You’ve reached the end of your rehabilitation programme: congratulations. This milestone in your life has only been accomplished through your own determination and hard work. Leaving our rehab facility does not mean the end of the road for you. Our aftercare programmes are as important as the treatment itself.
Each aftercare plan is specifically tailored to the individual, drawing on the most important concepts from the treatment programme to take further into the recovery process. This can include relapse prevention techniques, how to avoid triggers, how to rebuild relationships, and how to stay grounded in your sobriety.
While choosing the correct rehabilitation programme is the first step in your long-term recovery plan, while the detoxification phase may have addressed the physical aspects of your recovery, spiritual healing in recovery starts and nourishes in the community once you leave rehab. This phase is what we call aftercare.
Maintaining sobriety in your home life is one of the biggest, yet rewarding experiences in your new life. With our help and aftercare structures, you can live the life you’ve dreamed of.
Any one individual who attends outpatient or inpatient treatment for their addiction requires aftercare. This part of the programme significantly increases the chance of long-lasting sobriety and reduces the risk of relapse.
It helps you understand your new self and world, and also offers you pragmatic skills like job seeking, cooking, finance management, anger management and more. These skills are to give you confidence that you can live a fulfilled life free from drugs or alcohol.
The risks of not going through an aftercare plan are just too high to consider not doing so. More than half of people who enter residential rehab relapse within the first 90 days of leaving. So you can see why an aftercare programme is not only beneficial to your recovery, it’s fundamental to your survival in the real world.
Experience has taught us recovery does not end with rehabilitation. In fact, recovery is a lifelong commitment in terms of both time and energy. If you take your attention away from recovery goals you risk relapsing.
This is why we offer an extensive aftercare programme which begins as soon as you leave the rehabilitation centre. Our aftercare programmes consider the unique challenges you might face upon returning to normal life. We tailor patients’ aftercare plans by considering the nature of the addiction, as well as the socio-economic circumstances of patients.
Professional assistance following rehabilitation is vital. This assistance includes regular progress monitoring following rehabilitation. Family and friends are also prepared for the months and weeks following rehabilitation. This provides a vital first line of defence should you feel the urge to relapse.
During rehabilitation, a number of powerful coping strategies are taught. Coping strategies are built on and exercised once you leave our centre. We encourage patients to attend Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups in their local areas.
Now you know what transitional communities entail, we’ll discuss some of the advantages of continued care. While they do offer structure and guidelines, transitional communities after rehab tend to be less rigid and routine-like, while simultaneously offering enough supervision and rules to ensure safety and compliance. Some of the main benefits are:
Once you leave the safe and secure environment of rehab, you will return to the real world. Don’t worry, our counsellors and therapists will have gone through everything with you about how to approach difficult situations and threatening scenarios in the real world. But facing certain people, places, or things associated with your addiction is going to be challenging.
Even if you don’t plan on meeting dealers or suppliers when you leave, the temptation might be there when you’re faced with the situation. This is why it’s crucial you organise to spend your time with positively influential people. Surrounding yourself with good energy and influence is a huge factor in maintaining your sobriety. Fellowships and group therapy sessions will be the foundation of your support network.
Acceptance is also the new mantra to your life. Understanding that you lived with a life-threatening illness like alcoholism or drug addiction will enable you to acknowledge the struggles you faced, accept them, and move on.
This understanding and calm acceptance will help nurture you in recovery. You must also keep in mind that addiction is easy to fall back into, and so returning to the life you lived before going to rehab is simply not possible.
You might be wondering what aftercare actually consists of, or whether it’s just a continuation of what you learnt during rehab. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the key characteristics of successful aftercare include the following:
Each aftercare programme must offer treatment that enables them to reduce or overcome their main problems. This includes:
This aspect ensures the individual once they leave rehab go home to a stable and secure house, where plenty of support is available.
It is the duty of aftercare programmes to lend a hand in sourcing housing, which includes sorting meetings and services, and transport to appointments or viewings.
Successful recovery is based around the concept of self-worth and self-value. Aftercare programmes will help individuals build a solid sense of purpose whether that’s within the community, family, school or work, to ensure they remain sober.
A strong grounding in the community will encourage belonging, purpose, hope, and love. It will also nourish strong relationships and provide support to the individual once they leave rehab.
It is the duty of the aftercare providers to help individuals create new social networks and improve current ones, engage in only positive relationships, and find a sense of involvement within the community.
An aftercare plan is created towards the end of treatment within the facility. The individual will be meeting with counsellors, therapists and medical staff who will all work together to devise an appropriate plan. External therapists or reliable family members are also welcome to contribute to the aftercare plan, but the primary decisions are down to the case manager and the individual concerned.
Your own particular situations (such as your housing, employment and medical situation) will be taken into account when devising the aftercare plan. It will also depend on how long you have been in the rehab centre, and for how long the medical staff and therapists predict you will need care.
Once needs have been established, you and your case manager or therapist will source contacts within the local community to help you meet these requirements. For example, if you’re unemployed, part-time or flexible work will be set up for you in an agreed, trigger-free and safe place of work.
How long the aftercare programme lasts will depend on the individual, the nature of their addiction, and their current mental health. Aftercare can range from weeks to months, to even years. Commonly, aftercare plans are created to allow the individual up to 12 months in an engaged programme.
Aftercare revolves around helping you through triggers and setbacks once you’re in the real world. For this to work, your aftercare programme will comprise of the following specific elements:
Each individual has a right to medication to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms, or as part of a substance substitution programme. This often helps reduce drug or alcohol cravings or helps alter mood and mental health.
