Aftercare programs for addicts is a general term used for follow up or ongoing treatment for addiction. This is the step that always follows after a rehab programme and no matter where the initial rehab took place the goal of addiction aftercare programmes are to help the individual:
Even though they have successfully completed their program and are clean some of the changes to their thoughts, feelings and behaviours are substantial and in order to reaffirm their path, aftercare programmes are available.
A quality inpatient rehab programme will tailor a set of aftercare requirements and goals for each patient, based on discharge evaluation and specific patient needs.
In some cases, such as court-ordered treatment, diversion or other work/employment drug and alcohol assistance programs, aftercare participation is mandatory and closely monitored. While they may be involuntary in some cases, treatment and aftercare are no less effective because of it.
Addiction has similar rates of symptom recurrence (in the case of addiction, a return to drug or alcohol use) to other major chronic health conditions like depression, emphysema or high blood pressure.
As with these conditions, a thoughtful aftercare plan developed to help clients utilise their relapse prevention skills reduces the chances for a return to drug or alcohol use. One primary function of aftercare is to help you understand how to effectively deal with triggers and steer clear of factors that increase the risk of returning to use.
The purpose of aftercare is more encompassing than relapse prevention alone. The ultimate goal of aftercare is to keep you engaged in recovery as you make the transition from rehab to the rest of your life.
People who have completed inpatient or residential addiction treatment often find that they continue to face triggers and stressors that challenge their recovery. Transitioning to an outpatient programme or meeting with a therapist can help you continue to address these issues.
Outpatient counselling or therapy can also help you work through mental health issues and assist you in developing a relapse prevention plan, improving communication with family members, and even finding a job. You can discuss your need for ongoing therapy with your rehab treatment team, who will be able to assist you in finding an outpatient programme or private therapist as part of your aftercare regimen.