober houses provide an environment where people in recovery can form a strong support system. In a sober living home, you will be surrounded by other people who are trying to establish a drug and alcohol free lifestyle. Most sober living homes are designed to keep you accountable by establishing guidelines that include regular drug tests, compulsory attendance at twelve step groups, and requirements to find a job and contribute to rent.
Aftercare Services in Recovery: 12 Step Groups
Twelve step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are possibly the oldest and most well-established of the aftercare services in recovery. Since its inception, Alcoholics Anonymous and groups like it have helped millions of people recover from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The groups offer support, camaraderie, and accountability to people struggling with addiction. Most fellowships recommend that you attend 90 meetings during the first 90 days of sobriety. They also counsel that you should get a sponsor, join a home group, and work the 12 steps of recovery. Twelve step groups frequently host fellowship events which are fun activities within a sober environment. This can be invaluable to a recovering alcoholic or drug addict.