two patients discuss aftercare program with a medical professionalThe complexity of managing a disease like addiction cannot be overstated. It’s not just about the physical side effects. People have their lives upended because of substance use disorders. Getting back on track is not an easy process. Even after completing a drug rehab program, adjusting to life without dangerous, mind-numbing chemicals might seem impossible. Aftercare programs play a significant role in helping individuals in recovery avoid relapsing after leaving treatment and are a necessary part of addiction treatment programs.

What Is a Drug Treatment Aftercare Program?

Aftercare programs give individuals access to continuous care after completing a rehab program. People who get through the rigors of a treatment program often improve their long-term chances of remaining in recovery.

Getting post-treatment help can be especially valuable to individuals recovering from a severe addiction. Alcohol and certain drugs change the brain’s chemistry, stopping it from functioning normally. There may be psychological damage that lasts for a long time. You may have permanent changes to how you think, your emotional reactions, and the way you feel.

An aftercare program gives you more time to adjust to those changes. It’s also a chance to practice the lessons you learned in rehab. Moving through rehab into aftercare can be helpful for many reasons.

How Does an Aftercare Program Work?

There can be various moving parts that make up an aftercare program. Some of the choices made available to you might include:

Support Groups — Support groups offer people in recovery a support network to turn to once they become sober. They include organizations like Alcohol Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and other non-spiritual alternatives. It’s an opportunity to create bonds with others who have overcome similar life obstacles.

Sober Living Facilities — Sober residences are safe living spaces free of substance abuse. It gives those in recovery a place where they can feel free from the temptation of drugs and alcohol. You can gradually work your way back into the real world without the crutch of substance abuse.

Outpatient Treatment Programs — You can continue receiving counseling to help you deal with issues that often arise when you adjust to a life free of drugs and alcohol. There, you can talk through your frustrations and figure out proactive ways of dealing with stress and conflict.

Partial Hospitalization Programs — Partial hospitalization programs provide more intense treatment than a typical outpatient therapy session. You receive any necessary medical services and therapy during the day, then return home at night.

How Long Do You Stay in Aftercare?

The time you spend in an aftercare program depends on your needs. Some people feel comfortable discontinuing aftercare services after a short period, while others need more time to adjust to post-rehab life. Long-term sober housing can be crucial to individuals working to overcome a severe addiction. The relative safety of sober living can protect them from getting into dangerous situations.

It’s a good idea to consult with trusted doctors and therapists on the benefits of aftercare programs and how long you should continue relying on the services. Most professionals recommend that those in recovery commit to some form of an aftercare program for at least a year after completing rehab treatment. It’s possible to modify elements of an aftercare program to benefit individuals.

Some factors that will influence how long you stay in aftercare are:

  • Continued presence of cravings and triggers
  • The level of support you have at home
  • Whether you have a history of relapse
  • How long you spent in an inpatient program
  • The severity of your addiction

If you do relapse, it’s not the end of the world. It’s quite common. The important thing is to get back on track as soon as possible and to learn from your mistakes. If you’re worried about relapsing, talk to your doctor or therapist. They can help you develop a plan to prevent relapse in the future.

Find an Aftercare Program in Needham, MA with Greater Boston Addiction Centers

It’s impossible to make predictions about the outcome of addiction treatment. Participating in an aftercare program can boost your chances of giving in to triggers and staying sober. Use the time to employ the skills and techniques you learned in rehab.

Greater Boston Addiction Centers offer various services to individuals needing additional support after completing addiction treatment, including:

  • Alcohol addiction treatment
  • Opioid addiction treatment
  • Meth addiction treatment
  • Intensive outpatient program
  • Employment assistance program

Learn more about our facility’s programs and services by calling Greater Boston Addiction Centers at 877.920.6583.