To successfully engage the addiction recovery process, the person suffering from the addiction must be willing to work through the entire recovery process, without cutting any corners. One aspect of the recovery process that is essential to complete recovery is addiction aftercare. Unfortunately, there are some people who believe that the successful completion of the initial treatment process will be sufficient; however, many addiction treatment experts will tell you that the addiction aftercare treatment program is when the true recovery process actually begins.
Addiction aftercare treatment is identified as any type of intervention and engagement program that takes place after the person completes the initial phase of their recovery process. This is normally after they leave the treatment facility and return to everyday life. With some treatment centers, they will have an extended recovery option that will allow the individual to remain at the center for the initial part of their aftercare; however, the vast majority of addiction aftercare programs are designed to help the person engage life in an open and unrestricted environment.
Addiction aftercare is designed to provide the individual with the support and skills they will need in order to cope with the challenges they will face as they progress through life. Complete recovery requires a lifelong commitment, and to successfully engage that commitment, the person will have to develop effective coping skills to deal with the normal struggles that are associated with everyday life.
Without the proper coping skills, a person will become overwhelmed and stressed, which can lead to relapse; however, participating in an addiction aftercare treatment program will not only help them with developing the skill set that will be a vital part of their success, but it also provides the support system that ensures that the person does not face these challenges alone.
There are a number of aftercare programs that are offered to recovering addicts. These may include inpatient care, intensive outpatient care, group therapy and private counseling. Depending on the specific needs of the individual, the staff at the initial treatment center will set up an aftercare program that will fit the specific needs of the patient.
There are also aftercare programs that offer vocational skills training, as well as offer courses that will assist the individual in developing effective relationship skills. Recovery is a holistic process, and a good addiction recovery plan will include the tools necessary to help the person develop in every aspect of life, including physical health.
One element of addiction aftercare that has proved to be immensely effective is group therapy with 12-step programs; Alcoholics Anonymous being most notable. AA offers an effective support system that is based on a spiritual foundation. There are plenty of other groups that practice a 12-step plan without the spiritual undertones, for those who are not into the spiritual aspects of life.
The highest risk of relapse will be during the first 60 days after being discharged from the treatment center, but the risk will remain high for the first five years of the recovery process. Those who forgo aftercare treatment have a substantially increased risk of relapse. The challenges and obstacles that a recovering addict will face will be great, and without the right guidance and support, the chance is that they will relapse at some point in the recovery process.
Whether a person chooses a program such as AA, or determines to participate in family therapy, the added structure and the system of accountability will drastically improve their chances of success.