Substance use disorder (SUD) treatment can provide you with an opportunity to reach a state of sobriety. It can also help you develop skills to help you manage your mental and physical health. This way, you will feel comfortable in your abilities to maintain sobriety.
While treatment is highly beneficial for recovery, it may not be long enough to provide you with everything you need going forward. Utilizing an aftercare program after leaving treatment is a great way to ensure you gain experience and confidence in the skills that can help you in your sober life.
The Benefits of Aftercare
One of the key benefits of engaging in an aftercare program is the ability to put your skills to practice in the real world. While you may have had opportunities to practice your skills in treatment, you likely practiced them in the treatment setting, with little exposure to the outside world. Engaging in an aftercare program can help you practice these skills in your life outside of treatment. As you do so, you can seek advice and encouragement from a professional affiliated with your aftercare program.
Along with the practice of implementing skills, aftercare also provides you with a great opportunity to build your support system. You have a chance to make friendships and allies within the recovery community who understand the hardships of recovering from SUD. These interactions can help keep you and others motivated. It can provide a safe space where you feel understood.
Types of Aftercare Programs
Determining which aftercare program is best for you can be challenging, as there are many forms of these programs. Reviewing the following programs can help you determine which one best aligns with your needs and goals moving forward.
#1 Partial-Day Hospitalization Program
A partial-day hospitalization program (PHP) is a step-down program with a structured environment. A PHP can provide you with continued support from your treatment team as you transition to further independence. Our PHP involves attending the program for five to six hours a day, five days a week.
#2 Intensive Outpatient Program
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is usually less involved than a PHP. For example, program involvement at our IOP is typically three hours a day, three to five days a week.
Unlike with residential care, PHPs or IOPs enable you to go home and manage your life outside of treatment while still being engaged in the treatment process. An IOP provides even more time for you to practice independence than a PHP. It is a great step if you are moving on from residential care and still feel the need for support from your treatment team.
#3 Outpatient Program
An outpatient program (OP) allows you time to work on your future goals and career development while still maintaining a focus on recovery. It can help you maintain accountability for your recovery progress and sobriety. Our OP involves attending the program three hours a week.
#4 Sober Living Homes
Sober living homes are a great transition after outpatient programs. Living in a sober living home, you will have a set of rules and expectations to follow. These expectations are in place to help you maintain sobriety and create healthy habits in your adult life. Having a community around you to encourage your success, you can find a balance between recovery and outside life responsibilities.
#5 Therapy Groups
Attending therapy groups is a great way to stay involved with the recovery community. These groups can allow you to improve social skills and alternative recovery skills to implement into your newfound life. They also can provide you with a group of peers who can help motivate your success.
Therapy groups often meet once or twice a week. They do not usually require a large time commitment.
#6 One-On-One Therapy
Another very helpful aftercare service to take advantage of is one-on-one counseling or therapy. Many individuals feel that they are no longer in need of therapy services after treatment. However, most people can greatly benefit from regular therapy.
Meeting with a therapist or counselor is a great way to manage your success moving forward. It can help you continue to heal and grow in important ways. As you move forward through your recovery process, the frequency of these meetings may decrease. Even if you decide to stop attending therapy regularly, it can be helpful to occasionally check in with a therapist to ensure you are appropriately managing your recovery journey.
The Importance of Aftercare
Individuals who utilize an aftercare program are at a lower risk of relapsing in the future. While these programs do not need to take up the remainder of your life, they can be utilized for a while to ensure you are ready to take on the world ahead of you.
It is easy to get over-confident during treatment about your abilities to maintain sobriety after you leave. When in the real world, you will likely encounter many factors that pile up and increase your stress load. Ensuring you have practiced these skills in a structured setting with an outside influence can help you prepare for the upcoming obstacles.
We understand that you may feel eager to finish these programs and move forward. However, patience is the key to success. The more time and practice you put into your recovery skills, the better you will be at implementing them and maintaining your sobriety throughout your newfound life.
After completing residential treatment, you may feel that you are ready to take on the outside world. While this confidence is not a bad thing, it can be unhelpful if it prevents you from preparing enough. Engaging in an aftercare program can provide many benefits. For example, they give you structured and unstructured space to practice the skills you have gained in the outside world. This external practice can be of great importance to your long-term sobriety maintenance. For you to be successful in sobriety maintenance moving forward, these extra steps can provide you with the practice you need. Consider using an aftercare program to make the best out of these initial steps in your recovery journey. Reach out to Dream Recovery to learn more at (949) 732-1960.