Addiction can not be solved overnight; no mental health problem is that easy. Just because you have completed treatment does not mean you have recovered. The physical cravings were only a part of the problem. The drive to use drugs runs much deeper, and it takes a while to build a new lifestyle that does not encourage follow through on those urges. With this in mind, it is crucial not only to complete a residential treatment program of some kind, but to have an aftercare plan, too: usually therapy sessions, group meetings, volunteer work—anything sober-minded and productive. Most aftercare activities, you can find in rehab as well. It is a lot like a treatment-extension. Your responsibilities are mostly the same, but now, it is up to you to perform them. You therapist will help show you how to make an aftercare plan that can ensure sobriety in your future.
Seek an Expert Opinion
Firstly, discuss the topic of aftercare with your residential treatment center. By the time your treatment is nearly complete, the staff should have a solid portrait of you and your particular needs. Whether you require psychotherapy, group therapy, family therapy, a stay in a halfway house, social services, and/or help finding employment, the support service team at your clinic will gladly draft up an individualized plan for you.
Once you have an idea of what type of aftercare you need, you should do your best to secure it by making an aftercare plan. Research different programs of their choosing and take note of their locations and meeting times. Make appointments with counselors to ensure that you have a place to stay after treatment as well as an employment plan. Document everything you can to reduce post-rehab anxiety: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and perhaps even the WHY’s.
Define How You Will Prevent Relapse
Relapse-prevention tactics are perhaps the most important part of the planning. A relapse-prevention gives you ways to handle temptation to drink or use, outlines your specific triggering situations, and serves as a guide to help keep you in recovery.
Inform Those Around You
The next step in creating an addiction aftercare plan is sharing it with any potential support: family, friends, professors, pastors—anyone who is both caring and understanding. If they know, they can better help you and encourage you to stay on the right track. Having a stable and supportive support system is crucial to a successful recovery.
Stick to it
The final step is simply to execute the others: stay on track. It sounds simple, but it boils down to lots and lots of exercises—seeing a psychotherapist, keeping a food journal, sticking to certain friends—which can feel like a big burden. Remember, it only gets easier. For so long, you have only experienced bad habits. Now give yourself a chance to put your new good habits to use. It is what you have been working toward and it is possible.
Get Help From Oceanfront Recovery
Relapse can be part of the recovery story but it does not have to be. Recovery and abstinence from drugs and alcohol can be the story of the rest of your life. At Oceanfront Recovery, a men’s residential addiction treatment program, we believe that when you change your story, you can change your life. We offer programs for those in recovery such as:
- Family Therapy Program
- EMDR Therapy Program
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Program
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program
For information on our programs in Orange County, California, call us today at (877) 279-1777. Addiction does not have to control your life any longer. Get the help you need today.