If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, you are not only. Countless individuals suffer from the effects of addiction. However, it is important to keep in mind that this diagnosis is not a life sentence. Help is not only readily for you, but affordable as well.
The first step towards seeking out professional care is understanding how exactly the rehabilitation process and what to expect afterwards. The services that follow rehab are known as aftercare and can play a critical role in your ability to maintain long-term success.
What Exactly is Aftercare?
Aftercare services are designed to help patients transition out of rehabilitation and back into their typical environment as seamlessly as possible. These services can be highly individualized for you to ensure the most successful outcome possible. Most aftercare plans consist of continued therapies, meetings with an addiction specialist, mental health services if needed and general support and encouragement. In general, a quality aftercare plan should address the following areas:
- Home life
- Community support
- Mental well-being
Aftercare services typically take place on an outpatient basis. This means that once you complete the treatment phase, you are able to return home and then maintain scheduled visits on a weekly or biweekly basis. This factor gives you the chance to return to your daily schedule and practice what you have learned during treatment and ultimately review your experiences with a specialist during your visits.
Another form of aftercare can occur in a more structured environment known as sober living homes. These residential programs are designed to meet the needs of patients who require more support and structure then traditional outpatient services. Sober living homes provide a safe and supportive place for individuals in recovery to live and typically have the following amenities:
- On-site counseling and support meetings
- Recreational activities
- Fitness room
- Ability to socialize with other recovery-minded individuals
What Types of Treatment are Available?
Treatment for addiction is most commonly found in two formats: inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. Inpatient rehabilitation is considered the gold standard of treatment because it is associated with the highest success rate. This is because it requires patients to live on-site for a brief period of time. Temporary relocation has many advantages for people struggling with the cycle of addiction. The first is that it takes them out of their environment and brings them into a safe, peaceful and supportive one where recovery is promoted. Secondly, it is a useful tool for breaking self destructive habits and cycles in addiction associated with one’s home and community. Finally, it gives patients the opportunity to focus solely on themselves. Inpatient rehab typically lasts 90 days and may require patients to complete medical detoxification prior to admission.
Medical detoxification, or detox for short, is a simple process that enables individuals to release built up toxins in their body in a controlled and supervised facility. It is a useful and often times necessary first-step because it can eliminate painful withdrawal symptoms which often lead individuals to relapse. As a result of completing detox, most people feel less cravings and more motivated to maintain recovery.
Outpatient rehabilitation is another option worth considering only if you feel you could succeed in a recovery plan without 24/7 supervision and support. Unlike inpatient rehab, outpatient programs do not require you to relocate. As a result, they are not as effective for individuals struggling with long-term and persistent addictions. However, they can be a good fit for anyone with a strong support system in place at home and who feels like they could thrive without constant supervision.
Another option is to participate in a residential treatment plan and transition into an outpatient format after successful completion. This route is often used to treat severe and reoccurring addictions more effectively than with inpatient care alone.
Aftercare plans tend to strongly encourage participation in a community based support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and SMART Recovery. These options can be beneficial during aftercare and following it. They serve as an attainable source of support, encouragement and healthy socialization for anyone at any stage of the recovery process.
If you are ready to break the cycle of addiction once and for all, don’t hesitate to take action. Our compassionate team of specialists are available to help you get started. Call 770-299-1677 to get started today!