This type of therapy should be aimed specifically at substance abuse styles, such as psychotherapy. This component is essential due to the fact that addiction is never ‘cured’ – it is simply halted at a certain stage. Going to therapy often helps prevent relapses, helps the individual overcome more minor challenges in day to day life and predict future problems.
Mental health issues and addiction go hand in hand, which is why any co-occurring conditions must be monitored and treated during aftercare. These can include mental health therapies but also vocational rehab, occupational therapy, or speech therapy.
This basically reduces the risk of setbacks and promotes belonging in the community. An aftercare programme should link up individuals to their nearby support groups, and help them make plans if they are unable to physically be at meetings on the regular.
To thrive after rehab, it’s important to remember that sobriety is not just a single decision. It’s a constant chain of choices made every day, and as the individual develops, so do their habits, skills and mindset.
Below is an estimated aftercare timeline once an individual has left rehab:
Stressors and triggers are common occurrences in the real world. They can be difficult. This is where a transition comes in, in the form of outpatient therapy. It aids you with your mental health problems and helps you work through your relapse prevention techniques. It also helps you build strong communication with your family and employer.
Finding the right type of treatment for you is essential, so don’t be afraid to shop around until you find the right one. Outpatient therapy falls into two groups:
1. Partial hospitalisation programme: this is where the individual in recovery goes to a treatment facility or hospital for less than 20 hours per week. Here they attend group and individual therapy, medical check-ups, and medication assessments.
2. Intensive outpatient programme: the big difference here from the former is the duration of the scheme. This option works around 30 hours per week at a facility and can last for several months
As life-changing as rehab is, when you think about it it’s a very small period of time compared to the rest of your sober life. It’s not unusual to find it hard adjusting to normal life, especially as the routine established in rehab is shifted and the rise of triggers and old environments comes into play.
Fortunately, aftercare offers transitional programmes to help those recovering from addiction once they leave rehab. These can last between several weeks to several months and include the following:
Some rehab centres offer a carry-on service instantly after rehab has ended. While this is not so much the case in the UK, it is worth checking if the centre has a facility-based programme on offer. This is particularly good for patients who do not cope well with change, or who perhaps face too many risks in the outside world.
These type of accommodation is a residential facility designed especially for those recovering from substance addiction. While some are associated with rehab centres or the government, most work privately on a semi-permanent basis. Thus, most are intended for no more than 12 months use but it’s often the case this period is extended.
Much like an integrated community or college campus, these homes come with a caseworker who sets rules and guidelines such as curfew, workshops residents have to attend, and who they are allowed in to visit.
These models are considered extremely effective, and this is normally down to the good balance of independence and autonomy are given to residents combined with the usually strict but effective rules.
Those who have graduated from rehab can access alumni programmes which help them cope with struggles once they leave rehab. These types of schemes offer
The focal point of alumni programmes is to connect individuals with support in the community. Events are created so they can meet like-minded individuals, talk about their emotions and experiences, and gather motivation and encouragement. Sober activities are also scheduled to inject fun into their lives – without the presence of alcohol or drugs.
Alumni programmes by nature are longer in length than other rehab programmes and can be extended for as long as the person needs. Participation in alumni programmes gives a sense of purpose and accomplishment and grounds the individual in the community.
A significant factor in the vicious cycle of addiction is relapse. Like depression or PTSD, addiction is a co-occurring disorder that can be triggered by the smallest thing, and can easily spiral out of control after months of hard work. So, the main aim of aftercare is to prevent relapse: that is, staying sober. This is done in four ways:
Mental, physical, social, and environmental triggers exist and there’s nothing we can do to stop their existence. But it’s all about being aware of them, and knowing how to cope when they arise.
Identifying these triggers and accepting them before they hit you is what you will learn from an aftercare programme.
A whole host of situations face you in the real world which will more than likely make you want a taste of the old life.
High-risk situations like starting a new job, getting a new partner, or moving house can spark an urge or strong desire. Learning how to curb these cravings is essential in aftercare.
This basically means thinking things through. Aftercare aims to enable you to think of the consequences of your actions, in this case, a relapse.
Rather than acting on impulse, you will be taught how to think ahead and will be able to apply a moral judgement to the tempting situation.
Relapse is a full-blown recession into old ways, while a lapse is a momentary slip. If you do lapse, it’s important to be honest and seek support imminently to prevent you from slipping further and undoing all your work.
As discussed above, therapy is a major part of aftercare. Your case manager will discuss with you which type is best suited to you, and will consist of one of the following:
In conclusion, an aftercare programme is as important as the rehabilitation process itself. Primarily, the decision of which programme (both rehab and aftercare) is down to you. It’s vital you know what to look out for, which is why we’ve listed some key points for you to consider.
First of all, you should make sure their interventions are empirically-based with enough evidence and statistics to support their approaches. Ensure their use of psychotherapy will fit your needs, and ask whether there are any alternative therapies offered.
Support groups and fellowships must be easily accessible, and the overall programme must fit your needs – medical, social, educational, cultural, gender and age. Treatment for co-occurring disorders is a good indicator, as are continuous evaluations and check-ins to ensure continued recovery.
You will need medical attention and care, including continued access to medication, as well as knowing the programme, its events, meetings and appointments are all within travel distance and are easily accessible.
The programme needs to emphasise accountability: you must understand that you are responsible for your own actions and must be held accountable for your own behaviour. This includes attending meetings, going to work on time, taking medication, and attending volunteering.
Call us today on 0800 140 46 90 to discuss your rehab & aftercare options. Make the change today.