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Post-treatment support groups reduce the risk of relapse for individuals with substance use disorder (SUD). Often, peer support is vital to ongoing sobriety. According to Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, “[P]eer support groups are considered an important aspect of the addiction recovery process.” West Coast Recovery Centers offers case management and extended support services to ensure people in post-treatment have access to the social support they need to heal and thrive. 

Challenges People Face in Post-Treatment

Post-treatment is a delicate time for many people. Some individuals feel vulnerable, uncertain about the future, or afraid of slipping back into old habits. Treatment programs prepare clients for post-treatment by ensuring they have the tools and resources to manage everyday challenges and triggers. Relapse prevention education, crisis management strategies, and healthy coping skills allow people in recovery to continue to grow and maintain healthy routines during post-treatment.

Some common challenges people face during post-treatment include: 

  • Cravings and intrusive thoughts
  • Decreased stress tolerance
  • Lingering symptoms of SUD or co-occurring mental health disorders 
  • Relationship, workplace, or academic stressors 

Preparing for post-treatment involves anticipating potential issues and developing practical ways to manage them. The clinical team and case managers at West Coast Recovery Centers provide clients with the resources to manage ongoing sobriety. Post-treatment support groups are one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of relapse and maintain positive lifestyle changes made during treatment. 

Finding Ways to Cope and Manage Symptoms

Post-treatment self-help and support groups give people access to peers who understand the symptoms and challenges they may struggle with during the transition to independent sobriety. During group sessions, group participants can share their successes and concerns with others who share similar life experiences. Many people in recovery choose to find a sponsor or mentor to help them navigate early recovery outside of treatment.

Some other ways to cope and manage symptoms during post-treatment include: 

  • Practicing regular self-care 
  • Setting achievable and sustainable goals 
  • Maintaining regular contact with members of your support system 
  • Taking advantage of community-based recovery groups, services, and organizations 

West Coast Recovery Centers ensures every client has information about resources available in their community. In addition, the clinicians offer alumni support to ensure clients are ready to cope with complications during post-treatment. Crisis management and relapse prevention strategies prepare people to overcome challenges in everyday life. Managing symptoms during post-treatment is easier when clients have an aftercare plan and support system in place before they leave treatment. Support groups help maintain stability.

The Benefits of Post-Treatment Support Groups

Support groups are essential to recovery for many people during and after treatment. Positive peer engagement and fellowship provide accountability for individuals in post-treatment. In addition, many people form deep and lasting bonds with peers they meet at community-based or private support groups. Studies have shown that “While a support group always will have a clearly stated purpose, the purpose varies according to its members’ motivation and stage of recovery. Many of these groups are open-ended, with a changing population of members.”

Some of the most common types of groups include: 

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) groups
  • Psychoeducational groups
  • Skill development groups
  • Interpersonal process groups
  • Support groups for specific symptoms or disorders 

Community-based support groups often include a wide range of therapeutic views and approaches. Some are tailored to the group’s unique needs, while others follow a set curriculum or formula. Support groups provide a space where people can share their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs with others who empathize with their experiences.

How to Find a Post-Treatment Support Group

Sometimes, finding details about local support services in smaller communities around the country can be challenging. Clients at West Coast Recovery can ask their case manager how to locate and contact community-based organizations, including support groups. Many clients in outpatient treatment attend support groups before transitioning out of care to ensure consistency during the change. 

Other ways to find post-treatment support groups include:

  • Online listings and forums
  • Community sites and in-person locations, including clinics and community centers
  • Local therapy offices 
  • Students can reach out to their school’s counseling services 

Many online and in-person resources connect people in post-treatment with relevant support groups. Clients can rely on their care team to ensure they know who to contact for further information about community-based services and groups.

Aftercare Support Services at West Coast Recovery Centers

West Coast Recovery Centers has a thriving recovery community where local alumni can get together to enjoy outdoor activities and events, including:

  • Mountain retreats
  • Beach bonfires
  • Softball games
  • Weekly alumni support groups

The care team continues to provide referrals and information to alumni who may need additional help with mental health issues or other co-occurring disorders after they complete rehabilitation. Clients can rely on peers and the dedicated clinicians at West Coast Recovery Centers to keep them motivated and moving forward.

Post-treatment is a period of transition for many people. Support groups provide stability, accountability, and motivation for alumni who have completed treatment. Transitioning from structured care to independent sobriety may feel destabilizing for some people. Regularly interacting with peers who have similar life experiences and understand the challenges of recovery makes it easier for some people to manage their condition. Individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders often find support groups especially helpful. West Coast Recovery Centers provides group therapy and peer support to clients in post-treatment. The care team also offers extended support and alumni services to ensure clients continue to receive the support they need after completing treatment. To learn more about how we can help, call (760) 492-6509.