Recovering from drug addiction can take a lot of time, from the early stages of detox and withdrawal through to the later stages of behavioral therapy and relapse prevention. Addiction aftercare is an essential element in all recovery systems, with various programs designed to support patients through every step of the recovery process.
Addiction aftercare teaches patients the skills they need to make healthy life choices, allowing them to grow and shape their future without resorting to alcohol and drug use. Find out how to access these helpful programs by calling Alcohol Treatment Centers Fort Wayne at (260) 247-3906.
Addiction aftercare refers to a range of programs designed to support recovering addicts and reduce the chance of relapse. Programs may be offered as part of a residential program or on an out-patient basis, with local support groups and sober houses often running aftercare programs for people in the local community. Because relapse rates are so high with drug addiction, these programs are just as essential as detox and medication therapy.
Aftercare treatment teaches people to be mindful of their thoughts and feelings, giving them the psychological tools they need to recognize potential triggers and avoid relapse. Some programs also help patients to manage the practical aspects of recovery, by helping people find work and accommodation in their local community.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40 to 60 percent of people with an addiction disorder slide back into drug use after receiving treatment. This is very similar to the relapse rate for other chronic diseases, giving weight to the disease model of addiction adhered to by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other treatment systems.
The possibility for relapse can be reduced, however, with the extent of addiction and length of treatment just two of the factors influencing relapse rates. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, people who enter treatment programs within 30 days of completing detoxification take 40 percent longer to relapse, if they relapse at all.
Aftercare programs play an important role in relapse prevention, creating a bridge between detox programs and the everyday life of recovering addicts.
A range of practical and psychological factors influence relapse rates, with aftercare programs designed to manage high risk situations before they get out of hand. According to research from the American Journal of Epidemiology, the quality of a person’s life has a direct effect on relapse rates.
Factors that influence relapse rates include employment status, mental health status, physical health status, stable living arrangements, and the strength of family and friendship bonds. Aftercare treatment is designed to enhance many of these factors, with some programs focusing on internal resilience and others emphasizing practical affairs.
Intervention is an orchestrated attempt to get someone to seek professional help for an addiction or substance abuse problem. While intervention normally takes place at the start of the rehabilitation process, the high frequency of relapse means it is often required during aftercare treatment. Interventions are either direct or indirect by nature, with confrontational approaches used in some situations and encouraging approaches used in others.
Once a patient has relapsed back into drug use, intervention is often required to re-start the recovery process. Conventional 12-step programs and group counseling may be used to re-engage addicted individuals, with some people needing to go through detox again to manage the withdrawal syndrome. Behavioral therapy is also useful at this stage, with family therapy, motivational interviewing, and motivational incentives used to motivate patients and get them back on the road to recovery.