Addiction treatment may begin in a treatment centre, but it doesn’t end there. Recovery is a long-term process that continues even after you finish your treatment.
Here at Into Action Society, we believe in fostering your recovery along your life journey. One way we support this is by encouraging aftercare in the community once you leave treatment.
Aftercare means care or support that you receive once you finish your residential or inpatient treatment program. Common aftercare modalities include support groups like AA, NA, or SMART Recovery, counseling, outpatient services, and sober living homes.
Have a solid aftercare plan will help you remain strong in your recovery well after you’ve finished your initial treatment.
Each person’s aftercare plan may be unique, but there will be some commonalities. Typically, the plan will help you learn how to combat triggers and cravings, prevent relapse, have a plan in place for support, identify your life goals, and offer links to community resources that may help you out.
A plan may involve:
One of the biggest concerns of people finishing rehab or treatment is relapse. Because recovery is still new when graduating from a rehab program, it’s important to have an aftercare plan in place to help your transition easier. Those that have and use aftercare planning have a lower relapse rate than those who don’t.
It’s just like when you’re planning for any success in life. You must first define what your goals are and then create an action plan for attaining them. Then, act on that plan consistently. Regarding long-term sobriety, committing to a well-planned aftercare regimen can help you attain recovery success.
While you’re in treatment, you and your therapist will likely work on your aftercare treatment plan together. Housing is typically one concern for people getting ready to finish treatment. If you are in need of housing, talk to your therapist about options for securing a safe place to live. If you’re not quite ready for independent living, there may be sober living homes in the area where you can reside for a while.
Your counselor may also be able to direct you to resources to find employment. Be open and honest when discussing your wants and needs with your counselor. When they know the truth about your situation, they may be able to provide the type of support necessary in your community to help you get back on your feet.
The length of time for aftercare varies. Some may only need six months following their aftercare plan, while others may need a year or more. The time frame will depend on your situation, recovery foundation, living arrangements, and more. You can always make changes to your plan down the road too.
Those that complete our rehab program (alumni) can come to aftercare meetings to stay connected with peers and therapists. It’s a great way to keep in touch and check in with each other. Typically, alumni can come to aftercare meetings twice a week. There, you can share how you’re doing and hear how others are doing in their recovery.
Making the transition into living at home can be challenging for some people. Being able to connect regularly with those you’ve already made a connection with can help. You’ve already built connections and some trust, which might make it easier to discuss how your recovery and life have been going since you finished treatment.
We encourage all alumni to attend at least ten consecutive aftercare meetings. This reduces the chance of relapse significantly. Through the first year of your recovery, we’ll call you to check to see how you’re doing after 1 week, 30, 60, 90 days, six months, and one year after you finish your treatment.
If a relapse occurs after you’ve successfully attended ten consecutive meetings, you’re able to come back to a 2-week re-start program free of cost. That’s how committed we are to your long-term sobriety and cultivating a better life.
At the alumni meetings, senior alumni (those that have been attending for one year or more) will share their story and offer feedback to others. You can learn a lot and receive great encouragement from those that have been maintaining their sobriety for a while.
Having a safe and stable home atmosphere is important. If you’re in need of such a space, a sober living home may suit you well. You’ll have solid support, recovery meetings, and live among peers who are also committed to the recovery journey.
Sober living homes are temporary living situations for those who are not quite ready to transition into their own homes yet. No alcohol or drugs are allowed in these homes, which helps a lot when you’re in early recovery. You won’t have to battle living among people who are actively using, which can help you experience far less triggers.
There are house rules that are expected to be followed, such as chores, curfew, house meetings, and more. House members may work in the community and some may volunteer at the home. You may be encouraged to attend 12-Step meetings in the community as well.
The cost for sober living homes vary. Typically, the length of time you’ll reside there is short-term, ranging from 30 days to a few months or more. If you’re not sure how to find a sober living home, discuss this with your therapist.
If you’re interested in creating an aftercare plan, reach out to your therapist. If you’re in treatment, you’ll likely work on one with your counselor. If you’d like to learn more, contact us today. We’d be happy to answer any question you may have.