Following treatment in an inpatient or outpatient program, many adult drug rehabs provide extended care and support services that are aimed at helping adults to sustain their abstinence from drug use and stay sober. Aftercare programs may include sober living housing placement assistance, job placement assistance, educational assistance and continued counseling or support for patients. The primary idea here is to provide adults who are in recovery from addiction with the long-term support necessary to help them stay sober long after they have left treatment.
If you would like help finding an aftercare program, contact our helpline at 1-800-895-1695.
Many recovering addicts will continue to use the services of an aftercare program for many weeks, months or even years following their initial treatment—and that’s perfectly fine! Extended care is generally required by most adults who make their way through treatment for drug addiction or other instances of substance abuse. In fact, adults who take part in a quality aftercare program following their addiction treatment are more likely to stay sober and have a limited chance of relapse.
What is Aftercare?
Aftercare is the process of receiving ongoing care including counseling, support and placement services that are aimed at helping adults to stay sober and achieve their long-term recovery goals. Many people who take part in aftercare have already received inpatient or outpatient treatment for their addiction and have been abstinent from drugs for a rather long period of time. Some require access to more aftercare services than others—this all depends on the individual needs of the recovering addict.
Aftercare specifically refers to the services that are provided by a treatment center to the patients who have already completed their program. The services may include medical care, clinical services, networking, placement and counseling or support. Statistics show that patients who receive aftercare services for a period of at least one year following treatment are more likely to stay sober.
What to Look for in an Aftercare Program
Most aftercare programs will include at least some monitoring of drug use to ensure lasting sobriety. Random drug testing is often used to provide patients with the motivation to stay clean and to detect those instances in which a patient has relapsed. Many aftercare programs also offer recreational programs throughout the year to provide patients with something fun to do and a way to stay involved with others who they may have been in treatment with.
Group sessions are almost always offered to patients in aftercare to help them continue to receive adequate support while in recovery. The sessions are typically optional and members may choose to attend regularly or only once in a while, depending on their individual needs.
Adults should look for the following elements in a quality aftercare program:
- Job skills development
- Vocational services
- Job placement assistances
- Housing assistance or sober living placement services
- Anger management classes
- Stress management classes or groups
- Counseling & group therapy
- Family therapy
- Relapse prevention opportunities