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Drug treatment aftercare is a strategy to help maintain long-term sobriety. You can continue healing with the right support, resources, coping strategies, and plans. Rehabilitation aftercare can help you transition from a professional treatment setting back into your regular daily life, but it’s important to identify the resources and strategies that work best for you.

What Is Rehab Aftercare?

Rehab aftercare is a recovery plan for addiction following early treatment. It’s similar to a hospital discharge plan because it consists of steps and resources individuals need to maintain health after they leave the professional treatment setting. Medical providers, licensed therapists, daily schedules, and group activities help people detox and remain sober during rehabilitation, but individuals need continued support to transition out of treatment.

Adjusting to life outside rehab is easier and more fulfilling with the right plan and resources. An aftercare plan can help you or a loved one maintain long-term recovery with some or all of the following practices:

  • Attending supportive group meetings such as a 12-step program
  • Living in a sober living community
  • Working with a sponsor and sponsoring others
  • Attending therapy or counseling sessions

Importance of Rehab Aftercare

Rehab aftercare is essential because it helps prevent relapse. Approximately 40% to 75% of individuals return to substance use within the first three to six months of leaving a program, making aftercare a crucial part of reducing those chances. Addiction aftercare benefits individuals in the following ways:

  • Increased commitment to recovery
  • Higher chances of remaining sober
  • Continued emotional healing
  • Greater physical and mental health
  • A supportive network
  • Healed relationships
  • An increased ability to make positive lifestyle choices
  • New outlooks on life
  • Increased resilience and support if relapse does occur

How to Implement an Addiction Aftercare Plan

Each individual has unique needs and experiences, and an aftercare plan for substance use should reflect this. Various mental health conditions and past trauma can play a significant role in addiction, so it’s important to ensure you or your loved one continue receiving holistic care that addresses all of your needs. You can create an aftercare plan for yourself or your loved one with the following tips and ideas:

Work With Your Rehabilitation Program to Create an Effective Plan

Your current support system is the best place to seek aftercare advice. A holistic program can provide tools and resources to help you develop an effective plan and confidently continue your recovery path. Your support team may recommend a therapist or counseling group, local support meetings, and a helpful routine you can follow as you transition into your daily life.

Participate in Your Treatment Center’s Alumni Program

Many programs for addiction recovery offer ongoing services through alumni groups, enabling you to stay connected with a supportive community. When you talk with your rehabilitation team about aftercare, ask if they offer an alumni program you can join. This type of program is an excellent way to focus on long-term recovery and help others with similar experiences.

Develop New Hobbies

The transition period from rehab to your everyday life is the perfect opportunity to try new hobbies. Staying busy with positive activities can help you remain sober, and it’s an excellent way to discover what you’re passionate about. Try some of the following hobbies for recovering individuals based on your interests:

  • Recreational sports
  • Hiking
  • Walking or running
  • Creative endeavors such as art classes, writing groups, or dance classes
  • Traveling
  • Camping
  • Cooking
  • Rock climbing
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Photography
  • Reading
  • Journaling
  • Joining a book club
  • Gardening
  • Volunteering
  • Walking or running

You can engage in new hobbies on your own, and you can try some new activities with friends or family. If your previous social circle was focused on substance use, trying new hobbies is a great way to meet new people and form more supportive friendships.

Practice New Coping Strategies

Substances often become primary coping strategies for co-occurring conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety, which is why developing new coping skills during and after rehab is essential. Coping skills for alcohol addiction and substance use disorder can help you work through cravings, emotional triggers, past trauma, and mental health challenges. Start with some of the following strategies to grow your coping skills:

  • Deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness
  • Relaxing comforts such as yoga, hot tea, or a warm bath
  • Writing gratitude lists
  • Practicing honesty with yourself and your loved ones
  • Pausing before responding in stressful situations

Continue Attending Meetings and Therapy

It’s common to neglect support groups and therapy following rehab, but these resources are essential for long-term recovery. Even if you feel completely healed, it’s important to continue attending recovery meetings to maintain sobriety. Addiction is an ongoing condition, and support groups such as 12-step meetings and Self Management and Recovery Training (SMART) Recovery can help you sustain a sober, fulfilling, purposeful, and exciting life.

Help Others

Helping others with addiction can significantly benefit your long-term recovery process. You can sponsor individuals who are new to recovery, volunteer in your community, or find small ways to help people around you. By helping others, you can increase self-esteem and develop a new sense of purpose.

Develop Important Life Skills

Life skills can help you establish independence and manage your daily life confidently. The following life skills for recovering individuals are essential when transitioning out of rehab:

  • Physical health practices such as healthy eating, regular exercise, and a consistent sleep schedule
  • Time management habits and maintaining daily routines
  • Finding and maintaining employment or working toward career goals
  • Financial management, such as budgeting and savings goals
  • Relationship and social skills such as communication and active listening
  • Maintaining a clean living space
  • Stress management and self-care

Reaching out for help is the best way to develop and grow life skills after rehab. Professionals such as employment coaches, financial managers, therapists, and nutrition experts can help you reach your personal goals in the areas you need extra support.

Continue Learning About Addiction and Recovery

No matter where you are in recovery, there’s always something new to learn about addiction and healing. Continuing to learn about recovery from videos, books, and online resources can help you grow and stay motivated. Check out the following reading topics and books on recovery to continue learning:

  • The AA program’s “Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book”
  • Sarah Hepola’s “Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget”
  • Lisa Smith’s “Girl Walks Out of a Bar: A Memoir”
  • Augusten Burroughs’s “Dry”
  • Catherine Gray’s “The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober: Discovering A Happy, Healthy, Wealthy Alcohol-Free Life”
  • Jerry Stahl’s “Permanent Midnight”

Reach Your Long-Term Recovery Goals With Sana at Stowe

Rehabilitation and ongoing addiction aftercare are essential for maintaining long-term sobriety. Sana at Stowe provides individualized addiction recovery services, taking a holistic treatment approach to help you or your loved one heal from substance use and co-occurring challenges.

At Sana, we implement treatments such as trauma-informed care, medication-assisted treatment, traditional skills-based therapies, expressive therapies, and integrative treatments based on your unique needs. We also offer ongoing support to help you continue your long-term recovery after completing treatment. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help you reach your recovery goals.

Sana is Here to Help

Sana is here for you and your loved ones. Sana at Stowe provides high-quality treatment for those struggling with substance abuse, alcohol addiction, trauma, and PTSD. Our compassionate and professional staff is dedicated to giving our patients the recovery experience they deserve in a safe and healing environment. To learn more or to get started on your journey to recovery today, give us a call or visit our contact form.

Click here to call us: 866-575-9958