LEVELS OF CARE Aftercare

Your transition from treatment back
to daily life takes planning, attention
to detail, and hope for the future.

Call: 1 (831) 372-4366

SUSTAINABLE, LONG-TERM RECOVERY

The decision to seek treatment for an alcohol or substance use disorder is a major turning point in life. It can change everything. You restore balance to your personal affairs, begin to rebuild your primary relationships with family and others, and learn to live without alcohol and drugs.

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. It’s called aftercare.

THE AFTERCARE PLAN

The primary goals of a well-designed aftercare plan are to keep you on track, keep you engaged in recovery, and prevent relapse. Aftercare plans may take different forms, but all of them should contain similar elements, including:

  • Community Support Resources:
    • Sponsor contact info for AA, NA, or another community support group
    • Meeting times and schedules for AA, NA, or other community support groups
  • Therapy and counseling information:
    • Names, dates, and times for your first series of appointments
  • Resources for recovery-oriented lifestyle activities:
    • Yoga class locations and schedules
    • Exercise/workout plan
    • Meditation resources
    • Plans to continue expressive activities such as art, writing, or music
  • Medical support information:
    • Names and locations of physicians trained in addiction
    • Locations of pharmacies for medication, if needed

You should have a plan with these elements in hand before you leave treatment. The more detailed and structured your plan is, the better it is. The better your plan is, the greater your chance of sustained sobriety. Think of your aftercare plan as an extension of your treatment – but you get to be in charge.

THE BENEFITS OF AN AFTERCARE PROGRAM

There are several ways an aftercare program can be a positive cornerstone in your recovery. Here are five:

1. AFTERCARE HELPS YOU CREATE A SOLID SUPPORT SYSTEM

You might have had friends before treatment who enabled or encouraged your addiction. While you may miss those relationships, you want to be around people who will encourage, rather than undermine, your sobriety. An aftercare program connects you with other people in recovery. Together, you empower one another to stay on course. This type of support system is vital in your recovery journey.

2. AFTERCARE REMINDS YOU TO LIVE LIFE ON YOUR TERMS

When you’re in active addiction, your life is not yours. The addiction dominates virtually everything. You forget about things you love to do and may abandon your big-picture life goals. During treatment, you probably start to remember those things – and remember your goals. Aftercare programs remind you that you matter and that your life is yours. Aftercare helps you live a full and fulfilling life – based on who you are and what you want.

3. AFTERCARE HELPS YOU HELP OTHERS

Recovery creates a special bond between people. As you learn, live, and grow in recovery, you learn that you can share your experience and wisdom with people at the beginning of their recovery journey. Helping others makes everything come full circle. You get perspective, you check your own knowledge, and you get to be a positive influence in someone else’s life.

4. AFTERCARE HELPS YOU MANAGE TRIGGERS

During treatment, you explored the reasons why you used alcohol and drugs. You learned that some things – maybe people, maybe events – elicited the emotional state that led you to drink or use drugs. You learned to call these things triggers. You also learned ways to cope with those triggers so you can avoid turning to alcohol and drugs in the future. Once you return to life after treatment, triggers can come barreling at you full blast. An aftercare program helps you maintain the focus you need to manage your triggers – and better yet, avoid them altogether.

5. AFTERCARE HELPS YOU KEEP GROWING

Treatment can be intense. The learning curve is steep. No one expects you to keep that same level of intensity going indefinitely, but it’s important to keep learning, living, and expanding your knowledge of – and skill at – the recovery lifestyle. Aftercare keeps you focused and on track.

Think of your aftercare plan as an ongoing treatment strategy formulated to help you get the most out of your life after treatment. Your aftercare community can become your recovery family. When the going gets tough, they’ll be there for you. And when the going is good, they’ll be there to celebrate your success – without alcohol or drugs.

BEACON HOUSE ALUMNI NIGHTS

When you complete a treatment program of any level at Beacon House, we invite you to join our alumni recovery group. We meet one night a week for an hour and a half. These meetings allow you to check-in with your recovery community about your week, share your successes and challenges, and discuss any anxiety or excitement you have about the week to come. We focus on the recovery activities you participated in that week, contact you had with your sponsor, and step-work from AA. We also keep it real: if we see warning signs of relapse, such as complacency regarding your aftercare program, resentment about life in recovery, or red-flag level isolation and/or detachment, we address them and work to find ways to keep you on track, on your program, and thriving in recovery.