What Is Aftercare?
Recovery from a substance use disorder does not take place over a fixed period of time — it is a continuous, daily commitment. At The Recovery Village Columbus, our primary goal isn’t to just keep patients sober during a rehabilitation program; it’s to provide them with the skills and support systems necessary for lifelong recovery with comprehensive aftercare planning.
Before you leave the direct care of our rehabilitation experts, we connect you with the people, support groups and resources that are vital to your ongoing recovery. Your aftercare plan is specially tailored to your unique needs, so you can have your best chance at post-rehab success.
“A specialized aftercare plan is the key to your continued recovery after rehab.”
Who Needs Aftercare?
The complex disease of addiction can’t be cured with a single treatment, medication or short-term program. Long-lasting sobriety is an ongoing choice that people must recommit to every single day. Because of this, aftercare is an essential part of every patient’s recovery program at The Recovery Village.
Life After Rehab: The Aftercare Process
Weeks, months and even years after a formal rehabilitation program is complete, patients still run the risk of relapse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the relapse rate for drug addiction is between 40 and 60 percent, with even higher rates for alcohol addiction. However, the longer a person stays sober after completing a rehab program, the lower their chances of relapse become.
At The Recovery Village, we help bolster post-rehab success by structuring our programs around the skills needed for lifelong wellness. In the beginning stages of treatment, patients adjust to sobriety, learn how to modify harmful thoughts and behaviors and begin to understand the roots of their substance use disorder. Following medical detox and residential treatment, they move to progressively more autonomous levels of care in partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and outpatient programs. There, people gradually gain more independence, develop a strong support network and foster greater self-understanding and acceptance.
Once an individual has worked through these levels of care, they are ready to begin the aftercare process. Aftercare marks the transition from formal treatment to lifelong recovery outside the walls of our facility. Before a patient is discharged from our program, counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists and physicians work closely with their personal case manager to devise a comprehensive aftercare plan.
Each aftercare plan is created with five primary patient goals in mind:
- Use learned coping strategies to resist triggers in real world situations.
- Continue therapeutic work with counselors, psychiatrists and sponsors.
- Pursue personal and professional goals.
- Establish a stable support system to stay accountable.
- Commit to activities and relationships that encourage healthy living.
Once a patient is discharged from our facility, their case manager will continue to check up on them periodically to ensure that they are doing well. The individual’s aftercare plan can be adjusted during these follow-up calls to help maintain their hard-won sobriety.
While a well-designed aftercare plan certainly helps improve a patient’s chances of staying sober after rehab, it’s important to remember that no plan or person is perfect. Co-occurring disorders like anxiety and depression can increase chances of returning to self-destructive behaviors and habits. Sometimes, the physical and psychological temptations of substance misuse can overshadow its consequences.
But a slip-up does not mean that your treatment has failed or all of your hard work is undone; rather, it stands as testimony to the continuing, permanent nature of recovery. If you are tempted to turn back to old habits, your local support system and aftercare team at The Recovery Village will be there to help you recommit to sobriety and prevent full relapse.
While successfully completing a rehabilitation program is a major accomplishment, it doesn’t spell the end of your recovery process. When both you and your treatment team decide that you’re ready to leave the security of formal treatment, your aftercare plan will help you continue to abstain from drug or alcohol use outside of The Recovery Village.
You might take the next step to aftercare if:
- You’re ready to continue your recovery outside of formal treatment. After completing the different stages of the rehabilitation process, you feel prepared to use your new skills in a less structured environment.
- You want to cultivate a support network to keep you accountable. Each aftercare plan includes recommendations for the professional counselors, support groups and 12-step programs that help keep you focused on sobriety.
- You are dedicated to staying sober. Structured treatment at The Recovery Village helped you realize the costs of your substance use disorder far outweigh any fleeting high you might feel, and you’re ready for a fresh start.
- McKay JR. “Continuing care research: what we have learned and where we are going.” J Subst Abuse Treat., 2009. Accessed May 5, 2021.
- Ramo DE, Brown SA. “Classes of substance abuse relapse situations: a comparison of adolescents and adults.” Psychol Addict Behav., 2008. Accessed May 5, 2021.
- NIDA. “Treatment and Recovery.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, July 10, 2020. Accessed May 5, 2021.
Your Recovery is Possible with Aftercare
You don’t have to undergo the healing process alone — we’re here for you. Our team at The Recovery Village knows the difference a strong support network can make during and after formal treatment. Whether you’re interested in beginning a program or are experiencing difficulties with your post-rehab recovery, our addiction advisors are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.