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Substance Abuse Aftercare Program

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    Substance Abuse Aftercare Program Los Angeles

    Recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction is a lifelong process. For people who are suffering from active addictions, outpatient addiction treatment programs are generally recommended. Rehabs can help people develop the tools, coping strategies, and social support systems they need in order to get sober. Substance abuse Aftercare program is designed to provide people with the support and resources they need in order to stay sober after leaving rehab.

    The most common types of aftercare treatment programs are support groups, 12-step programs, talk therapy, and sober living homes. By engaging in these programs, people can continue to make progress in their recovery and avert the possibility of relapse. Individuals who are involved in aftercare treatment are better able to meet the challenges they will inevitably face while rebuilding their lives in sobriety.

    What is Aftercare Treatment?

    The key word in aftercare treatment is the word “after.” Aftercare treatment refers to a wide range of treatment programs that people can engage in after finishing a formal addiction treatment program. As such, aftercare treatment is designed to supplement and build on the progress that individuals in recovery have already made. The purpose of aftercare treatment is to provide continuous support during early recovery, help them work toward their life goals, and avert the possibility of relapse.

    Rehab programs are effective, but it is important to recognize that individuals in recovery face an entirely new set of challenges when they leave rehab. After graduating from rehab, people have the opportunity to begin rebuilding their lives. They may face hurdles at work, at school, with friends and family, or with their living situation. Following years of active addiction, it is not uncommon for newly sober people to feel like they’re starting from scratch. Moreover, the early months of recovery are generally emotionally tumultuous for most people. Aftercare programs work to ensure that people receive essential support during this challenging period. They help people continue to stay sober while they create sustainable lives for themselves.

    It is important to recognize that relapse is possible after leaving a rehab. In fact, even people who successfully stop abusing drugs and alcohol with the help of a rehab program often end up returning to their former ways after graduating. Some studies have suggested that the rates of relapse after attending rehab programs are as high as 80%. One of the most important factors that determines whether or not a person will stay sober after leaving rehab is having a strong aftercare plan in place.

    If you have suffered from an addiction to alcohol, opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, cannabis, or any other substance, it is vital to understand that there is no quick fix. Formal addiction treatment programs, such as intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) or partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), can lay the foundation for long term recovery. Aftercare programs, however, make living a sober life possible.

    How Long Does Aftercare Treatment Last?

    There is no known cure for substance use disorders. Most medical professionals believe that substance use disorders are medical conditions that people experience for their whole lives. However, like many other chronic medical conditions, substance use disorders can be managed. Individuals who receive treatment for their drug and alcohol addictions and continue to utilize the coping tools, techniques, and social support systems they developed in rehab can remain sober for their entire lives. 

    By remaining sober and treating the cravings and obsessive thoughts that characterize addictions, individuals can put their conditions into remission and live normal lives.

    For this reason, most addiction experts recommend that people participate in aftercare treatment to an extent for their whole lives. However, the intensity of an aftercare treatment plan is likely to change considerably as a person becomes more confident in sobriety. 

    In the initials months after leaving a rehab, it is often a good idea for people to make aftercare treatment an important part of their lives. After all, all of their other goals and priorities — from career ambitions to reconnecting with family members — are dependent on their ability to maintain their sobriety.

    After a person has a number of years of sobriety behind their belt, the nature of their aftercare treatment program may change. They may, for instance, live on their own rather than in a sober living home, or they may not need to talk with their case manager to the same extent. Most people, however, find that staying involved in some kind of aftercare program, such as a 12-step meeting, remains an invaluable source of support. 

    Aftercare programs provide much more than insurance against relapse. Support groups and 12-step programs, for instance, provide people with stories, laughter, and powerful friendships. Ultimately, most people find that getting involved in an aftercare program is a source of joy and meaning.

    Not everyone initially likes to hear that they’ll have to treat their addiction for the rest of their lives. If you are one of those people, it might be worth your while to ask yourself how much time you devoted every day to obtaining, using, and recovering from drug and alcohol abuse back when you were suffering from active addiction. Compared to that, the amount of time that an aftercare treatment program takes from your day is minimal — and the rewards are far greater. For most people recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction, however, it is generally best not to think about “the rest of your life.” 

    Most treatment centers and recovery programs instead suggest that you take recovery one day at a time. If you are graduating or have recently graduated from an addiction treatment program, perhaps today is the day to look into designing an aftercare plan. The future will take care of itself.

