Relapse is, unfortunately, common. Some addiction treatment specialists may even say that relapsing is a standard part of the recovery journey. Studies show high relapse rates during the first six months after rehab for people struggling with addiction. These rates are why many addiction treatment programs are paired with aftercare programs.
Addiction aftercare services help ensure that participants of rehab programs aren’t so quick to relapse—and that they have the proper tools and skills to handle triggers in the real world. At Michael’s House, the staff offers an aftercare program in Palm Springs to help patients stay on track with sobriety. If you or someone you love has returned from rehab and needs help to maintain a sober life, call 760.548.4032 to learn more about addiction aftercare services at Michael’s House.
Components of an Effective Aftercare Program
Aftercare involves more than direct relapse prevention. Aftercare helps you continue to grow and become stronger in life and recovery. Addiction aftercare services may include the following:
- Sober living residences that allow you to work and rejoin the community while living in a drug-free, alcohol-free environment
- Individual counseling to address anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other co-existing mental health disorders
- Medication therapy with prescription drugs like Antabuse, Suboxone, or Campral
- Life skills classes that may include job training or parenting classes
- Support group meetings that provide motivation and help you learn new coping strategies
- Family or couples counseling to build healthier, close relationships
- Job placement assistance to help you develop a more secure, financially stable life
- Assistance with any legal matters related to drug use or drug court
Aftercare services are often available on an outpatient basis, either through your addiction treatment center or nearby community resources.
Relapse Prevention Skills
In rehab, you learn how to handle daily stressors, emotions, and high-risk situations that leave you vulnerable to relapse. Learning and doing are two different things. Putting new information into everyday use requires practice and support. During individual and group therapy aftercare sessions, you can discuss your experiences and challenges. You can discuss strategies for coping with real-world problems and learn from counselors and peers. You can learn how to manage the situations and emotions that otherwise increase your risk of relapse.
As you progress in recovery and participate in aftercare, you’ll learn how to do the following:
- Handle social situations where you feel pressured to use alcohol or drugs
- Choose friendships and activities that support your newly sober lifestyle
- Find work and housing that help you transition from rehab to the real world
- Prevent a minor backslide, such as having one drink, from turning into a long-term relapse
People tend to backslide in their addiction treatment plans. This is normal, if not ideal, and mirrors treatment and care of other chronic health conditions. Just as a person with high blood pressure may skip their medication or overindulge in salty foods, a person in addiction recovery may revert to their old behaviors. Your aftercare support system will help you prevent backsliding. It will also help you pick up and resume your addiction treatment plan if you have a temporary slip.
12-step programs are available worldwide, and many drug rehab programs begin to teach the principles of the 12 steps in the early stages of recovery. After rehab, groups like Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and Alcoholics Anonymous offer support, sponsorship, and recovery strategies with no membership fee.
12-step groups operate on the principle that addiction is a physical and spiritual disease. However, the programs are non-denominational, and each member is free to seek help from a higher power of their choosing. You can find 12-step meetings in large cities every day of the week. In smaller towns or rural communities, meetings may be held less often. Many recovery groups hold meetings online or by telephone, and you can get peer support on the Internet at any hour of the day.
Transitioning from substance abuse to sobriety can be hard on your body and emotions. In many cases, an aftercare program can include the use of prescription medications like the following:
- Naltrexone (ReVia®, Vivitrol®)
- Acamprosate (Campral®)
- Disulfiram (Antabuse®)
- Buprenorphine (Suboxone®)
While some of these drugs have addiction risks, they make the transition easier. They can help you control your cravings or discourage you from using addictive substances.
Why Is an Addiction Aftercare Program Important?
After rehab, you will feel stronger, healthier, and more confident than you’ve felt in years. You want to keep these feelings as you return to the real world. However, you will face work, relationships, and environmental pressures. Your old triggers may kick in, or you may face new ones. Anger, boredom, happiness, stress, and depression may cause old, unhealthy coping mechanisms to seem appealing.
When addictive substance cravings return, you need support to keep you from slipping. Just as addiction wasn’t a matter of willpower, recovery isn’t an issue to try to “tough out” alone. Your aftercare resources are your safety net, which is why aftercare planning during addiction treatment programs is essential. However, your level of commitment to attending classes, group meetings, and medical appointments may make the difference in whether or not you reach your recovery goals.
Connecting Addiction Treatment and Aftercare
After detox and rehab, your new, sober life has just begun. With the help of a caring, compassionate support network, you can maximize your chances of achieving long-term sobriety. The comprehensive aftercare program at Michael’s House offers multifaceted recovery support. Begin your recovery on the right foot to maintain sobriety long into the future. Call 760.548.4032 to learn more about the addiction aftercare program in Palm Springs at Michael’s House.