What Can I Expect from Substance Use Aftercare Treatment?

Seeking recovery from substance abuse can be exhausting. According to the American Addiction Centers, alcohol relapse rates are between 20 and 80 percent, even for those who attend treatment. If you’re looking for help to fight your addiction the possibility of relapse might feel defeated, especially if you don’t feel like you have good social or emotional support or are in an environment that would make sobriety difficult.

Seeking help for substance abuse can be intimidating, and even feel hopeless if you’ve sought help several times before. If you’re frustrated with your addiction and the treatments you’ve tried, know that some treatments are more effective than others and finding the right help could be a game-changer. If you’re ready to finally kick your drug and alcohol habits for good, it’s time to start aftercare.

What is aftercare?

Aftercare refers to the treatment available after the initial withdrawal period. Recovery from substance abuse does not end after detox, but individuals often do not have the support and resources in their daily lives to avoid returning to drugs or alcohol. If a person returns to a home, community or job with drugs easily available, sobriety will be extremely hard. 

Substance use aftercare treatment offers people an environment that is conducive to long-term recovery. It provides people a chance to build important skills and manage other life conditions like housing and work before returning to face a world riddled with chances to relapse.

How does it work? 

There are two main ways to participate in aftercare treatment for substance abuse. The first is inpatient, which is a live-in (called residential) treatment option where individuals have support 24/7. Inpatient facilities offer the supervision and accountability that is important for so many people in the difficult first few days or weeks of recovery.

The other option for substance use aftercare is intensive outpatient treatment. Where “inpatient” refers to residential programs, “outpatient” refers to day programs where the participants return home at night. Outpatient programs typically occur for 8 hours a day, like a work or school schedule. This is why they are typically called “intensive,” due to the fact that they are much more consuming than a once-a-week counseling session, for example.

Substance abuse aftercare can include inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, therapy or counseling, a 12-step program or medication. More often than not, aftercare includes some combination of these treatment modalities. Frequently, counseling, 12 step programming and medical intervention occurs as a part of inpatient or outpatient treatment and continues in less intensive and time-consuming ways as recovery progresses.

What can I expect from aftercare?

Substance abuse aftercare offers programs and resources to support a transition from detox to daily life. Addressing the factors that make sobriety challenging is the goal of this treatment. For example, if someone does not have any coping mechanisms, (like calling a friend as a distraction from drinking or going to the gym instead of going to a bar) the classes at aftercare programs can help to build up these real-world skills.

Additionally, aftercare programs emphasize mental wellness, due to the high rates of comorbidity between substance use disorders and mental health disorders. The National Institute on Drug Abuse identifies that seeking treatment for both disorders is crucial to recovery, and this is why treatment facilities employ therapists and specially trained addiction counselors to address mental health concerns, too.

Aftercare is more than just educational programming and counseling. In an aftercare program there’s numerous other services that will set a person up for success. Some other perks that are commonly offered are legal advice, case management, career support, financial planning, child care assistance and medical support.

Substance use aftercare treatment facilities know that those who come to get help for their addiction are people who have a lot more on their plate than just struggles with substances. There are many areas of life that affect substance use and make recovery difficult, and that’s why they work to offer comprehensive services. Eliminating external stressors helps people to focus more energy and attention on staying sober.

Is substance abuse aftercare treatment effective?

Studies say yes. According to research published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, participating in continuing care (or aftercare) for drug or alcohol addiction was more likely to produce positive long-term outcomes. Moreover, the longer the duration of the treatment, the more likely a person was to achieve long-term sobriety.

If you’ve tried treatment for substance addiction before and it hasn’t had the long-term impact you wanted, it’s time to try substance abuse aftercare. It’s proven to be more successful than short-term treatment or treatment only during detox and can give you a renewed sense of purpose.

At Mazzitti & Sullivan Counseling, you can expect substance use aftercare treatment that supports the whole person. Whether you need help applying for jobs or accessing treatment for mental illness, you can find what you need at Mazzitti & Sullivan aftercare programs. Call (800) 809-2925 to get the help you deserve today.