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The Importance of Aftercare In Addiction Recovery

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After treatment, the real test of your recovery begins. Participating in addiction treatment is an essential first step toward achieving an alcohol and drug-free life. When you’re in a program that teaches you how to say no to addictive substances, it’s a lot easier than continuing to say no on your own. Making the transition back into normal life can be difficult when you’re simultaneously working on things like overcoming cravings and managing stress, and rebuilding relationships. That’s why post-treatment care is so critical in the fight against drug and alcohol abuse.

Why Is Post-Treatment Aftercare So Important?

Even if you choose not to receive aftercare services, having someone to lean on during your recovery from addiction can be tremendously helpful. Addiction recovery requires changes in habits and lifestyle as it is a chronic brain illness that requires continuing therapy and management; thus, it doesn’t go away after treatment. It is possible to get the assistance and care you need after treatment. Here’s how to do it.

To avoid reverting back to previous habits, aftercare is a good idea

Your ability to maintain your sobriety depends on your ability to cope, ground yourself, manage stress, and communicate effectively. You run the risk of relapsing if you don’t practice these techniques to keep yourself from falling back into previous habits. Participating in an aftercare program is an excellent opportunity to put the recovery skills you’ve acquired to good use.

Joining an alumni group, going to recovery group sessions, and keeping in touch with your counselor or case manager can all help you stay on top of your newly acquired abilities. By practicing these skills on a regular basis, you’ll be less likely to fall back into bad habits that can lead to relapse. (1)

Aftercare can ease the transition back into normal life

Returning to normal life after completing an outpatient addiction treatment program can be challenging. Your daytime treatment schedule and your evening routine will both change. It’s possible that the level of assistance you receive from others will shift. Living in a changing environment is a given. It’s possible that the number of hours you’re required to work will fluctuate. Stress and anxiety might lead to cravings as a result of these changes. With the assistance of aftercare, you will be able to manage these adjustments without jeopardizing your sobriety.

Stress-relieving skills you’ve already learned can be reinforced, and new ones can be learned in one-on-one sessions with a counselor who can help you stay centered in the face of difficult circumstances.

Aftercare can be a source of emotional and psychological assistance

Recovering from addiction can be a lonely experience, even if it is rewarding. This is especially true if and when treatment for addiction comes to an end. It’s possible that you won’t run across the familiar faces you’ve grown accustomed to. 

When it comes to post-treatment support, it’s all about helping you put into practice what you learned in treatment. Assisting you with your housing needs can take the form of finding a safe place to live or a job. It can also take the form of counseling, emotional support, legal assistance, or any combination of the above. However, all of this help is offered to assist you in navigating and surviving life without the use of drugs or alcohol. (2)