The first objective of treatment is detox. The second is addiction management and relapse prevention. But once you’ve completed an inpatient program, what comes next? Following treatment, you need to continue with aftercare to stay sober and to adjust to a substance-free lifestyle.
After completing a treatment program, you will need to make aftercare plans that help you maintain your sobriety. Depending on the style of treatment you pursued, the suggestions for aftercare may vary. Regardless of the approach you take, it is foundational that you stick to your aftercare plan to safeguard your recovery.
If you attended a dual diagnosis treatment center, you will be advised to pursue continued care with an individual therapist, psychiatrist, and weekly peer groups. If you attended a traditional facility, it may be recommended that you attend 12-step meetings. Consider your needs before deciding on aftercare plans. To learn more about aftercare planning following your inpatient substance abuse treatment and why it is so crucial to your continued recovery, read on.
Aftercare For Inpatient Substance Abuse Is Crucial
Behavioral therapists affirm that aftercare is an essential piece of recovery. While you may be physically clear of substances, addictive tendencies remain, even long after completing inpatient substance abuse treatment. You should learn skills to prevent relapse, but you still need to make lifestyle changes to fully take charge of your addiction.
Basics Of Aftercare
Your aftercare should include an emergency list of contacts and local hospitals. As you likely learned during your inpatient substance abuse treatment, you should always have this information handy in the event of relapse or belief that you will soon relapse. Then, you’ll want to set up a daily routine that keeps you feeling motivated, engaged, and busy enough that you have less time to consider substance use. Beyond these basics, you should attend weekly meetings related to your substance use.
Your previous inpatient substance abuse treatment might have recommended 12-Steps, or another group more specific to your particular issues, such as Narcotics Anonymous. If you are aware that mental illness plays a role in your tendencies to use, it is essential to regularly see a therapist to manage your urges. Addressing your mental health will make it easier to stay clear of addictive tendencies, as you will learn healthy alternatives for managing stress instead of relying on harmful substances.
Your inpatient substance abuse treatment team can help you identify goals for your aftercare that help you build an enjoyable life. These goals may include long-term and short-term plans for employment, financial growth, self-improvement, family connection, etc. You should always carry a list of skills for relapse prevention, so you have ways to cope as needed.
Commit To Aftercare
Seeing a therapist once a month or relying solely on a daily routine to stay sober are not effective aftercare plans. You need to tend to all the pillars of health: your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. To stay sober and live your best life, truly commit to your aftercare plan.