Continuing Care Options for Recovering Addicts and Alcoholics

The transition from substance abuse to sobriety is never easy. It is a long-term process that requires determination and commitment, along with support, guidance and care from addiction experts, family members and peers.

Inpatient treatment for addiction is the launching pad to a brand new lifestyle. It is not the end but only the beginning, and just as spacecraft needs a booster rocket to lift it into orbit so too will your recovery plan require extra assistance to help you achieve your ultimate goal.

Continuing care is the booster rocket that can carry you to enduring sobriety. Without it you will be flying blind, putting your recovery from substance abuse at risk. Trying to survive without drugs and alcohol is one of the hardest tasks you will ever undertake, and if you fail to reinforce your stay in rehab with high-quality aftercare services your chances of success will be significantly reduced.

Near the end of your stay in rehab, you will meet with your counselors and the other members of your recovery team to discuss your continuing care program. Continuing care is multi-dimensional but highly personalized, and you will never be asked to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.

A year-long follow up program for continuing care is the industry norm. However, this can be extended if you have a relapse or are simply not ready to go it alone.

Outpatient Treatment Options

Aftercare in addiction recovery is designed to strengthen your commitment to a healthier lifestyle, helping you make the transition to a whole new way of thinking, acting and being.

Most continuing care is delivered as outpatient treatment. In outpatient programs you live at home but travel to rehab centers, medical facilities, therapist’s offices or peer group meeting sites for services.

There are no fixed requirements to determine how frequently you should receive aftercare services. That will be decided by you and the members of your recovery team and will be based on your personal schedule and your specific treatment needs.

In continuing care you will have an impressive menu of treatment options to choose from. Depending on your preferences and the recommendations of your therapist, your aftercare program could include:

  • One-on-one therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family or couples therapy
  • 12-step programs like AA or NA
  • Spiritual counseling
  • Workshops to learn coping skills
  • Educational programs
  • Mindfulness practices (meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, deep breathing, etc.)
  • Online group counseling sessions led by a Behavioral Health Technician
  • Exercise programs
  • Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT)
  • Medications like Naltrexone or Methadone to help control drug or alcohol cravings
  • Nutrition classes or naturopathic treatments
  • Alternative healing practices (acupuncture, massage therapy, Shiatsu, equine therapy, etc.)

Continuing care is an all-access pass to a wide variety of wellness practices and healing methodologies that can help you overcome addiction. After consulting with your therapists, you will decide how your aftercare program is to be structured and what it will involve.

Of course different treatment centers offer different continuing care packages, but most will give you outpatient referrals if you prefer certain services they cannot provide in-house.

Sober Living

After inpatient treatment is finished most addicts return home to their families.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. If you have relapsed frequently in the past, or have a long history of substance abuse, or do not have a stable living situation to return to, your counselors  may recommend a stay at a sober house or halfway house following your release from rehab.

Sober living is for those who need more practice and reinforcement as they make the transition to a drug-and-alcohol-free lifestyle. Together with other recovering addicts in a similarly fragile condition, you will continue your efforts to retrain your mind and body to cope with daily reality in a sober state.

Outpatient treatment services will be offered both on-site and at remote locations, and you will be supervised at all times by addiction specialists who are there to help you learn better habits of thought and behavior. If you want more personalized attention you may be assigned a recovery coach or sober companion who can offer you friendship, moral support and expert advice whenever you need it.

If you need to find a job or a place to live, or need time to repair broken relationships, sober living will give you a safe and supportive place to stay—and continue your healing—while you strive to get your life back on track. You will not be sent home again until you feel ready and your therapists agree you are ready to leave.

Continuing Care Means Continuing Sobriety

Addiction is a lifetime condition, not a disease that can be cured with a single treatment. If your rehab is to be the beginning of a new life, you must accept the challenges that will accompany your attempt to maintain your sobriety permanently.

Continuing care services are a bridge to a brighter future, one free from chemical dependency and all the terrible consequences it brings. Continuing care may last no longer than a year but its effects will last a lifetime, and that makes it every bit as important to the recovery process as inpatient rehab.

The treatment centers we work with all understand the importance of continuing care. If you contact us about your need—or your loved one’s need— for substance abuse treatment, rest assured any treatment provider we refer you to will include comprehensive aftercare services as a part of their overall healing package.