When it comes to addiction,, a great deal of focus goes into the actual treatment of this disease. From detox to therapy sessions to family counseling and more, there is a lot to process during addiction treatment. However, the initial stages of treatment are not the only important aspects of care for someone who wants to get sober. Aftercare planning is one of the most critical aspects of the entire treatment spectrum, as it helps to support individuals who want to make their sobriety long-term.
What is Aftercare Planning?
For many individuals, the first step they take on their journey of recovery is detox. They cease use of the substances that they were dependent on and, with the help of professionals, clear their systems of any and all mind-altering substances. From there, individuals transition into a treatment program that meets their immediate needs and they benefit from the structure and focus that it can provide. But what happens once their treatment program is finished? This is where aftercare planning comes in.
Aftercare is one of the last installments of professional addiction treatment. It is designed to help offer support and guidance to those who are about to complete their treatment program and either move into a sober living home or return back to their own homes. The goal of aftercare planning is to help layout a solid structure for an individual to follow so that relapse can be prevented.
Elements of an Effective Aftercare Plan
There are certainly several similarities that individuals can share with one another regarding drug and alcohol addiction, but everyone still has different needs. This is why it can be so important to ensure that a solid aftercare plan is put in place prior to an individual leaving their program.
So, what are some of the elements of an effective aftercare plan? Most professionals encourage including the following into one’s plan:
- Transitioning to a lower level of treatment programming (if necessary)
- Moving into a sober living home
- Continuing to seek therapeutic services
- Regularly keeping in touch with a favorite counselor or other member of their treatment team
- Going to 12-Step meetings, such as AA and NA, regularly if not daily
- Getting a sponsor
- Attending alumni events at their treatment facility
- Developing a support system of loved ones
These are some of the core elements of most aftercare plans. They have been proven to help keep individuals in recovery from relapsing emotionally, mentally, or physically. Anytime anyone is leaving treatment, an aftercare plan is a must for these reasons and more.
Why Do You Need Aftercare Planning?
Early recovery is a very vulnerable time for most, as addiction is a chronic disease of the brain that cannot be cured, only treated. Emotionally, physically, and mentally, learning how to live without the presence of drugs or alcohol can be exhausting. It is absolutely necessary to have a place in place to help support individuals during this phase of their recovery, as there are many opportunities to make mistakes and end up using once more. Having an aftercare plan can help.
Some of the reasons why you need aftercare planning once you have completed treatment include the following:
- Prevent relapse
- Keep connected to the recovery community
- Remain focused on self-care and healing
You do not need to say goodbye to all of your support in treatment just because you have finished your programming. Attempting to get through early recovery on your own can be near impossible. An aftercare plan can help keep you connected to your recovery community, keep you focused on your own self-care, and ultimately prevent relapse from occurring.
Benefits of an Aftercare Plan
Developing strong aftercare planning is critical. Therefore, when you work with your team in treatment to establish this plan, consider the many benefits that you can obtain as a result of this plan. You want to ensure that you are creating a plan that is not only achievable but also works with your way of life. Most people benefit from aftercare planning because they:
- Allow for the continuation of some level of structure in their lives
- Are empowered to keep seeking therapy
- Increase their odds of avoiding relapse
- Can inject themselves into the community in a positive way
As with anything related to addiction treatment, the more you stay focused on your care, the more benefits you will obtain. Early recovery is not always the easiest, but with the support of strong aftercare planning, you can achieve successes both big and small.
Drug and Alcohol Detox in Nashville, TN
At Detox Nashville, we understand how imperative it is to start off on the right foot in addiction recovery. The detox services we offer not only help you to lay that solid foundation for yourself, but we also can help you continue your journey after detox has been completed.
If you are ready to get the help that you need, call us right now at (615) 845-4747 to speak with one of our experienced specialists. You do not need to attempt this alone. We are here to help. Call today.