    Designing an Aftercare Plan For Substance Abuse

    If you are enrolled in a formal addiction treatment program or planning to do so, you will likely have no difficulty designing an aftercare plan. In fact, treatment centers recognize the necessity for people to engage in aftercare treatment after graduation. Case workers and staff and addiction treatment centers will generally begin working with people to design an appropriate aftercare treatment plan well before they leave rehab.

    In fact, despite the name, aftercare treatment generally begins well before a person has left rehab. Most treatment centers encourage or even require people to get involved in 12-step programs, support groups, group therapy, or individual therapy. These are all common elements of aftercare treatment plans! By the time a person has graduated from rehab, they will generally have strong relationships in these programs. It is simply a matter of staying the course.

    However, before graduating rehab it is often best to sit down for a discussion with your caseworker or treatment team. They can help assess your goals, needs, and the possible challenges you might face as you rebuild your life in the outside world. By identifying which tools and skills you need to be successful, your treatment team can make recommendations for what types of aftercare programs might be most beneficial to you as an individual. Qualified addiction treatment professionals can help you set a schedule and direct you to the exact resources you need.

    Types of Aftercare Treatment

    Alumni Programs

    Most formal addiction treatment centers offer alumni organizations so that former program attendees can continue to nurture the bonds they built in the early days of recovery. Alumni programs help former rehab attendees stay accountable to each other and continue to strengthen their sober social support systems. Moreover, many alumni programs offer alumni opportunities to get involved in helping current rehab attendees. A large body of research has demonstrated that one of the most effective tools for staying sober is helping other people who suffer from a substance use disorder.

    12-Step Meetings and Support Groups

    Getting involved in a support group is one of the most effective ways to learn new coping strategies, benefit from the experiences of others, and build a strong sober social support system. The most popular types of support groups are 12-step programs. The original and most prominent 12-step program is Alcoholics Anonymous, though a variety of other 12-step programs exist to help people who have addictions to other substances. These include Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and Marijuana Anonymous, among countless others. These programs have meetings available throughout Los Angeles at every hour of the day, and they charge no fees for members.

     At Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or other 12-step program meetings, attendees can benefit from the experiences, strength, and hope of other people who are recovering from substance use disorders. By building new sober friendships, getting support, and providing support as well, people involved in 12-step programs can ensure their long term sobriety.

    A variety of non-12-step programs are also available, including Smart Recovery, a mostly online support program that is based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Many people find success making use of multiple support groups for different needs and purposes.

    Outpatient Therapy

    Most formal addiction treatment centers require or encourage people to engage in psychotherapy. Sometimes known as talk therapy, psychotherapy can help people come to a better understanding of themselves, as well as the underlying issues behind their addictions. Therapists also work with patients to help them develop new ways of handling emotional distress and other life challenges. There is no reason why therapy should end after graduating from rehab. By engaging in therapy on a long term basis, patients can strengthen their sobriety while making progress on other goals.

    Outpatient therapy is an important element of aftercare treatment for many people in recovery, especially dual diagnosis individuals. The term “dual diagnosis” refers to individuals who suffer from a substance use disorder alongside one or more other mental health conditions. Addiction and depression, addiction and anxiety, and addiction and ADHD often go hand in hand, with each condition exacerbating the symptoms of the other. 

    For dual diagnosis individuals, long term sobriety is often predicated on a willingness to treat an underlying mental health condition. However, outpatient therapy is enormously beneficial as well for people who exclusively suffer from addiction, especially pragmatic and skill-based therapeutic modalities such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

    Sober Living Homes

    Leaving rehab and returning to the outside world can be stressful and challenging, especially for people who are already emotionally vulnerable in the early days of sobriety. Sober living homes can help people transition back to the outside world while continuing to receive support. Sober living homes are houses where residents with a commitment to sobriety live together. They provide safe and trigger-free spaces for residents to develop and practice their newfound coping skills. 

    For most residents, the social support system that they develop while living in sober living homes is the most important element. Not only do sober living homes offer structure and a sober environment, but they help people build new sober relationships. Staying in a sober living home after rehab can dramatically lower a person’s likelihood of relapsing, and it can support them as they rebuild their life.

    Case Management

    Case managers at addiction treatment centers remain an invaluable resource long after a person has graduate from rehab. Case managers have multiple functions: they are guides, counselors, supporters, and advocates. If you encounter any difficulties after being discharged from your rehab, your case manager can help you obtain the resources you need. 

    These resources may directly relate to recovery, but it is just as common for people to need help with legal problems, debt, childcare, medical care, or affordable housing. As you prepare to leave rehab, discussing your needs with your case manager or treatment team can help smooth the transition to the outside world.

