Many believe that undergoing treatment at a rehab center will “fix” them and “cure” their addictions. However, it is not only wise but imperative to have a solid after-care plan in place before graduating and leaving the facility. No matter how much one thinks they have a handle on their disease, the chance of relapse is incredibly high shortly after walking out of the treatment center. In fact, most addicts and alcoholics who relapse do so within the first 18 months after. This is because transitioning seamlessly back into aspects of the “old” life while keeping the new and hard-earned sobriety intact is incredibly challenging. Having an after-care plan in place will certainly assist the recovering addict alcoholic in being prepared for many of the triggering situations that could occur and assist them in making good choices.
There are many tools to consider incorporating into an after-care plan. Some of these include transitional living, extended treatment, and 12-step programs. Speaking with counselors, therapists, family members, and peers with a substantial amount of sobriety behind them will provide insight on which option or combination of options is best for any particular individual. Below is a basic description of each:
Sober Living House: A transitional living or sober living house is a living situation that can help ease the entry back into the “real world” directly from rehab. These places can vary in services, structure, dynamics, and capacity, but generally, they are run by a live-in manager. Often, the house usually integrates drug testing, curfews, meetings, and probation periods. Ask a lot of questions when viewing or selecting a sober living facility as each house has its own distinct personality and specific rules. Remember by viewing it as an extension of one’s treatment and a life-long journey of sobriety, it will help to frame the perception and situation correctly.
Outpatient Care: This is a great tool for extending the benefits of treatment. Counseling, group, and individual therapy, medication management, and drug testing are usually offered. Recovering addicts that do not have the benefit of living in a sober or transitional living facility are highly recommended to utilize outpatient care to provide them with structure and reinforcement of the valuable lessons they learned in treatment. Speaking with the counselors at the rehab prior to exiting will help to find out more about outpatient care program as an option upon exit.
Sober Companion: A sober companion provides excellent support for chronic relapsers, recovering addicts in vulnerable situations or unstable addicts in early recovery. Companions assist individuals in achieving objectives through exploration of problems and their ramifications, examination of attitudes and feelings, consideration of alternative solutions, and aid in decision-making. Coaching helps clients utilize their resources to resolve problems and/or modify behaviors, attitudes, and values. Sober companions usually have been sober for a long while so they have enough experience to know what it is like to be new to recovery as well as the many pitfalls an addict could face early on.
12 Step Programs: 12-step programs are available for addictive, compulsive, or behavioral problems based on the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. For drug addicts, Narcotics Anonymous meetings are available, as well as other drug-specific 12-step groups. These programs have proven successful for addicts in recovery. With these programs, an addict can find anonymous support and tools from others walking the same path. Many have attested to the fact that belonging or partaking in 12-step program has been vital to their sobriety as well as their sanity. Because many 12-step programs are inclusive to a wide range of people from all walks of life with only the common factor of being an addict or alcoholic, it is an can be an incredibly eye-opening experience to be a part of such a group; one could gain perspective and insight into his/her own life decisions and circumstances through just listening to what so many others share.
Although the disease of addiction is incurable, it is definitely manageable. Boredom can be an instant trigger for relapse. Since addiction is a disease of the mind, “staying out of one’s head” and keeping active are suggested. The old way of living didn’t work. Knowing what to do after a rehab program and how to have fun in sobriety is very important. Sober friends, hobbies, and choices can be fun and ensure a happy healthy way of life.
If you or a loved one has been dealing with an addiction of any nature or if you need help getting through to an addict or alcoholic, contact us today. We can provide you with quality treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Don’t wait. Call now.