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.