There are many ways to become addicted to alcohol or drugs. Some are simply curious about recreational intoxication and underestimate the addictive potential of substance abuse. There are others who begin to misuse dangerous medications that are prescribed for legitimate conditions, rendering them less effective while becoming increasingly dependent on them. No matter how it occurs, addiction wreaks havoc on an individual’s life. Fortunately, there are a number of therapies and treatments available to help individuals overcome chemical dependency. Addiction rehabilitation programs such as those offered here at First Steps Recovery in Clovis, CA, provide the tools to establish a foundation of sobriety and a healthier lifestyle. However, success in recovery depends on several components of treatment, one of which is continued recovery efforts in the form of aftercare.
Completing an alcohol and drug addiction treatment program is an accomplishment worthy of pride as it facilitates the return to a healthy, sober life. Throughout an addiction treatment program, individuals who suffer from chemical dependency overcome the physical aspects of addiction while learning about the disease of addiction itself and the ways in which one can sustain sobriety long-term. However, recovery isn’t something that one finishes, ending with the completion of a rehabilitation program. Rather, one’s recovery is a continuous, cumulative effort.
Aftercare refers to those continuous efforts, consisting of the addiction treatments and services that help to sustain the momentum of recovery. An aftercare plan is often comprised of group meetings and sessions, education and coaching services, and other types of programming that lasts for an unlimited amount of time after completing an initial treatment program, teaching individuals the necessary skills that eliminate the chance of reverting to substance abuse behavior. The development of an individualized aftercare plan is often included as part of intake or admission procedure, encouraging individuals to think ahead and make plans for sustaining their newfound sobriety.
Addiction treatment programs allow individuals to achieve sobriety, but aftercare is how they maintain it. Just as each individual personalizes recovery programming to meet his or her own needs, aftercare planning is also an individualized process. Achieving lasting sobriety is dependent on relapse prevention, which requires several important skills: Individuals must learn about triggers and how to identify them, how to cope with triggers and situations that make one susceptible to relapse, and to maintain awareness of the consequences of relapse. Arming individuals with these skills through continued treatments is the main goal of aftercare services.
While many have suggested that relapse is an accepted and expected part of the recovery process, it’s our goal at First Steps Recovery to eliminate relapse from recovery. Individuals who graduate from short-term residential or inpatient programs will have the opportunity to participate in our aftercare services, which will arm them with the resources that will allow them to remain sober indefinitely. After graduating from one of the First Steps Recovery programs, individuals have access to a variety of group and peer sessions, receive individualized coaching and education, or receive referrals to programs at other facilities when necessary, ensuring that graduates always have the resources and services they need to prevent relapse.
One of the most common reasons that individuals relapse after completing a recovery program is due to being inadequately prepared to deal with stress and stress-inducing situations, causing them to defer to their old, destructive habits. In fact, many individuals become addicted to alcohol or drugs because they are unable to cope with adversity or hardships. Moreover, it’s been found that the longer an individual receives treatment, the more likely he or she is to remain sober. Aftercare services allow individuals to remember the recovery process and the circumstances that drove them to recovery rather than forgetting the consequences of addiction, which significantly increases the likelihood of relapse. Our aftercare services help individuals to transition back into society with the reassurance of First Steps Recovery’s continuous support and resources. By employing the skills and strategies acquired during treatment and maintaining participation in aftercare, individuals can break the cyclic relapse process and sustain their newfound sobriety indefinitely.
There are many components to the journey of addiction recovery. Although it’s important to receive high-quality addiction treatment in order to achieve sobriety, the importance of learning the skills and strategies necessary to maintain sobriety cannot be understated. First Steps Recovery offers comprehensive aftercare services that are personalized to each individual’s needs, ensuring that every program graduate has access to the resources he or she needs to stay sober.
If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction and would like to learn more about our drug addiction aftercare services, First Step Recovery is here to help. Call us today at 1-844-BIG-STEP (1-844-244-7837) so one of our program coordinators can match you to the treatments and services you need to return to a life of sobriety and health.