Why is an Aftercare Program Instrumental for Relapse Prevention?

Why is an Aftercare Program Instrumental for Relapse Prevention?

By Lakeview Health
Lakeview Health
Published: May 18, 2016

When rehab is over, recovery is still not assured for patients leaving the program. For most, going back to their home communities means being confronted by their past choices every single day, along with temptations and triggers. It can be difficult to remain sober in this environment without an aftercare program. A quality aftercare program is part of the care continuum of rehab with the ultimate goal of relapse prevention. Aftercare delivers additional opportunities to maintain sobriety with support while in patients’ own communities. This may be as-needed support or a lifetime of weekly meetings and other activities. While it is up to each patient to participate in aftercare, they never have to be alone in their recovery.

An Addiction Aftercare Program Is Designed for Relapse Prevention

There are a wide variety of programs which may be offered under the collective title of aftercare. An aftercare program may just be resources for referral to 12-step programs in a patient’s home community. Or, aftercare can begin with some time in a sober living arrangement and include a wide variety of resources from that time forward. The common thread for participants in aftercare is that of ongoing sobriety, all working with the common goal of remaining in recovery. Relapse prevention through aftercare is important, as many patients do suffer relapse after leaving their treatment facility. But many studies reflect that the more treatment patients receive, the less likely they are to go back to substance abuse. This is why treatment programs consider aftercare a critical extension of ongoing care to patients. Aftercare often includes:

  • Ongoing therapeutic counseling
  • Referrals to outside agencies and services for sobriety
  • 12-step meeting attendance and support
  • Continued medication monitoring
  • Family therapy
  • Sober living
  • Alumni programs for socialization and peer support
  • Job placement assistance

Why Relapse Prevention through an Aftercare Program Is Needed

Most patients leaving rehab went through treatment to recover from years of substance abuse. This is not an easy undertaking and is only part of the process of lifelong recovery. The disease of addiction is never cured. An aftercare program builds on what is learned in rehab. Patients in aftercare continue to gain understanding of their addiction. They also learn how to cope with factors contributing to substance abuse and their personal triggers. Overcoming cravings is an issue that must be faced for a lifetime, but can become manageable through coping skills gained through rehab and reiterated in aftercare. Together, all of these facets of care work toward relapse prevention. Patients often feel lost and overwhelmed when they leave treatment. This is why so many relapse. But aftercare provides relapse prevention by helping patients feel supported, maintaining healthy life structure and continue being social with positive influencers. All of this is achieved while gaining additional education, skills and insight from meetings, therapy sessions and classes.

Aftercare Provided by Lakeview Health Supports Patients in Recovery

Lakeview Health in Jacksonville, Florida provides patients leaving treatment with access to a wide array of aftercare program options. Treatment does not end in rehab and patients gain ongoing support within their own communities as they rebuild their lives. In fact, patients’ families are also fully supported through therapeutic options and recovery commitment reinforcement of aftercare plans. If you or your loved one is suffering from an addiction and needs treatment, recovery can begin at Lakeview Health in Jacksonville, Florida. Patients are supported throughout all phases of the care continuum, including when they return home, to maintain sobriety throughout their lives. Call us today at 866.704.7692 now for more information about how aftercare can make the difference in your life.