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Enrolling in a competent and well-suited rehabilitation programme can be the right move for someone struggling with a substance use disorder or facing a hard time in their lives.

Completing one is even better, but many experts acknowledge that the process of recovery doesn’t end there.

Choosing to take part in a qualified aftercare programme once a programme is complete can be a strong way to enforce concepts learned throughout rehabilitation care, and have the strongest chance for success moving forward.

Knowing this, it’s good to understand your options and any other overall goals you might have.

Make sure to choose one that you trust, and has continual evaluations to make an accurate assessment. With that in mind, there are actually several factors to consider.

What to Look for When Choosing an After-Care Programme

As with most other recovery programmes, the duration is one of a few key factors. It’s important the individual remains committed to their goals and retains the lessons learned during rehab.

There is a strong correlation with the length of time a patient spends on focusing on their recovery, so choosing the proper amount of time in aftercare for each person can be a unique and personal decision.

See that your health provider is prepared to accommodate any assistance you’ll be seeking, taking into consideration the amount of time the patient will need to be successful.

If you are unsure of this, request an assessment by a qualified professional to a thorough and well-thought-out strategy. Don’t hesitate to spend as much time as needed discussing with them the details involved and making sure nothing important is overlooked.

Some different options for how long an after-care programme should be might look something like this:

Attend regular meetings that can include support groups or one-one-one therapy sessions which ideally take place at least once per week. Keep a journal to track thoughts, attitudes, and what you enjoy most about the future without addiction.

Take the time to also consider any career decisions or goals, looking at numerous options to consider what realistic next choices might be.

Spending additional time in after-care affords the patient the opportunity to look at their relationships to avoid any hazardous ones that could cause a relapse and repair damaged relationships with family members if possible.

You’ll also want to make clear and attainable goals plainly stated to provide actionable steps you can take one after-care has ended.

The patient should work on developing a positive outlook for what lies ahead and be sure they have activities to pursue when departing the programme. Make goals for both the short-term as well as increments into the future include 1- year, 5-year, and 10-years plans for each of the key areas that the individual will be focusing on as they go.

This process should be as detailed and specific as possible, so make sure to include what you would like to see in your social life, spiritually, emotionally, and professionally. After making your list, you may wish to bring it to the attention of your therapist and have them work with you in implementing the right techniques for getting there.

What Comes Next?

Begin asking whether the patient has any co-occurring conditions and include when inquiring about obtaining an assessment from a care provider.

To gain a better sense of what to do after that be sure the patient is properly assessed to determine what therapeutic approach will be most effective.

The right programme should feature clear guidelines that will be obeyed and enforced, allowing the patient to strengthen their ability to lead a lifestyle that’s free from drugs and alcohol.

Every after-care programme is unique, so evaluate the services offered to see that they correlate with your top priorities. `

Why is Choosing the Right Therapy Important?

Getting to know the various treatment approaches available is a good step in the right direction, and a quality after-care programme will feature on-going assessments and some form of psychotherapy to care for the patient as they make progress.

This is even more important for situations where the patient has been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder and the proper administration of medication is required.

Different Types of After-care Programmes

Below, we discuss three types of after-care programme that commonly follow rehab:

Home-based services may serve the goal of providing a more stable transition to normal life, focusing on making the patient’s housing situation a central point of focus.

Identifying necessary resources for supporting themselves and being able to apply themselves when it comes to their recovery plan are both critical.

A good home-based after-care programme will look at creating a living situation that allows them to take the next step in their professional life and as a recovering patient.

A clearly defined purpose can be a strong motivating force for the individual to continue receiving the help they need through voluntary community-based therapy and taking action that benefits them at work and at home.

12-step support groups or an outpatient programme may give the additional structure the patient needs for success.

This type of programme addresses at the person’s thoughts and behaviours as well as how these relate to being around others to establish clear boundaries and improve relationships.

Steps that the patient may take could involve building new social networks at their place of employment or reaching out to those like them who are in recovery. Those closest to the individual must be fully on board and supportive of their efforts at staying sober.

Not only that, but being around people that the subject cares for and will offer encouragement can be positive motivating factors for remaining on-track.

Other Options and Alternatives

Rather than just considering a traditional after-care programme, there are many alternatives to keep in mind when taking the right approach.

These other options could include holistic therapy that involves meditation or yoga, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as a psychotherapeutic methodology for dealing with on-going thoughts or emotions.

These programmes are called re-entry centres, and commonly referred to as “halfway houses”. These facilities may require participants to establish a sense of accountability during their stay.

Residential re-entry programmes can service patients who are mandated to attend by a court of justice or be completely voluntary.

It’s also wise to consider healthy activities that may involve regular exercise, looking after a pet, or spending time reading and furthering educational or training pursuits.

Several different types of sober residencies exist, each with their own set of activities. Adhering to a social model for sober living can be a positive way to learn how to be responsible and making sure everything is in place.

If an individual is spiritual or follows a certain religion, it may be beneficial for them to incorporate their belief-system into their recovery efforts by attending regular services or building a support network.

Always keep in mind that recovery is a process that lasts long after rehabilitation ends, so find ways for the patient to stay engaged with what is taking place around them to make sure they have a firm foundation for sobriety.

What Happens if the Patient Relapses?

Relapses can happen to even the most well-intentioned among us, and if approached correctly, they can be an opportunity for reflection and a reevaluation of the individual’s living circumstances and state of mind.

Don’t forget that options do exist for confronting all of these factors, including those involved with the relapse. Finding a solution may mean a return to an outpatient programme.

Try to assess at what went wrong to make the situation more clearly and find a solution that will help the person correct their mistake.

Psychology Plays a Role in Success

It’s important to realize the special concerns that a patient who also struggles with anxiety, depression, or another mental health condition must face.

Finding ways to release stress is always a worthwhile strategy, and some may decide that regular consultations with a qualified therapist are the right smart approach.

Every patient is unique, so settling up the right approach will always come down to the patient and their professional therapist or counsellor.

Creating the Right Mindset

The patient should grasp that it was their thinking that led them to abuse drugs or alcohol and returning to these habits will not produce a different outcome.

With this in mind, the subject must be as honest as possible with both themselves and their caregivers to continue working on the ideas and reasons behind why they chose to use substances in the first place.

It’s not uncommon for those who have a substance use disorder to be in a state of denial about their condition or display an unwillingness to change.

These things must be brought into the open and dealt with before finding sound alternatives. Self-discipline can only come through practice and repetition so it’s important that they implement solid routines that facilitate lasting change.

Only proper planning and a steady commitment to stay focused on what matters most will place them on a path that leads to a brighter tomorrow.

Everyone makes mistakes, and we must remember that the individual is only human and must be given the opportunity to grow and keep working on the underlying factors both internally and externally that must be addressed in order to remain sober in the long run.

Ready to get help?

At Rehab 4 Addiction, we offer high-quality rehabilitation & detoxification services tailored to your individual needs.

To discover your road to recovery, call us today on 0800 140 4690.