You're Not Alone After You Leave Our Center
The Move from Addiction Treatment to Aftercare
It is tempting for those who have made it through an addiction treatment
program to conclude that their problems are over. Getting help for an
addiction is a great achievement but it is not the end of the story. It
would be fairer to say that the real work begins after the initial treatment
period. This is why it is generally agreed that some type of aftercare
is required, particularly during the first couple of years of recovery.
Aftercare refers to any subsequent interventions that follow the initial
treatment. In the case of addiction treatment, it will often refer to
the additional support that is given following release from the residential
part of the program. This may occur in the form of support groups, booster
sessions, counseling, or follow-up meetings. The aftercare can be in the
form of debriefings, or it may involve teaching new skills and coping
The Risk of Relapse
Up to 50% of those who make it through an addiction treatment program will later
relapse. Those who relapse may never get another opportunity to recover. This
is a depressing fact, but the good news is that relapse is preventable. The
highest risk of relapse is during the first 60 days following discharge from a rehab. This risk
remains high for the first five years of recovery.
The Causes of Relapse
When the individual leaves a treatment facility they will usually be highly
motivated and confident about the future. They have made it through physical
withdrawals and a can now see how a life without substance abuse is possible. Their
self-efficacy is high. They should rightly feel proud of their achievement. Once they
return to normal living though, they can find that recovery is more of
Staying off alcohol or drugs is harder in the outside world then it is
in a residential treatment facility. There is a lot of support in rehab
and the individual is protected from temptation. A return to normality
can come as a shock. The individual is once again surrounded by temptation
and they now lack the support found in rehab. It can be a real struggle
not to be drawn back to familiar behavior.
There are a number of reasons why people relapse after a period of recovery.
Motivation can wane if there is not a concerted effort to keep focused
on living free of alcohol and drugs. The individual can begin to feel
that their problems are behind them and that no special effort is required
to stay sober. They then forget the reasons that drove them into recovery
in the first place. The pain of their rock bottom is forgotten. If they
fail to put enough effort into staying sober, they stop progressing and
life in recovery becomes unsatisfying. They may react to this by once
again returning to addiction.
Coping Strategies Needed in Recovery
Another reason why people relapse is that they fail to pick up the necessary
coping strategies needed to live comfortably in recovery. Life will always have ups and
downs and the individual needs to be able to handle both. Addicts will
turn to substance abuse in the first place because they are unable to
cope with life. If the individual just gets sober without developing new
ways of coping, they will continue to struggle and may relapse.
The Importance of Aftercare
Those who receive some type of aftercare are less likely to relapse and
more likely to live longer. This aftercare can keep the individual motivated
and provide support when things get difficult. The individual who goes
through a treatment facility will pick up a lot of knowledge and skills,
but most of the learning needs to occur during normal everyday living.
As the person in recovery is faced with new problems, they will be encouraged
to find new solutions. This way they will build up effective coping strategies
Those who return to substance abuse tend to follow a certain pattern called the
relapse process. This begins with becoming stuck in recovery. This process leading to
relapse can be stopped at any time and aftercare is the most effective
way of doing this. Those who continue to receive support are far more
aware of relapse triggers. They are also more likely to spot the warning
signs that they are moving towards a relapse.
Types of Aftercare
There are a number of aftercare options. Some of these will be provided
by a rehab for those who have passed through their residential program.
Other types of aftercare can be arranged by the individual themselves.
Twelve Step Groups are the most well known of all the aftercare options. The members are
encouraged to attend regularly for the rest of their life. Those who are
new to recovery may be advised to try to attend ninety meetings in ninety
days. The 12 step program offers a way of life that works well for many
people. There is also an important social element to these groups with
events like conventions, conferences, and dances.
As well as the 12 step programs, there are other
Support Groups available. Not everyone is comfortable with the spiritual aspect of groups
like AA, so these other groups offer a good alternative. Rational Recovery
is probably one of the most well known of these other options.
Booster sessions are offered following rehab. This is not something yet offered by many
treatment facilities, but there is a lot of support for their effectiveness.
These sessions occur a few months after the individual has left rehab.
They will be debriefed about their experiences in early recovery, and
new coping strategies and skills are taught. These sessions will have
the effect of rejuvenating the individual’s motivation and reducing
the risk of relapse.
Counseling Sessions are another option for aftercare. Here the individual will be able to
talk about any problems as they arise, and look at those issues that drove
them to addiction in the first place.
Dual diagnosis support is required when an individual has another mental health problem as well
as their addiction. A lot of addicts can also suffer from depression or
other types of mental problems that need addressing. These mental health
issues can occur as a result of addiction, or they may have been there
prior to addiction. Failure to treat a dual diagnosis will mean that life
in recovery is unsatisfactory and can easily lead to relapse. The type
of support required will depend on the nature of the dual diagnosis.
Stay Connected with the Luminance Aftercare App
With the Luminance Recovery Aftercare App, you will have 24-hour access
to support even after you leave our facilities. Our mobile platform is
specially designed to provide Luminance patients with the support they
need as soon as they need it. Leveraging machine learning and passive
mobile data, the application effectively learns from, and about, each
client. The system determines the patient’s state of recovery in
real time, with little motivation or input, systematically providing 24/7,
proactive care the moment it’s needed.
Patients can use the Luminance App to:
- Find local meetings
- Access & interact with peer support groups
- Access & manage their personal recovery plans