The work you put into your substance addiction treatment doesn’t stop once you complete a program. Before leaving your program, you will sit down with your therapist and make an aftercare treatment plan. This plan is essential for your well-being.
Your aftercare plan can include short-term and long-term goals that can change as you readjust to your daily life outside of treatment. Because life, priorities, and situations change, keeping in touch with your therapist can help you cope.
Aftercare in Recovery
Stepping back into your life before substance addiction treatment has its challenges. Most substance addiction treatment centers have aftercare programs to support their alumni. The goal of an aftercare program is to help and guide you through the process of readjusting to your environment. Take advantage of the aftercare program your treatment center offers because it’s there to provide you with therapeutic services. These services give you the support you need to maintain your recovery.
Aftercare programs assist you in identifying toxic relationships. Learning how to interact with friends, family, and co-workers can take time. You may discover that the relationships you have with some aren’t healthy. Letting go of toxic relationships can have its difficulties. Saying goodbye to a person who played a role in your life can leave you with a void. Talk with your therapist and aftercare group members about your feelings.
Becoming involved in an aftercare program also provides access to other resources such as:
- Sober living
- Legal help
- Career or educational assistance
- Therapy for anger, stress, or relationship issues
- Continued mental health treatment
The study “Aftercare in Drug Abuse Treatment” discusses the goal and effectiveness of substance addiction treatment programs. The researchers concluded that people in aftercare programs have a decreased chance of relapse.
What to Expect in Recovery
Your recovery is personal and can follow several paths. The aftercare treatment plan is one step of many in your recovery journey. However, as previously mentioned, you may need to revisit your aftercare plan. The transition back to your environment can include faith-based approaches, clinical treatment, self-care, and support from your loved ones. These support systems can alter your core values to reflect your current personality.
Recovery is also hope. You carry the belief that you can work through obstacles and remain on your chosen path. Your paths are built on your talents, coping skills, strengths, and core values.
Recovery is a forever journey. There will never be a time when you won’t need to work on your program. Maintaining a relationship with your treatment center’s aftercare or alumni support group is integral.
Recovery as a Lifestyle
Coping with the changes that can occur as you transition back into your previous life takes resilience. The lessons and skills you learned while in alcohol or drug treatment are there for you. However, you’re not the same person anymore. Use the wealth of knowledge your fellow alumni group members have to guide you through the initial phases of recovery. Once you’re established in your recovery, don’t stop listening. The people you share your struggles with are there for you, which is why your lifestyle and priorities can shift.
There is a chance you discover you don’t know how to socialize without your preferred substance. Perhaps being around specific people or places can be triggering. You can find sober groups through the internet or social apps. Another way to help give you a sense of community is following sober Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook groups. Often, the people in these groups will share their frustrations, triumphs, and anniversaries.
Reconnecting With Your Therapist
Taking a break from therapy is typical. You may have felt you reached a certain point where you could use your coping skills to get you through your new life. Maybe you were tired of going to sessions. Stepping away from therapy is, at times, what you need. Your therapist is always there for you if you want to return, but you may not know how to go back to your therapist. Don’t worry – your therapist won’t judge you. Perhaps the obstacle to returning isn’t the fear of being judged, but how to go about returning. Below are some things to consider, to help you move forward.
- Reach out to your therapist and let them know you’re interested in coming back.
- Talk with your therapist about why you left. Maybe you discussed this previously, or perhaps you didn’t. An honest conversation can give you and your therapist a perspective on your mental well-being then and now.
- Something led you to return to therapy. Let your therapist know what happened while you were taking a break. For example, a significant life experience or the desire to reconnect can influence your treatment.
- Your goals can change. Sharing new goals or influences provides greater insight and a clear path to setting realistic goals.
Be proud of everything you accomplished. Therapy is about finding what is healthy for you.
Maintaining a relationship with your therapist can decrease the chance of relapse. Because recovery is personal, your conversations with your therapist reflect your needs. Letting go of toxic relationships can take an emotional toll on your mental health, but finding sober friends and groups can help. Setting boundaries and putting yourself out there can be challenging for anyone. Renaissance Ranch Treatment Centers believes in you. Your decision to stop using substances is brave, and so are all the decisions you make to maintain your recovery. We understand the path to becoming a better version of yourself requires faith, hope, and support. Once you complete our treatment program, we will stay with you. You can find camaraderie in our alumni group, and if you want to revisit parts of your treatment, like therapy, we welcome your decision. To learn how we can help you, call (801) 308-8898 today.