By: Nick
March 28, 2022

What Role Does Aftercare Play in Recovery?

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The successful completion of a drug treatment program is a major life achievement. If you are near or just completed treatment, you worked hard to address and overcome your substance abuse issues. You feel revitalized and ready to resume your daily life. While completing a drug rehab program is an important milestone, finishing treatment does not mean the end of your recovery efforts. In fact, the real work in your recovery often begins once treatment ends, as you need to focus on relapse prevention to minimize the risk of returning to active substance use.


While not a requirement, aftercare programs are crucial in helping you refine the healthy living and coping skills needed to ward off relapse. This article will answer the question of what role does aftercare play in recovery. Most importantly, you will learn where to find a relapse prevention program that will give you the tools and success you need to stay sober.


What is Aftercare?

Aftercare is a critical component of drug treatment where newly recovering addicts and alcoholics safely transition back to their everyday lives. These programs can be thought of as a form of a discharge plan. Much like those created for those recovering from surgeries or chronic conditions, aftercare programs provide people a set of strategies helping those new in recovery stay motivated in their sobriety.


Usually, aftercare programs for clients are created around 30 days before they are discharged from their program and are started right away. Much like residential treatment, an aftercare plan is a collaborative effort involving the client and their family, therapists and other staff, recovering peers, friends, outpatient therapists, pastors, and other crucial support people.

The overall goals of a relapse prevention program such as aftercare are the following:

  • Focus on relapse prevention and the development of skills that minimize relapse.
  • Continued active involvement in the recovery process.
  • Developing new, healthy behavior patterns that support recovery.
  • Connecting people with uplifting and accountable support systems that provide support and accountability.
  • Assistance with challenges related to recovery through the introduction of community resources.


What Role Does Aftercare Play in Recovery?

When you leave treatment in Southern California and are offered to continue in an aftercare program, you may be apprehensive at first. You are looking and feeling better than ever, and you are ready to jump into your new life in recovery with both feet. While understandable, the transition between treatment and your normal day-to-day life can be a shock to your system. The stresses and expectations of work and family obligations can quickly overwhelm you. Right away, these external pressures may become too much to bear, and you may fall back into substance use to cope.


So, what role does aftercare play in recovery? Aftercare programs act as a bridge between residential treatment and your normal daily life. Aftercare programs are education-oriented and give you the additional tools and resources to build a solid support network when you are ready to resume your day-to-day routine. The main goal of a relapse prevention program is building a solid recovery plan. This includes understanding the triggers that can lead to relapse, the further development of coping and life skills, and continued attendance in therapy and 12-step programs.


As previously stated, the role of aftercare in recovery is to build a wide support system of family, friends, recovering peers, treatment staff, and others. This support system can be turned to when you feel vulnerable or if you need to be held accountable for behaviors that are not recovery-centered. Additionally, aftercare programs provide community resources that can aid them in finding work, continuing their academics, and help them with budgeting and financial planning.


How to Find Aftercare Programs Near Me

An aftercare treatment program is an essential “insurance policy” that helps safeguard the sobriety you have worked hard to attain during residential treatment. If you are about to graduate from residential treatment or just finished a program, an aftercare program increases your chances of living a healthy and happy life. If you are in need of aftercare services in Burbank, CA, or the surrounding areas, MCR should be your first choice.

We are a premier outpatient treatment facility that offers specialized programs for teens, college students, and adults. These programs are individualized to meet your specific needs and will give you the tools and support you need to succeed. Call MCR today and take your recovery to a new level.