So, Now That You Have Finished Treatment, What Comes Next?Dr. Collins
Many people who have struggled with addictions enroll in a detoxification and treatment program. The duration of the stay can be thirty to ninety days or sometimes longer depending on the program, and being out of touch with the world for that length of time can leave an addict wondering, “What will life be like when I get out?” The feelings of fear and selfdoubt begin to sprout as they question whether or not they will be able to maintain their abstinence without the constant supervision and structure that a treatment facility provides. The importance of devising an aftercare plan will make the transition back into a life free of substances less intimidating.
Outpatient Programs: Many treatment facilities offer outpatient programs in which you can continue seeing the same therapist you saw while you were in residential treatment. If the facility does not offer an outpatient program, there are many facilities that are strictly for outpatient care.
These facilities range from three to five days per week typically three to six hours per day, depending on the program. What makes an outpatient program a viable transitional step is that they allow you to participate in life responsibilities such as work, school, and family life, while still providing the structure and accountability that is needed early on in recovery.
Sober Living: Sober living homes consist of a group of people living in a home whom are all in recovery. The sober living home manager has the ability to drug test the individuals living in the home and search belongings for drugs and paraphernalia. This is done not only for the good of the addict, but also to maintain safety and sobriety of the other residents. This environment works because the group becomes close and supportive of each other. Sometimes transportation is provided to get to outpatient treatment, 12step meetings, or even to get to work. Some outpatient programs actually provide sober living as well.
12Step Meetings: There are various anonymous support groups that one can get involved in. Everyone practices their anonymity by identifying with simply their name and the nature of their disease. In 12step programs, you locate a sponsor (someone who takes you through the 12steps), work through the 12steps, attend meetings which you can share anything that affects your recovery, and eventually get involved in giving back to the group through service. These support groups have worked for many years for many individuals seeking recovery from the fierce gripping hold of addiction.
Therapy: If going to an outpatient program is completely impossible, seeing a therapist is a good idea. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a style that often helps addicts. Continuing to see a therapist regularly will help to work out the problems that arise after treatment, and there are therapists that specialize specifically in substance abuse who can help in dealing with issues like cravings and relapse.
After treatment is completed, the work is just beginning. Using the tools learned in treatment, and participating in an aftercare plan, any individual struggling with addictions will have a much better chance at maintaining their abstinence. Recovery does not stop after treatment, but really begins to thrive.