What Should I Have In My Aftercare Plan?
- Questions About Rehab
- How Do I Choose The Right Rehab?
- How Do I Help A Recovering Alcoholic?
- Do I Need Rehab, Can I Do It On My Own?
- How Long Does Detox Take?
- What If I Wait To Go To Treatment?
- Caring For Loved Ones While You’re In Rehab
- Cost Of Drug And Alcohol Rehab
- Can I Get My Job Back After Rehab?
- How Do I Pay For Addiction Treatment?
- How Do I Prepare For Rehab?
- How Do I Regain My Loved Ones’ Trust After Rehab?
- What Should I Have In My Aftercare Plan?
- Who Will I Be In Addiction Treatment With?
- How Do I Stay Sober After Rehab?
- How Long Does Treatment Take?
- How To Know If You Need Help
- Paying For Rehab With Medicaid And Medicare
- Paying For Rehab With The Affordable Care Act
- Should I Go Back To Rehab?
- Should I Travel For Rehab?
- What Is A Typical Day In Drug Rehab Like?
- What Does Admission To Rehab Look Like?
- What Happens If I Relapse?
- How Do I Handle Triggers?
- What Makes A Top-Rated Treatment Center?
- What To Bring To Rehab
- Why Does Rehab Have A Stigma?
- Will My Social Life Change After Rehab?
Addiction Treatment Aftercare Plan
Anyone who has entered some form of behavioral health or substance abuse treatment program has probably heard the term “aftercare plan” at some point during treatment. Therapists, case managers, and even physicians will repeat the phrase “make sure you have your aftercare plan figured out before you leave.” Sometimes it can feel so repetitive that it can become frustrating to think about it while also working on many other needs.
The truth is, treatment is a powerful tool to help people reflect, review, and revise their lives through targeted interventions and focused efforts. These efforts are typically most effective while in treatment, and begin to lose some of their strength as a patient begins to return to their everyday life.
The main goal of an aftercare plan is to minimize this loss of strength through actively supporting the individual with a long-term support system of professionals and systems that can continue to offer accountability in early recovery.
What Is An Aftercare Plan?
An aftercare plan is essentially a map of how to manage all the challenges that life can present while in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. A proper aftercare plan will help guide someone through barriers, crisis events, relapse prevention, and help them establish an identified support system before tackling the journey of long-term recovery outside of a treatment program.
Most treatment professionals will share guidance on how to build an aftercare plan during the treatment process and what they believe might be beneficial for each person, with a focus on their individual needs. When building an aftercare plan, it can help to have a wide view of varying options to include, especially when deciding on how to include friends & loved ones in the conversation.
Peer Support Services
Peer support services are an important part of an effective aftercare plan, as having peer support in recovery is considered practical and necessary for long-term success. It is strongly encouraged by treatment professionals to attend 90 meetings in 90 days when first attending peer support services in order to build a strong peer sober support network. Some examples of peer support services include:
- Adult Child of Alcoholics (ACOA)
- Gamblers Anonymous (GA)
- Celebrate Recovery (Christian Based AA)
- Overeaters Anonymous (OA)
Professional Support Services
This section will likely be required as a condition to complete a treatment program. Most treatment programs will require ongoing therapy with a professional as well as medication management with a healthcare provider. There are many other services that are available to assist in early recovery, including long-term drug screening services. Other professional support services available for aftercare plans include:
- Intensive outpatient programming
- Professional monitoring services (UDS)
- Outpatient therapy
- Recovery specialist coaching
Common Questions About Rehab
Simply put, the environment in which someone enters early recovery matters. It is extremely difficult to stay sober if everyone around you is not. Sobriety requires a lot of effort and plenty of sacrifices, which the aftercare plan will often address.
Sobriety will also likely pose many new questions people may have never asked themselves. Questions like, what will the sober environment look like when they get home? What will need to change? Who will make sobriety difficult? Where will sobriety be safe? All these questions are important to ask as the aftercare plan is developed. Other things to keep in mind when making an aftercare plan include:
- Sober & safe employment
- Religious or spiritual support (church, etc.)
- Sober & safe housing/neighborhood
- Sober living options
- Supportive family members
- Non-supportive family
- Supportive sober friends
- Non-supportive using friends
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Relapse Prevention & Crisis Management Plan
In the end, the most importance piece to any aftercare plan is to have a clearly developed relapse prevention and crisis management plan. It is impossible to plan for every type of event that could happen, however, the more effort that is placed into this exercise, the more effective it tends to be. Knowing how to manage cravings, who to reach out to, and what the warning signs of a relapse are all play a major role in maintaining safety in early recovery.
Try keeping these things in mind when building a crisis management plan into your aftercare plan:
- Known triggers (people, places, things)
- List of self-soothing techniques
- List of safe emergency contacts
- Crisis hotlines/contacts
- Engaging in daily calls to safe contacts
- Enjoying sober hobbies for self-care
- Developing & maintaining structured schedule
- Asking for help
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Putting It All Together
Considering that treatment is tailored to the individual, the same should be done for aftercare planning. No two people’s recovery or situation are the same, so taking time to review each area of your life is an important part of correctly developing an aftercare plan.
Each section has a part to play in your aftercare plan, and with the guidance of trusted professionals and family members, long-term recovery is very attainable. It is highly encouraged that you begin your aftercare planning at the very start treatment and be open to any changes that need to be made as more information is collected.
For more information on support groups, outpatient programs, and other questions about treatment, contact a treatment provider today.
Travis Pantiel is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a National Board-Certified Counselor who has practiced in the behavioral health field since 2012. Travis has experience working with a variety of client populations and treatment approaches, with specialized expertise working within the co-occurring disorder treatment space. Travis has experience providing professional training and development for large care organizations as well as providing clinical oversight in various settings. Travis has advanced certifications as a Master Level Certified Addiction Professional as well as Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. Travis received his master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University and is actively pursuing his doctorate degree in Integrated Behavioral Health at Arizona State University.
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