Aftercare: What Comes After Rehab?

Addiction recovery isn’t simply a task that you can check off your to-do list. This is a very common misconception, particularly among individuals with minimal experience or prior knowledge in addiction and recovery. In fact, many people assume that all it takes to overcome an addiction is a brief period of addiction treatment, after which the individual should be cured. But that’s just not the case. On the contrary, addiction treatment is the first stage in an ongoing process that even includes aftercare.

Aftercare has become a very trendy term lately, particular as more rehabilitation professionals have come to the conclusion that aftercare is a vital part of the rehabilitation journey. Unfortunately, surprisingly few know what comes after rehab. So we want to take a moment to explain what to expect from aftercare, describe the options for ongoing care for addiction are available, and explain why post-treatment care such a crucial part of overcoming an addiction to alcohol or drugs.

Like other high-quality addiction treatment facilities, Principles Recovery Center advocates the importance of aftercare by offering patients a wealth of useful and oftentimes essential resources to promote the longevity of newfound sobriety.

What is Aftercare in Terms of Addiction Treatment?

To best understand what aftercare is and the role it plays in addiction rehabilitation, it’s necessary to have some basic knowledge of the rehabilitation journey overall and how each part contributes to the trajectory for lasting recovery.

If we boil the treatment and rehabilitation process down into its most essential phases, it often consists of the following: Detoxification, treatment, and aftercare. Of course, detoxification treatment is designed to address the physical aspects of an addiction, helping individuals to rid their bodies of mind-altering chemicals and other toxins so as to prime them for the treatment phase of rehabilitation. In turn, treatment is a mostly-psychological process in which patients learn about what led them to become addicted to alcohol or drugs and how they can overcome those factors to prevent relapse in the future; thus, treatment is about acquiring actionable strategies for achieving sobriety.

While detoxification and treatment phases of recovery are more focused on short-term goals — in particular, achieving sobriety — aftercare is more focused on long-term goals. In other words, detoxification and treatment emphasize achieving sobriety while aftercare emphasizes maintaining or sustaining that sobriety.

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Why is Aftercare Important to Success in Recovery?

There are numerous circumstances that can lead to an individual becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs. Similarly, there are many paths that can lead someone who is suffering from an addiction to alcohol or drugs to achieve sobriety. But there are also a number of factors and situations that can lead to relapse after an individual has completed a treatment program and achieving sobriety. To be clear, a relapse refers to when an individual who has achieved sobriety reverts to his or her former substance abuse.

Unfortunately, relapse is not an uncommon occurrence among individuals who have completed addiction treatment; however, you should remember that relapse is completely and decidedly preventable.

In most instances of relapse, the cause of the relapse was lack of preparation for post-treatment life. Additionally, most experts agree that one of the biggest limitations to addiction treatment is time; most individuals who enroll in addiction treatment programs are spending between one and three months in treatment, which is often just a fraction of the time that many individuals spend in active addiction. Being that an addiction represents a habit that has been reinforced through years of behavior, it follows that sufficient time spent in treatment would be necessary for an individual to be able to overcome those years of reinforcement and essentially re-learn how to be sober.

The most logical response would be to have more patients spend longer periods of time in treatment, but that’s not always possible or realistic. For one thing, completing an addiction treatment program takes a significant investment of time and energy; even the shorter treatment programs last a month or more. Considering how more people than ever are suffering from addiction, there’s too great a demand for treatment for these programs to require extremely long periods of time to complete as this would greatly limit each facility’s capacity to offer treatment. Additionally, the time spent in treatment must often come at a sacrifice to time spent on other things, including family and career. So it’s not realistic to expect most people to be able to dedicate extremely long periods of time to addiction treatment.

That’s where aftercare comes into the picture and what it’s so important. Rather than needing to spend extremely long periods of time in a recovery program, aftercare allows individuals to use the time spent in treatment to acquire valuable skills and strategies, and then use aftercare to basically implement and reinforce what was learned in treatment.

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What Types of Aftercare are Available in South Florida?

Just as there are many types of treatment that comprise addiction treatment programs, so, too, are there many different types of aftercare. As well, the various resources that are labeled as aftercare are designed to address some aspect of life or recovery that can sometimes represent a potential danger to sobriety and a possible factor for relapse.

At Principles Recovery Center, we offer a variety of aftercare options for addicts. For instance, we offer a selection of career development and placement services. Since employment is often a priority for individuals who are completing or have recently completed treatment, our aftercare aims to make finding employment as stress-free and successful for patients as possible. By offering these employment-related resources, our goal is to ensure that our patients have the tools necessary to be independent, productive members of society and stable in sobriety.

There are numerous other resources we offer as part of our aftercare, too. For individuals who suffer from a co-occurring mental or emotional disorder — referred to as dual-diagnosis patients — we can offer medical placement and recommendations to appropriate treatment providers in their areas. Since poor health can be a significant contributor to relapse, these referrals made as part of our aftercare are an essential resource in helping our patients sustain their newfound sobriety upon returning home.

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Aftercare at Principles Recovery Center

Once treatment nears completion, we have “after recovery assistance” to help our clients as they venture into the next phases of their lives. We offer career-building workshops, mock interview development workshops, and can even offer you assistance in finding long-term housing or even career and employment opportunities within your specific field, niche, or area of focus.

We believe it’s important to provide our clients not just the tools for recovery, but the tools to help our alumni excel after leaving our facilities. We able to to provide job placement in the majority of South Florida areas surrounding Principles Recovery Center, including: Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Hollywood, West Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, and more. We can even assist with job assistance placement in many states, including as New Jersey, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois, and a growing number of other states.

If you would like to learn more about aftercare services at Principles Recovery Center, we encourage you to contact us by calling our toll-free number, 855-744-1056.