    Benefits of Aftercare Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

    Aftercare programs prevent people from relapsing. Moreover, they allow people to take their addiction recovery into their own hands. As such, they help people develop self-efficacy and a strong sense of autonomy. These programs allow people to maintain their sobriety on a long term basis years after graduating from a rehab program. For individuals who are beginning their sober journeys, aftercare treatment offers a wide variety of benefits. The benefits of aftercare include:

    • Strengthening one’s sober social support system outside of a formal treatment program
    • Remaining accountable to oneself and one’s sober peers
    • Having easy access to resources that help with legal and financial problems
    • Better physical and mental health
    • Continued emotional healing
    • Greater sense of self-efficacy and autonomy
    • Continued development of sober skills and coping tools
    • Support and problem-solving assistance while dealing with difficult life challenges
    • Decreased likelihood of relapse

    Preventing Relapse With Aftercare Treatment

    The primary benefit of aftercare treatment is that it reduces a person’s likelihood of relapsing. For most people struggling with drug and alcohol addictions, relapses are likely to occur before a person finally gets sober. Even individuals who enroll in outpatient addiction treatment programs remain at risk after graduation, with some studies showing that up to 80% of people attending treatment programs relapse at least once. 

    Most of the people who relapse after graduating failed to continue treating their substance use disorder. No matter how high quality a person’s rehab is, if they fail to practice and implement their newfound sober skills after graduation they can easily slip back into old habits.

    A number of studies have shown that aftercare treatment programs dramatically lower relapse rates. There are a number of reasons for this reduction. Aftercare treatment programs help people strengthen and practice the skills they learned in rehab. However, some research points to the social aspect of aftercare: having a strong social support system is linked to better recovery outcomes. Aftercare treatment programs also provide people with tools and resources for addressing problems that, left untreated, might be triggers for a relapse. 

    These common triggers include mental health conditions, financial woes, relationship problems, and legal difficulties. Ultimately, no matter what kind of aftercare program a person chooses, the very act of engaging in aftercare treatment might itself be sufficient to lower relapse rates. Studies have shown that individuals who remain involved in treatment programs for longer periods of time have a decreased likelihood of relapsing. 

    Goals of Aftercare Treatment Services

    The goals of aftercare depend in large part upon the individual. Aftercare is designed to be an individualized refinement of the treatment approaches offered at rehabs. Rehabs help get people sober. Aftercare programs, on the other hand, help people stay sober — and they do so while supporting people as they work to pursue their own personal goals. Whether you aim to develop a new career, go back to school to get a degree, or become a better parent, aftercare is an essential tool. Some more general goals of aftercare treatment services include:

    • Finding new ways of coping with emotional distress
    • Recognizing personal triggers
    • Reducing the damage of a relapse, if one should occur
    • Helping people learn to make healthier choices
    • Providing people with a strong sober social support system

    Finding an Aftercare Program Near Me

    NuView Treatment Center, an outpatient treatment program in Los Angeles’ Westside, offers addiction treatment at all levels of care. For people suffering from active addiction, our outpatient treatment programs are the most effective option for people who want to stop abusing alcohol or drugs. 

    Depending on the level of care a person needs, they can choose from our many programs, which include partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), and outpatient programs (OPs). We are also committed to offering outpatient planning to people who have attended our outpatient treatment programs.

    NuView Treatment Center also offers outpatient planning to individuals who have not attended our outpatient programs. If you are feeling lost, in need of support, or simply want to do everything possible to prevent the possibility of a relapse, NuView Treatment Center is here for you. NuView Treatment Center’s staff are dedicated and highly trained addiction professionals. 

    Our aftercare programs, like our outpatient programs, involve individualized treatment plans that aim to holistically address every aspect of a person’s substance use disorder. We believe that people achieve long term sobriety easily when they are provided with treatment that is compassionate, comprehensive, and individualized.

    At NuView Treatment Center, we design each person’s aftercare treatment plan based on the idea that sobriety involves far more than just remaining abstinent from drugs and alcohol. Most people engage in substance abuse due to a wide array of underlying problems, from economic difficulties to mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. 

    Through support groups, talk therapy, and other evidence-based treatment modalities, NuView Treatment Center provides people with the tools they need to address not just their addiction, but all of their underlying issues. Treatment should never be a chore: aftercare treatment helps people develop healthy habits, peace of mind, and strong relationships, so it should come as no surprise that people in our programs not only remain sober — they become happier.

    If you are ready to take your sobriety to the next level and want to begin leading a life that is happy, joyous, and free with our substance abuse aftercare program for long term sobriety, reach out to us today.

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