Rehab is often considered a promising solution to substance abuse. The reality of addiction, however, is much more complex. Rehab is just the first step toward recovery — a journey that spans a lifetime of self-discipline and hard work.

Not only do addicts need the counsel and attention of medical professionals, but they also need the proper peer and family support in order to thrive after rehabilitation. Relapse is a very serious concern for recovering addicts, and the risk increases exponentially without an aftercare program. Know what to expect after drug rehab.

Aftercare Planning for Substance Abuse

Aftercare programs are specifically designed to augment the practices and behaviors learned in rehabilitation. It is impossible for rehab to prepare addicts for all of the possible obstacles they may encounter when they re-enter their communities. Hence, an aftercare program often involves some mixture of counseling, peer support, and scheduled meetings, in order to encourage accountability and willpower.

Triggers and Therapy

Addiction stems from a root deep within. Finding that root can be difficult and scary. Post-rehab therapy is one of the smartest mechanisms for recovery. Therapy allows an addict to explore the origin of their problem, whilst learning how to control the urges that drive their addiction. Therapy is also a great tool for identifying the triggers that ignite abusive behavior.

Family Support

Overcoming an addiction is a shared journey. A recovering addict needs the support of family and friends in order to maintain a healthy and substance-free lifestyle.

Unsurprisingly, this can lead to tension among family members, who must adjust their behaviors to support a shared mission. In order to prepare families for the long journey ahead, aftercare programs incorporate regular family counseling. This support therapy equips family members with the patience and understanding they need to help their loved one succeed.

what to expect after drug rehab

Sober Living Home

Sometimes family and friends are the problems, and returning home is not the answer. In this case, a sober living home is a great housing alternative. A sober living facility is a community, wherein peers can lend support based on shared experiences. Most homes are governed by a covenant, and members are expected to work as part of their residency.

Evaluating Mistakes

Relapse is considered a natural step in the recovery process. In fact, relapse occurs at an astounding rate of 80%. With that in mind, the key to navigating a relapse is to be realistic. If, and when, an accident occurs, an addict should think about the gravity of their mistake and immediately return to sobriety. A small mistake does not have to escalate into a full-blown catastrophe. Rehab and aftercare programs are candid about the possibility of relapse, and they encourage addicts to be honest about their mistakes.

12-Step Program

Most aftercare programs adopt the 12-step model utilized by recovering alcoholics. The 12-step program teaches accountability and forgiveness, along with a spiritual backdrop. Recovering addicts learn to surrender their addiction to a higher power as they move through the program. A sponsor, an addict that has successfully completed the program, oversees the process and lends advice and guidance along the way.

A Lifestyle Change

Rehab is an important step along the road to recovery. It sets the tone for a journey that continues after treatment has ended. It is a long, sometimes deeply exhausting process that requires incredible persistence and self-discipline. But, it doesn’t have to be a lonely journey. Friends, family, counselors, and peers can lend support to ease the healing.

Aftercare programs can reduce the risk of relapse, and sober living homes can provide the necessary community to encourage healthy living. No matter what the course of action, it is prudent that every party involved understands the reality of addiction and the process of recovery.

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