Aftercare consists of continued meetings, phone calls, and check-ins after you’ve completed your drug and alcohol treatment. Because the issues associated with addiction don’t instantly end after you’ve completed your inpatient treatment, aftercare programs were designed in order to offer continual care and monitoring. Aftercare programs are weekly or monthly meetings where people share their struggles, triumphs, learn more about addiction and continue their growth. It’s recommended that anyone leaving a treatment program, including outpatient, participate in aftercare for at least the first six months of recovery.
You can’t get and stay sober solely off of will power. Lacking accountability generally leads back to using or drinking, so finding responsibilities within the recovery community will be instrumental to your sobriety. Holding yourself accountable can be tough, but aftercare provides you with at least one reason to stay sober and a group to share your struggles with.
In aftercare, you’ll meet with a group to share your experiences, both good and bad. It’s much easier to go through something as difficult as recovery when you’re doing it with a group who understands your struggles and not just by yourself. The fellowship and possible friendships that come from the group will help you develop emotionally, grow spiritually, and stay away from drugs and alcohol for good.
Relapse prevention is part of any Newspirit treatment program but it’s also important during aftercare. When you’re out of rehab and re-starting your life, you may be hit with destructive thoughts, triggers, and impulses that are tough to see coming even if you’ve taken a relapse prevention course. Additional aftercare sessions help you discuss new problems or concerns and learn the respective relapse prevention tools and techniques that can help.
Recovery is a lifelong battle. You’re never cured of your addiction, but you can easily keep dark thoughts away with continued recovery-based education and advice. You can have a million questions answered in treatment, only to come up with a million more once you’ve been on your own for a few weeks. Aftercare helps answer recovery questions and teaches you how to tackle new problems and issues.
It’s one thing to abstain from drugs or alcohol and another to be emotionally sober. Aftercare can teach you tools to build your own mini emotional sobriety aftercare program with meditation, mindfulness, and practising what it means to be a grateful addict. Emotional sobriety doesn’t only mean you’re happy, but you’re at peace with sobriety and the world around you. You can go months without using but unless you’re practising emotional sobriety, relapse is right around the corner.
No matter where you live there is probably a 12-step or recovery meeting near you. Large cities have multiple meetings several times a day and even rural towns tend to have at least one daily meeting. You can even attend meetings online. 12-step and other recovery meetings provide accountability, stability, fellowship, and are tremendous resources for progressing in your sobriety. If 12-step meetings aren’t your favorite look to other meetings like Smart Recovery.
Outside of aftercare meetings you’re responsible for your own recovery. Newspirit counselors know it’s easy to practice sober living when you’re safely in aftercare, but what about the other hours of the week? Formal aftercare provides check-in, accountability, and further learning but it also teaches you to build your own aftercare resources like 12-step meetings and ways to cope with new found sobriety.
Addiction treatment is a lifelong battle and even a few weeks of treatment aren’t enough to keep you sober for life. Aftercare programs provide continued education, continued counselling, and can help when something new in recovery pops up. Call Newspirit to learn more about our aftercare programs or get enrolled today.