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What is aftercare for drug addiction treatment?

What is aftercare?

Aftercare is an important step in the treatment process for addiction (or any mental health issue, for that matter). It is the stepping stone between primary treatments such as residential drug addiction treatment and maintenance treatments. There are several different forms of aftercare and it is important to understand each one to be better to plan a successful recovery.

While most of these types of aftercare for drug addiction treatment are structured, there are some things that you can do on your own, too.  It is important to create a strategy to prevent relapse and keep it with you at all times, for example.  And carry a list of contact numbers for emergencies.  Keeping a journal and a gratitude list can help, as well.  Formal aftercare for drug addiction treatment includes:

1. Step-down residential care

The first kind of aftercare is residential aftercare. This type of treatment is often beneficial for people with very heavy drug use little support and a social circle built around drugs. With this form of aftercare, addicts are able to have more freedom within a rehab center, which means that they may be able to go to work, have more social visits and retain control of their schedule. The benefits of this type of care stem from the high level of support available 24/7.  However, step down care is a bridge to more responsibilities and, while structured, includes more privileges than residential treatments for addiction.

2. Daycare (outpatient addiction treatment)

Another form of aftercare is daycare. This allows people to access resources such as addiction counselors, therapy groups and doctors during the day while spending their nights and evenings with family. This type of treatment is great for people who have a good support network but still feel they will benefit from more intensive treatment. The up side of outpatient drug addiction aftercare is that it gives people the maximum amount of flexibility with their schedule while still providing the most of the benefits of a residential care facility.

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3. Halfway houses

Residential stays of 6 months to a year can also benefit a recovering addict. This type of drug addiction aftercare treatment takes place in an independent and privately owned residence. Halfway houses are best managed when rules and guidelines include curfew, regular drug testing, and house rules. Living in a halfway house helps recovering drug addicts make new friends, get support, and stay in a drug-free environment before living on their own again.

4. Psychotherapy and support groups

The final form of aftercare is made up of regular visits to counsellors and use of support groups. This type of care is usually detailed in a treatment plan and is part of a weekly treatment regime. This type of aftercare is good for people who are ready to manage most of their recovery but still need some help and guidance on a regular basis.

Aftercare for drug addiction treatment

The point of any type of aftercare is to help people gradually ease back into their everyday lives without feeling out of control or falling back into destructive habits. It also gives people a chance to do any extra work on themselves or their recovery that was left unfinished by primary treatment.

Anyone looking at aftercare should make sure they know which type of care they need and what they want to get out of this. Often times these decisions can be made with the help of a primary care facility and a doctor. By choosing the appropriate treatment path, drug addicts can start their recovery from a point of strength and avoid the fear and doubt that may lead to backsliding or relapse.

Questions about aftercare

Still have questions about drug addiction treatment aftercare? Please leave your questions here. We’ll do our best to respond to your personally and promptly.

Leave a Reply

2 Responses to “What is aftercare for drug addiction treatment?
Lachy
10:49 pm June 5th, 2013

I’m an aftercare officer at a residential rehab in Australia, and I run a daily meeting with the former residents who wish to come. Some days the room is full, but most of the time only one or two people come back to see me before I never see them again until our next assessment tour.
I’ve tried chasing them up, offering to pick them up and take them home, after hours meetings for the people working…
It’s pretty disheartening to be told by a client that they love the meetings and really need my help, then fall off the face of the planet.
How can I encourage more clients to keep coming to the meetings?

5:45 am June 11th, 2013

Hi Lachy. Have you looked into Contingency Management? Works well for outpatient and aftercare programs in the U.S.

About Brad Girtz

Brad Girtz is a blogger working at Life Works Community, a residential treatment centre. He writes content about mental health, addiction and many other conditions treated at Life Works. Brad enjoys sharing news and information about the latest innovations and ideas in the field of addiction and mental health.

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