The Role of Continuing Care in Recovery

The Role of Continuing Care in Recovery

Support groups, continued counseling and 12-Step programs all augment sobriety efforts

The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction as “a complex illness characterized by intense and, at times, uncontrollable drug craving, along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persist even in the face of devastating consequences.” Getting the right kind of treatment at the right time can save a person’s life, but recovery from addiction does not end with addiction treatment. In fact, continued care after drug or alcohol treatment ends is one of the best ways to ensure ongoing recovery. This type of treatment gives recovering addicts hope that they can continue the road to life-long recovery even after inpatient treatment ends. Several continued care options offer both flexibility and confidentiality for people who complete rehab; if you know you can trust your support group, therapist and 12-Step program, then you or your loved one can find the confidence to commit to one of these options. Understand how each program works to support your recovery so you can make the right choice for your unique situation.

Support Group Meetings

Support groups meet weekly, every other week or as often as the group believes is necessary to keep the proper level of support in their lives. Sharing your struggles, victories and setbacks with people who truly understand addiction can give you the courage you need to face drug cravings and the other challenges of recovery without giving into to the temptation for relapse. Support groups also provide a much-needed social outlet for those who leave treatment. If you know that you have people to turn to when you leave a treatment facility, then you can transition back to normal life easier. After treatment ends, your rehab team will connect you with the right support group to meet your individual needs. Support groups are available through your or your loved one’s treatment facility, community groups, religious organizations and 12-Step programs. Each type of support group offers some unique dynamic and qualities, but all of them provide the spiritual and emotional support necessary to keep people on the road to recovery.

Individualized Drug Counseling

During rehab, you or your loved one probably had daily sessions with a trained drug therapist, and going from daily sessions to no sessions at all can be dangerous for recovering addicts. Your rehab therapist can put you on a schedule of regular therapy sessions after leaving rehab, which means you will continue to find the support you need while you transition back into normal life. The number of sessions you need on a weekly basis will be determined by you and your therapist—as recovery continues, the number of sessions will gradually decrease, unless you have a setback or a specific need. Everyone needs the continued help of a therapist after treatment ends, so such care is a normal, healthy part of the recovery process.

Group Counseling

During rehab, you or your loved one probably participated in group counseling sessions. Much like support groups, group counseling allows participants to share their problems at times they find comfortable. Many rehab centers offer group counseling as a part of outpatient treatment or ongoing therapy, so, if you are in a counseling group as part of your rehab treatment and would like to continue a group program, then talk to your therapist about the options that are available to you.

Sobriety Partners

For many recovering addicts, having one or two sobriety partners is an important part of ongoing self-care after rehab ends. Your sobriety partners may be people you have met during rehab, or they may be from your support group. You and your sobriety partners are there for each other 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and this type of accountability can mean the difference between successful recovery and relapse. Sobriety partners attend functions together, know each other’s schedules and get together regularly and at times of great need to help each other stay sober. Sobriety (or accountability) partners are an important lifeline when it comes to living free from substance abuse.

12-Step Programs

12-Step programs, like Alcoholics Anonymous, offer ongoing care for people at every stage of the journey to a drug-free life. These groups encourage members to submit to a Higher Power and to seek forgiveness, healing and restoration from themselves, family and society. This type of support is a more focused, structured approach to continued care, and the results of these programs are overwhelmingly positive. Talk to your rehab therapist to see if a 12-Step program is right for you.

Find Help for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Getting proper care after rehab ends can mean the difference between long-term recovery and a quick relapse. Committing to the right program is an important part of the rehab process, so, if you or your loved one struggles with substance abuse, then know that we are here to help. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak to an admissions coordinator about available treatment options.