Aftercare plans are intentional, individualized plans prepared as a part of one’s long-term recovery process. Typically, these are written plans that incorporate support programs and other accessible services to an individual post-treatment. Addiction does not stop when treatment stops. Once short-term or temporary treatment is completed, such as inpatient or residential, aftercare plans serve as a form of long-term, continued treatment for an individual. There are many options for aftercare treatment, which aim to prevent relapse and help expand coping strategies during rehab. Many aftercare plans begin with comprehensive and intense treatment suggestions and wean off intensity as see fit, leading to greater self-sufficiency in the client.
Every individual’s recovery journey will need different services and resources that specifically correspond to their individual needs. While many inpatient programs will create aftercare requirements and goals individualized for each client, it is a personal responsibility to develop and stick with aftercare plans. Therapists will consider every person’s unique situation, and address needs to be based on whether or not one needs housing, employment, and continued care in general. Once awareness is brought to the needs of an individual, therapists will help to provide local resources within a community or online that will help address these areas.
Addressing Individual Needs
When initially creating an aftercare plan, there are many factors to consider. Some categories that an aftercare plan can include may consist of:
#1. Initial Next Steps:
- Locating transitional living or sober living homes
- Participate in outpatient treatment programs
- Attending individual or group therapy for support
- Keeping in contact with a sponsor
- Continuing contact with a treatment facility
- Developing weekly or daily routines
#2. Planning Ahead:
- Creating long-term life goals
- Participate in social activities
- Creating a relapse prevention plan
- Forming healthy habits for coping
- Participating in stress management exercises
- Practicing mindfulness in daily life
Sober Living Homes
Having stable and sober housing while in recovery is a significant factor when transitioning post-treatment. Sober living homes are houses for those in recovery from addiction who may not be ready to live on their own. These homes house other individuals that are also in the process of recovery. Sober living homes are drug and alcohol-free residences that offer various resources as one transitions back into independent living.
These homes may provide education on budgeting finances, help navigate individual career paths, and provide constant support for those experiencing addiction. During the initial stages of life post-treatment, many may not be ready to work full time on their own, have a steady or sober place to live, or keep the focus on personal goals. Sober living homes may be a great option for them.
Length of stay may vary depending on the program, although sober living homes are typically temporary housing options. Residents may set a goal to live in a sober living home until sobriety is maintained for a specific time and then move back to their communities.
A significant benefit of residing in a sober living home is having a safe environment to experience life post-treatment, giving assisted independence to each individual navigating and creating a new life for themselves.
Individuals that completed residential treatment will continue to face triggers and stressors during their recovery post-treatment. New challenges will arise when one transitions into independent living. With this being said, ongoing therapy is vital to include in an aftercare plan.
Outpatient counseling can help provide solutions to mental health issues that may arise while someone is in recovery. Therapists can also help to develop an intervention and relapse prevention plan to include in aftercare plans. Each person has a treatment team from their short-term treatment experience, and this team can also assist in finding local outpatient programs or private therapists that will fit aftercare goals.
Different options for therapy may vary by wants and needs. Examples may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), holistic therapies like music therapy or creative expression, individual counseling, or participation in alumni programs. Every therapy and treatment option holds a different experience for each person. When creating an aftercare plan, it is essential to assess what therapy programs or experiences have been helpful and which ones have not been helpful leading up to this point in recovery. It may take a few counseling sessions to know if a therapist is the right fit.
Many treatment programs have different requirements for attendance, some daily and weekly, while others are provided on an as-needed basis. The most important thing to keep in mind for an aftercare plan is having a consistent form of daily or weekly treatment, especially right out of inpatient treatment.
Understanding Relapse Prevention
The main goal of an aftercare plan is to create steps to take to avoid relapse occurring at any given point in one’s recovery journey. However, it is essential to note that relapse does not equate to failure. Many people that are overcoming an addiction struggle with relapse, which is why including prevention strategies for potential relapse is crucial in an aftercare plan.
One could take numerous steps to experience the comfort and receive appropriate care when triggers seem impossible to face alone. The level of treatment needed when relapse occurs relies on the intensity and severity of the relapse itself. Creating relapse prevention strategies in an aftercare plan may be the most significant factor in experiencing a successful recovery long term.
Aftercare plans are well-developed, individualized plans that aim to decrease the likelihood of a relapse occurring post-treatment. When you complete inpatient treatment, new temptations, and triggers may arise in your environment. Having an aftercare plan will help you to acclimate back to independent living while prioritizing your sobriety and mental health. Aftercare plans may include navigating and residing in transitional or sober living homes, continuing outpatient therapy treatment, and creating a prevention plan for relapse. West Coast Recovery Centers offers many treatment options for those needing assistance with aftercare plans and programs. We provide sober living residences, various outpatient programs, and holistic treatment options for anyone who wishes to recover from their addiction. We can help you develop an aftercare plan that will help you move forward in your recovery journey. For more information on West Coast Recovery Center’s program and resources that we offer, call us today at (760) 492-6509.