Addiction makes physical changes to the brain, and sobriety requires reprogramming. Recovery from substance abuse is often marked by a relapse or adoption of a new vice. To ensure success, individuals must make a lifelong recovery commitment after completing treatment. Just as you do not “fall into” addiction, you cannot let down your guard after treatment is complete. The Next Step Intervention team understands the need for a customized aftercare plan that includes managing stressors, acquiring accountability partners, developing healthy habits, and finding inspiration to stay the course.
Elements of Aftercare
While your aftercare plan is unique to you, these programs have common threads that may include:
- Identifying old triggers. This step is important both during and after treatment. Counselors or substance abuse specialists will help you pinpoint the people, places, and situations that fuel your addiction. They can also help you develop management strategies for avoiding these triggers and replacing them with healthy choices.
- Coping with new stressors. Though your treatment team works hard to prepare you for life after rehab, there is no way to predict unexpected stressors. Moves, new relationships, job changes, and other high-risk situations can set you up for a fall. It is important to have support groups and accountability partners in place when you encounter new triggers.
- Preparing, in advance, for relapse temptation. While returning to drugs, alcohol, gambling or other addictions may sound like an escape, relapses often result in medical emergencies, relationship damage, or even criminal activity. Thinking through each of these adverse outcomes before you are tempted can help you avoid danger.
- Developing accountability partnerships. From sober living communities to sober companions and 12-step sponsors, accountability partners help recovering addicts identify triggers, manage stress, and conform to an appropriate standard of behavior. Next Step Intervention consultants help you assemble this critical team of organizations and individuals.
- Supporting family. Addiction trauma does not disappear after treatment. Family members may still require counseling, support groups, and financial assistance to undo the damage caused by substance abuse. Next Step provides family resources that continue into aftercare and beyond.
After-Treatment Care for Dual-Diagnosis Clients
Relapse is an all-too-common symptom of addiction, and it is especially prominent in dual-diagnosis cases where clients are managing co-occurring conditions (depression, anxiety, eating disorder, etc.). In these dual-diagnosis situations, it is tempting to rely on drugs, alcohol or addictions to dull the pain of mental illness. Next Step Intervention works exclusively with reputable treatment centers that have extensive experience with developing aftercare plans for co-occurring disorders. Your after-treatment program will integrate support for addiction and mental illness in order to decrease your chances of relapse.
Discuss After-Treatment Planning
Next Step connects clients with treatment programs that offer comprehensive aftercare programs for existing clients who are finishing treatment, and for new clients requiring an aftercare consultant. To discuss your situation or inquire about after-treatment planning for a family member, dial 1-800-298-1850. We look forward to being part of your healing journey!