Addiction treatment is a crucial turning point in your life if you’re suffering from substance abuse or another addiction. It can help your life regain meaning once again. But what happens once treatment is over? Is there a way to stay connected with a resource that can help you stay on track with your recovery goals? There is, and it’s called aftercare.
What Is an Aftercare Program
The goal of every thoughtfully designed aftercare program is to aid in relapse prevention upon completion of treatment. Addiction aftercare programs may take different forms, but all of them work pretty much the same way.
These programs may include support groups such as our alumni support program. They may also include group or one-on-one talk therapy. All these activities aim to keep you on the path of sober, dynamic and healthy living.
Benefits of an Aftercare Program
In addition to the goal of help you avoid relapse once you’ve finished treatment, there are several additional ways an aftercare program can be a positive cornerstone in your recovery. Here are just a few of them.
1. Help You Create a Solid Support System
You might have had friends you spent time with before rehab who enabled or encouraged your addiction. While you may miss those relationships, you want to be around people who will instead encourage your sobriety. With an aftercare program, you can connect with those who are in a similar situation, and you can empower one another to stay the course. This type of support system is vital in your recovery journey.
2. Encourage You to Keep Living Your Best Life
When you were in the throes of addiction, odds are you weren’t living your best life. You probably forgot about the things you loved to see and do and any goals you wanted to accomplish in life. You were only concerned about getting your next fix.
Completing a rehab program can bring you back to a point you start to remember who you were before addiction, but it can be tough to maintain that passion and enthusiasm once you are back to your daily routines. Aftercare programs keep reminding you that you matter and that you have a life to live beyond addiction.
3. Help Another Struggling Person
We’re all in this thing called life together, but recovery provides a special bond between people. You’re not the only one to have suffered from addiction, and being in an aftercare program means you can be a positive influence on someone else’s life, too.
4. Have a Better Understanding of Your Triggers
In treatment, you learned some of the reasons why you may have been turning to drugs and alcohol. You also learned ways to cope with those triggers so you can avoid using substances in the future.
Once you return to your normal routine and life after rehab, those triggers can come barreling at you full blast. An addiction aftercare program can help you maintain focus and the will to use the positive methods you learned in rehab to cope with any stressors or negative experiences you encounter.
How to Support a Loved One After Rehab
If your loved one is coming back after rehab, there are several ways you can support them as well, such as:
- Reinforcing healthy habits at home, such as eating well and exercising
- Providing a calm, stable place to live
- Encouraging them to participate in meaningful activities
- Encouraging them to make new, positive connections with those who can help them on their recovery journey
- Offering your overall support and understanding
Another thing to keep in mind is that relapse is possible in recovery, and it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the line. Since recovery is more of a journey and not a destination, there may be missteps along the way. Be sure not to judge or condemn, but encourage your loved one to get help as soon as they can. Some signs of post-rehab addiction to look for include:
- Reconnecting with previous friends who also used
- Changes in behavior — such as secretiveness or loss of interest in activities
- No longer attending aftercare meetings
- Reminiscing about the days when they were using
Get Help Today
Addiction isn’t something that just ends, but it’s something that can be managed and overcome with the right support. From detox and treatment to aftercare and continuing support for relapse prevention, Beacon House can help keep you or your loved one on the path to recovery and a better life.