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Substance Abuse and Recovery Aftercare
Undoubtedly the hardest part of recovery from substance abuse is maintaining sobriety. A treatment facility cuts off all access to drugs and alcohol, thereby reducing temptation to some extent. But upon leaving their treatment facility, addicts are once again susceptible to readily available substances and often experience relapse—thus the importance of a strong aftercare program.
Programs offering a sober support network and a prevention plan are the most successful. Aftercare is part of the process to full recovery, and it is vital to the success of the patient, whether it includes attending meetings, checking in with a trained professional, living in a halfway house, living in a sober living facility, or all of the above.
Substance Abuse And Recovery Challenges
The risk of relapse after successful completion of an addiction treatment program is 50%. If a patient relapses, they may never get another chance to fully recover. Even though this may seem bleak, there’s good news. Preventing relapse is possible with the right aftercare program.
Staying sober in the outside world is much harder than within the walls of a treatment center. Many patients leave treatment facilities feeling proud of what they’ve accomplished and that life without substance abuse feels readily attainable. However, once readmitted to society, the addict finds that every day can be a struggle.
Returning to the normalcy of independent living is a shock for many. Surrounded by temptation, many patients forget how rock bottom felt and why they ended up in a substance abuse treatment program in the first place. Without the presence of counselors pushing them to do better, recovering addicts may easily waver in their resolve to abstain and fall back into old habits.
How Important Is Aftercare To The Substance Abuse And Recovery Process?
An aftercare program makes it less likely that a recovering addict will relapse. Those receiving support, while adjusting to the outside world, are more likely to live longer and stay sober. Aftercare provides necessary support and keeps individuals motivated. While patients in treatment facilities learn various coping strategies to help them deal with the ups and downs of life, once re-introduced to the outside world they must learn how to apply these new found skills. Without proper guidance and support following release from a treatment facility, acquired strategies may be lost.
A support group and mentor can help the individual find new solutions when faced with new problems, thus building up coping strategies to replace substance abuse. Patients who relapse often do so because they feel stuck in recovery. An aftercare program is one of the most effective ways to squash the feeling of immobility, heighten patients’ awareness of warning signs, and move forward.
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