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What Is Aftercare?

Aftercare is an integral part of addiction recovery and is arguably as important as attending inpatient rehab in achieving long-term success. Quality interventionists, therapists and treatment programs emphasize aftercare as not “after” care but a continuance of long-term, ongoing and seamless recovery care. Some rehab treatment programs will not even begin without first establishing an aftercare plan. Leaving inpatient rehab and leaping back into everyday life comes with challenges those new to recovery may not be ready or able to face, but continued care ensures they receive the tools and support they need for every life situation as or before it arises.

What Does Aftercare Involve?

Aftercare should be an integrated part of an overall treatment plan. Quality inpatient programs arrange aftercare for patients so they don’t experience gaps in support and care. This aftercare may include contact with a local therapist. Attending individual or group therapy sessions after inpatient treatment continues the treatment experience. Aftercare may also include arranging halfway housing or other alternative work or housing options. Those coming from a triggering or unhealthy home environment should not immediately return to the situation that prompted their prior drug use. Individual recovery needs will dictate what aftercare should involve, and customized treatment plans will take these needs into consideration when arranging for continued care.

Why Do You Need Aftercare?

The months immediately following inpatient rehab are often the most challenging for those pursuing long-term recovery. Statistics shared by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) show that only 36% of those in recovery remain in recovery a year after treatment. However once a person has five or more years of recovery, he or she has an 88% of remaining sober for life (“Extended abstinence is predictive of sustained recovery,” July 2008). This means support and encouragement are essential after treatment. The longer abstinence is maintained, the more likely is it to continue, so the more it is supported in its early stages, the more likely long-term recovery becomes.

When Should You Start Aftercare?

Initial recovery and treatment require immediate and decisive action, and aftercare should not be delayed either. Addiction Today suggests, “the first aftercare session should be within 48 hours of a patient returning home” (“Aftercare: A Fundamental Tenet in Attaining Long-Term Recovery,” January 2013). This ensures individuals are connected to support, accountability and local recovery resources.

Finding the Best Inpatient Rehab That Includes Aftercare

Don’t settle for low-quality or incomplete addiction treatment options. Call our toll-free helpline to be connected to some of the nation’s best inpatient rehab programs that include aftercare and long-term follow-up and support. We are here for you at every stage of recovery from early contemplation to intervention or admission and through aftercare into life-long recovery. Our caring, confidential admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to get you the specific help you need.