Drug/Alcohol Addiction Aftercare in Clearwater (727) 378-0741

Importance of Aftercare in Addiction Treatment

Addiction aftercare is an essential component of drug and alcohol treatment designed to help prevent relapse. Due to the chronic and often relapsing nature of the disease, addiction aftercare is of utmost importance because an addict will never truly be cured from their addiction, they just must learn ways in which to control their cravings. The recovery process is life-long, and although it can be difficult at times, addiction aftercare is a valuable tool that can ease this journey. Without the tools and support provided by addiction aftercare programs, the addict’s chances of maintaining sobriety will decrease.

Call (727) 378-0741 to speak with Drug Treatment Centers Clearwater and learn about our drug and alcohol treatment options.

Applying Skills Learned in Treatment

During treatment, those in recovery will address substance abuse triggers and develop ways to cope with or avoid these triggers. Patients also examine the contributing factors that led to the addiction and work to develop ways to change or cope with them. These may include underlying or co-existing mental illness and/or family dysfunction. The skills learned and tools gained during treatment will help patients maintain sobriety once the treatment process is complete.

Types of Programs for Aftercare

Addiction aftercare is a program that’s highly individualized based on the patient’s needs, but a typical aftercare program will almost always include these essential components:

  • Ongoing individual therapy to increase self-awareness, develop coping skills for stress and anger management, and help the patient learn to replace self-destructive thoughts and behaviors with healthy ways of behaving and thinking.
  • Ongoing group therapy to provide peer support, help those in recovery find strength in universal experience, and share resources.
  • Family therapy to help rebuild trust within the family unit, strengthen family dynamics, and repair damaged familial relationships.
  • A long-term commitment to regular attendance at a 12-step or other similar program for peer and sponsor support.
  • Social and recreational activities to help build positive and healthy relationships with other non-users.
  • Regular meetings with a case manager to assess ongoing and newly emerging needs and provide additional resources and outside agencies that can help meet various needs.

Depending on individual needs, an aftercare program may also include these types of programs:

  • Vocational rehab and job seeking assistance.
  • Ongoing evaluation of mental illnesses and medications used to treat them.
  • Anger and stress management programs.
  • Time in a sober living facility, or halfway house, to help ease the transition from treatment to “real” life.
  • Assistance with finding safe housing.

Alternative Therapies in Aftercare

For some, alternative therapies included in the aftercare program can make a big difference in continued sobriety. While these therapies have limited experimental and clinical evidence of effectiveness, they’re widely accepted as effective ways to promote recovery when used as complements to traditional therapies.

Some of the most common alternative therapies for helping to prevent relapse include:

  • Acupuncture to relieve stress and anxiety and help reduce cravings and improve focus.
  • Biofeedback to teach patients how to consciously change the body’s processes to reduce stress and anxiety and gain psychological confidence.
  • Massage therapy to lower stress hormone levels, improve circulation and immune function, increase dopamine levels in the brain, and promote body and tension awareness.
  • Meditation to quiet the brain’s chatter, promote relaxation and mental clarity, and “urge surf,” which is a commonly-used method of overcoming cravings by “watching” yourself riding them like a wave until they dissipate.

The Importance of Aftercare

Around 50 percent of those who complete treatment will relapse at some point. Most relapses occur within the first two months of treatment, after which the risk of relapse remains fairly high for the first five years of recovery.

The most common causes of relapse include:

  • Being unprepared for the transition from drug or alcohol rehab to home.
  • Inappropriate or one-size-fits-all aftercare plans.
  • Ambivalence toward recovery or an unwillingness to make a lifelong commitment to recovering.
  • Unrealistic expectations about the ease of abstaining from drugs or alcohol or the time it will take to adjust to living a sober life.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by triggers, stress, and/or cravings.
  • Continuing relationships with those who use, or returning to old haunts that are associated with using.

Studies show that the more components an addiction aftercare program is comprised of, the better the chances that someone in recovery will remain sober for the long term. Upon leaving rehabilitation, patients will be encouraged to take part in addiction aftercare. Sobriety is a possible goal, as long as one is determined to maintain it.

If you or a loved one need addiction aftercare treatment or drug rehab, call Drug Treatment Centers Clearwater at (727) 378-0741.

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