The post-treatment world can be frightening for those who have been reliant on treatment programs for any amount of time. However, having a safety network is key. For many people, the typical family-based network is not an option. It is essential for these individuals to find other people they can count on to support them.
What Is a Safety Network?
People in treatment rely on a variety of resources to keep them afloat. These resources consist of people, places, and even objects that they can take pleasure in when times are good and cling to when times are bad. Resources may include:
- Medical professionals
- Comfortable place in the home
- Favorite location outside the home
- A stuffed animal from childhood
These are all examples of resources that all people, regardless of mental health and addiction, lean on each day. However, the main resource is a person’s safety network.
A safety network is a subset of resources made up of loved ones. These people are ready and willing to support the individual as they enter treatment and as they make their way back into the post-treatment world. This group can be made up of as many individuals as needed. The only prerequisite is that they care about the person going through treatment.
Why Is Family the Default Safety Network?
When most people think about their safety network, they think about family. However, this is not as true as it once was. People in treatment want to know that they trust and love the ones they rely on. For a long time, individuals and recovery programs looked to the family as the default group. However, there are now a number of differences in how people feel and how society works that have taken this preconceived notion and turned it on its head.
What Is the Concept of “Chosen Family”?
For the past century, people have accepted that family was the best option. Quite often, when people needed help, they turned to family. When doctors wanted to speak with someone regarding their patient’s health, they relied on family. However, this concept, along with that of the nuclear family, has disappeared. Some see this as a problem, but it is a sure sign that society is becoming more open and accepting of each other’s choices.
With all of this talk about the demise of the traditional family unit, a new concept has taken over. Chosen family is the term used to describe the people a person chooses to surround themselves with. These can be parents, siblings, friends, partners, spouses, etc. It does not matter how they are linked to the individual; it is their importance to them.
Medical professionals and treatment centers understand that their clients will have specific people they want both in charge of their care and as their go-to contacts. These people, this chosen family, accept certain responsibilities. They understand that they are essentially their loved one’s first line of defense. A person in treatment and entering post-treatment is often calmer and less reticent to go through with the process when they know that people who care about them are rooting them on.
How Treatment Programs Can Help Develop Safety Networks
For people who may not have strong safety networks, treatment programs are prepared to help them find and establish new ones. This is not unheard of. People who enter treatment may enter without the assistance or urging of others.
When a treatment program knows that a client does not have a safety network to lean on during or after the treatment process, they will develop an action plan to assist them. This plan will be put in place to establish better connections with the community both within the program and after treatment is complete.
One way this happens is through a case manager. This is a person whose job is to consider a client’s individual case and provide direction. Depending on the treatment program, the case manager may establish connections with support groups and organizations. These will be in place for the client as a bridge as they reenter society.
Utilizing Post-Treatment Safety Networks
If safety networks are in place or put into place, clients can feel confident that should something happen, there are people ready to help. West Coast Recovery Centers also makes sure that clients are aware that if they find themselves in need of further assistance, we are a phone call away. No client should feel left out in the cold. They are as important as alumni as they are when fully immersed in the program.
In the end, people need to know they are surrounded by people that care about their well-being. This is true during their good and bad times. West Coast Recovery Centers believes that no matter the family, even if it is chosen, plays a key role in the recovery process.
Family is an important part of the post-treatment process. However, not everyone has people related to them who can provide the assistance they need. That is why West Coast Recovery Centers is happy to support clients who see friends as their go-to safety network. It does not matter who the people are that support us, but that they can be there in our best and worst times. We are prepared to help clients create a post-treatment network of people that care about them and who will be there to applaud them through their treatment. In a post-treatment world, West Coast Recovery Centers knows that the best network is the one that can be relied on. Call us at (760) 492-6509.