What is Substance Abuse Aftercare?
Substance abuse aftercare typically involves supporting a person during early recovery and beyond. Aftercare lets a person work through their life goals after treatment has ended. It involves several different resources, all with the same goal of keeping a person on track and away from drug use.
Aftercare involves interventions, activities, and tips on coping with triggers and stress. Everyone’s aftercare program will look different since everyone has their own needs and preferences. These needs could include responsibilities and time frames throughout the day. However, regardless of what a person has going on, there are many options available to keep them sober and clean. Some commonly used resources in an aftercare for substance abuse include:
- Sober living houses
- 12-step and other recovery programs
- Alumni programs
- Individual and group counseling
- Creating a stable support system with other members or sponsors
- Outpatient treatment
These options create a basis for a person to stay sober and focused on staying clean.
The Importance of Substance Abuse Aftercare
While many people with addiction do end up getting help for it, the early stages after treatment can unfortunately be brutal. People may end up facing hardships while transitioning out of treatment. The stats show that between 40% and 60% of people in recovery will end up relapsing. While these numbers may seem menacing, aftercare plans can decrease this chance and create a reliable system to deal with life’s pressures.
Substance abuse aftercare plans can help a person prevent future relapses through consistent support. Sometimes working through a person’s struggles can help them remain calm and away from triggers/cravings. Once a person has achieved sobriety, they can help others in the same situation. Early recovery can sometimes be overwhelming and vulnerable, but with the right help and guidance, a person can stay on the right track.
Creating an Aftercare Plan
Like addiction treatment plans in general, there are many different types of aftercare, each with their own styles. Once a person has finished their treatment, they will meet with their counselors and therapists to create an aftercare plan. A person also has the option to work with outside therapists as well.
There are many factors that go into making an aftercare plan for substance abuse. There are also several goals that can be set in place depending on employment and housing needs. As with almost all addiction treatment plans, a person’s needs depend on the severity and length of their addiction.
Once a person’s needs have been established, their therapist or counselor will help them find resources. These resources may be found in local communities or other areas. If a person is unemployed, there may be programs to help assist recovering addicts find jobs. Also if a person is lacking a home, a sober housing facility may be the place to go.
The Length of Aftercare
The length of a person’s aftercare plan depends on their needs. Some may be in aftercare for a few weeks, while others may be in a plan for months or years. At the end of the day, it is not a race; the goal is to stay sober no matter what. Regardless of a person’s situation, it is recommended that a person stay in aftercare or follow-up care for at least one year after treatment. Our BRC Recovery team will be available to answer any and all questions about aftercare.
Aftercare Plan Programs
As mentioned, there are many different addiction treatment plans when it comes to substance abuse aftercare. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Recovery Meetings and 12-Step Programs
12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are widely used by those who’ve completed treatment. 12-step programs follow a set of steps to help those who are fresh into recovery. AA meetings can be found in Austin and across the United States. They are used to help people stay sober and learn from others along the way.
These programs and recovery meetings stress accountability, responsibility, and sometimes help from a higher power (not exclusively God). Sponsors are also an essential part of the process as they can help a person stay on the right track. Attending weekly 12-step meetings can be a great way to stay sober while connecting with others in the same situation. Many programs like AA and NA are free and do not require extensive sign-ups.
There are alumni programs available in many addiction treatment centers (specifically inpatient/residential centers). This can be a great way to offer support or get support in early recovery. Alumni programs offer the necessary tools to remain sober in a supportive and open safe. Alumni programs can offer:
- A telephone hotline for support
- Check-ins (Phones/in person)
- Weekly and monthly sober events
- Message boards, email, and other versions of online support
Alumni programs can be a great way to connect with others and share similar experiences. In person events allow people to discuss their struggles, get advice, and encouragement. During these events, people can also participate in fun sober activities to enjoy life drug-free.
Another great benefit of alumni programs is that they are offered for as long as they are needed. Alumni programs can be a great way to stay sober while supporting others around you. Learning from someone with experience is a great way to stay connected with the community while staying sober.
Sober Living Homes
Sober living homes are some of the most used forms of aftercare. These offer a simple way to slowly transition back into life. One of the most important aspects of successful recovery is having a safe and trigger-free environment. In some cases, a person’s home life may be toxic or unwelcoming, which can end up leading to a relapse. With this in mind, sometimes a sober living home is the best option.
Sober living homes are facilities where a person will live for a period of time. These homes are designed to get rid of any triggers or external factors that can end up causing a relapse. Sober living homes also include assistance from professional staff if needed. If a person is unsure about their living situation at home, a sober living home may be a good option.
There are a few things that are expected from a person when being admitted into a sober living home. Apart from the house rules, a person will be expected to work toward their recovery while staying clear of drugs and alcohol. Sober living homes differ from one another; this is especially true when it comes to a house’s rules. There may be curfews or chores to be assigned. This is all a means of keeping residents sober and away from drugs.
Sober living homes are great options when transitioning back into life. Oftentimes, people may be unsure or afraid of the early stages of recovery, especially when they no longer have assistance. Sober living homes can offer an open and safe space to live without the fear of relapsing in the future. By learning coping strategies and being held accountable, a person is set up for success in the long run.
Outpatient Services or Therapy
It is not uncommon for those who have completed an inpatient/residential program to enroll in an outpatient program. This can be seen as one of the many addiction treatment plans available after treatment. Outpatient programs allow for weekly visits to the facility instead of living there for a period of time. This allows a person to have a more flexible schedule. Outpatient services include therapy among other other services. This can be a great transition into life with structure and constant support.
Start the Journey at BRC Recovery
Having an aftercare plan for substance abuse is essential to reaching long-term sobriety. But before aftercare comes quality treatment. At BRC Recovery, we provide several services with your preferences and needs in mind. Our team is ready to help you from the beginning to the end of treatment, as well as whatever comes next. Give us a call today to learn more about our services.
Navigate Sobriety With Confidence
Segue Recovery offers a range of recovery support services. Whether it is providing sober transportation, performing a relapse intervention or just serving as an advocate for your recovery, our credentialed and experienced staff members can connect you with the ancillary services that are so vital in the early stages of recovery.
For more information about our Aftercare Monitoring Program, please contact a BRC Recovery Admissions Specialist at 1-866-461-1759 or visit Segue Recovery online at www.seguerecovery.com.