Aftercare for substance abuse may be one of the last steps in a process that leads to sober living, but in many cases, it can be the most critical juncture of recovery. The importance of the aftercare process is simple; without it, there’s a chance that an addiction that has been only recently overcome may return. One of the steps you should take for drug rehab aftercare is to call our trained admissions counselors at 866-349-1770 to ask about admission procedure into our holistic recovery center. But you should also arm yourself with more knowledge on the importance of this process.
Aftercare Continues the Road to Recovery
Overcoming a substance addiction is a challenging process for anyone. For many, it may be one of the hardest personal, psychological and emotional battles that a person can fight. Often, this is a monumental struggle simply because the enemy isn’t another person, thing or external circumstance. This is a battle to exercise discipline, self-control, and resistance in the face of an act, substance and habit that has proven to be a refuge from the pains of the world. It’s hard to give up something that makes a person feel good. But when that substance has taken on such a huge role that it eclipses other thoughts, actions, and even people, it’s no longer an aid or even a crutch, but a crippling addiction that exerts too much control over a person’s actions.
The journey from overcoming an addiction to sober living is a very long, protracted process. This is simply because inpatient addiction treatment is not easy. In the early stages, the challenge is often simply to get an addict to admit that there’s a problem and then convince that addict to have a real, sincere desire to overcome it. This is a key component of success. Forcing someone to try to overcome an addiction when they don’t want to is simply an invitation to a relapse. This is where the first steps of addiction aftercare for substance abuse must work together.
The First Challenge in Sober Living
The first obstacles on the journey to sober living are the actual addiction treatment itself. Different substances and different people will have different needs in terms of an effective approach. This is why we always advise leaving treatment in the hands of experienced professionals. While it’s not impossible for someone to overcome drug or alcohol addiction on their own, this choice generally makes the process much more challenging than it needs to be.
With trained staff at a holistic recovery center like Beachside, both the physical aspects of substance addiction, such as withdrawal, and the underlying psychological or emotional factors, such as anxiety, self-esteem or other issues, can all be addressed. Different therapies can be undertaken based on preference and predisposition, such as art therapy, faith-based therapy, or even equine therapy. Once the actual addiction has been addressed, and the system “cleaned out,” it is time for the next crucial step, aftercare for substance abuse.
Slow Integration Back into Daily Life
Once an addict has overcome the challenges of withdrawal and has received the early therapies to adjust to a new way of life without the substance, it’s time to start normalizing this new way of life. One of the worst things you can do for someone that has recently recovered from withdrawal is to simply put them back into their old life and expect them to resume as if nothing has happened. There is an addiction aftercare process that now needs to be implemented, and this starts with changing the behavior and outlook of the addict.
Aftercare programs for addicts start with a focused relapse prevention program that takes place shortly after the detoxification or rehabilitation phase completes. Once the intensive process is over, the real work begins, ingraining new behaviors and ways of thinking that will replace the more harmful behaviors that led to the addiction.
Aftercare for substance abuse also continues with therapy, though at a reduced, less intense level. It’s important for people at this point to get a feel for a new, more independent way of living, and constant therapy undermines that. There are still occasional individual therapy sessions, and group therapy sessions are an important way to build a sense of community and touch base with other people in recovery. If it’s required, there may also be family counseling to help both the addict and family members to work together on this new phase of addiction aftercare.
For people that want an even more controlled process of recovery and integration, a sober living program is available for aftercare addiction. Rather than return home and receive supplemental therapy over time, this process transfers recently recovered addicts to a suburban-like environment.
Here, people can feel like they are living in a home, however, curfews are in effect, and there is staff on hand to provide support and ensure that all residents are following the rules and refraining from using drugs and alcohol.
It is a more intensive and controlled alternative for those who feel that a bit more structure and supervision is still necessary before returning to home life. With sober living programs, substance tests may also be administered to ensure that people remain clean. Once a person has shown enough progress that it is felt they no longer require the extra monitoring and supervision, they can enter the more traditional aftercare addiction treatments.
Learning To Live a New Life
When we talk about the physical dependency that is created by the use of these illicit substances, we are also talking about the withdrawal symptoms that come with abstaining. Withdrawal symptoms are the specific physical reactions that your body has once the use of drugs or alcohol has ceased. In many cases, withdrawal symptoms can be extremely severe. It’s one of the main reasons why many clients have not had success getting sober in the past since giving up is easier than pushing through the pain of detox. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include:
Addiction aftercare is also about learning from mistakes. No one is perfect, and sometimes a relapse may occur. But with the proper counseling, group therapy, and support from friends, family, peers and even professionals, these relapses don’t have to mean that recovery was a failure. It is important during the recovery process to not just celebrate the victories, but address in a mature compassionate manner the mistakes as well. Counseling and group therapy can help to reinforce, re-engage and encourage people to not give up, even after mistakes have been made, and it is giving people this resolve and courage that ultimately allows them to overcome an addiction.
Sober living and aftercare for substance abuse are important, final components of getting someone that has recovered to stay in that state of recovery. Overcoming an addiction isn’t just about cleaning out the body, it is about giving people both the tools and the emotional health to not feel like they need to take a substance to make life easier or more bearable.
Continue to Stay Sober With Aftercare Programs
Physical addiction is only one component. It is changing the emotional and psychological mindset—for the better, and for the long term—that will ultimately make the difference between someone that relapses regularly, and someone that conquers an addiction and stays that way. Beachside is here to help with this goal and make sure that everyone gets the chance that they deserve.