Aftercare Planning: Should I stay or Should I Go?
With residential treatment centers like Serenity House Detox and Kemah Palms Recovery in the Greater Houston Area, choosing a facility close to home is becoming more and more appealing. With their all-encompassing approach and extensive discharge planning, these facilities make it a point to offer comprehensive, individualized treatment plans that address both addiction and mental illness. They also make it a point to engage their community and encourage their clients to do the same. For example, The Council on Recovery hosts an adult softball league. Staff and alumni from local centers come together to participate in some fun and friendly competition. Fun fact: Lakeview Health at The Woodlands also has a staff/alumni team. While fun and games are important, a benefit of getting treatment locally is working with therapists and case managers who make referrals based on their personal knowledge of the resources available throughout the city. For the organizations that employ individuals who are in recovery themselves, there’s an added benefit of having someone available with firsthand experience of the disease of addiction and the pain it can cause. These employees tend to excel in recovery coaching, aftercare programs, and patient advocacy. Regardless of whether you decide to stay close to home or head off to a distant destination in order to change your environment and distance yourself from day-to-day triggering places or things, there are a few things you should ask about before choosing a treatment center:
What type and level of experience do your therapists have?
When being treated for addiction, having someone who has worked extensively in the substance use field makes all the difference. Their experience is also important when it comes to dual diagnosis treatment. You want to ensure your therapist is trained in trauma-informed care and mental health because addiction is often a result of a past traumatic event or used as a coping mechanism for an untreated mental illness.
What kind of group therapies do you offer?
Group psychotherapy is beneficial for addiction treatment because it gives group members the opportunity to relate to another’s story and shared life experience. While group therapy is the gold standard, a treatment center should offer a variety of other groups designed to meet your every need. Expressive therapies allow a creative outlet for your hard-to-verbalize thoughts and emotions, education groups give you tools and techniques you can apply to your personal recovery, and health and nursing lectures show you the long-term effects of addiction on your body and how to get back on track to better wellness.
What does your aftercare program look like?
Aftercare and discharge planning are key to your sobriety. The longer you stay engaged in treatment and have access to relapse prevention methods, the longer you will stay sober. If a facility makes it a point to reach out and offer recovery coaching after you’ve discharged, it’s a good indication they truly care about your outcome and success with sobriety. With that said, it would be neglectful not to mention that relapses can happen. If you have found a treatment center you’re comfortable with and have spent time in getting to know the staff, you’ll be welcomed back with open arms.