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Substance abuse is hard to treat, and even the best rehab center will not be effective without the right addiction aftercare program. What happens after rehab is at least as important, if not more so, than what happens within the walls of the rehab center. The right aftercare program will help them maintain their sobriety in the long run.
Addiction aftercare takes many forms and no one approach will be successful for every individual. For some people, joining a support group or entering a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous will be very useful. For others, addition aftercare may include behavioral counseling and support group meetings. Still others might find that making new friends, joining a new church and even moving to a new town will help them stay clean and sober.
No matter what the approach, addiction aftercare is designed to help the former addict maintain their sobriety and change the way they live. Aftercare services and relapse prevention go hand in hand. That is why the most successful drug rehab centers follow their former patients and give them the tools they need to stay sober long after they have left the formal program.
Another big part of good aftercare program is learning to recognize addiction triggers. Many addicts respond to unconscious triggers without realizing it, so learning to recognize the factors that could cause a relapse is critical.
Some people may start craving a drink when they find themselves in a room where people are smoking. Certain smells, sounds and sights could trigger an emotional craving for marijuana, ecstasy and other party drugs. Recognizing these triggers is the best defense against a relapse, and it should be an integral part of any drug treatment program.
Relapse prevention and addiction aftercare should be a family affair. The involvement of close friends and family members can make a huge difference in the life of the addict as they heal and make a commitment to sober living.
For some former addicts, a series of formal family therapy sessions can be very effective. A good drug rehab center will be able to help you connect with local resources and find a family support group that meets your needs.
Other times a more informal approach will be the most effective. Simply being surrounded by family members who love them can give strength to the former addict and help them maintain their new-found sobriety. The informal surroundings can be quite soothing and conducive to family healing and cohesion. Substance abuse can take a real toll on the family, and the right therapy can start to heal old wounds and bring the family closer together.
Getting the right counseling is also an integral part of addiction aftercare. Whether it is a formal support group or a casual get together with friends, post-addiction counseling can be very effective at helping the patient heal and recover their former life.
Job counseling can also be quite effective, and many drug rehab centers include career training as part of their list of services. Something as simple as going to a job each day can provide a real sense of relief for the former addict. At the same time, holding a job can help the former addict rebuild their financial lives, which may have been shattered through years of substance abuse.
Addiction aftercare takes many forms, but at its core it requires a commitment to sober living. Even the best rehab center cannot succeed with a patient who does not recognize the problem or want to get well. By focusing on sober living and its benefits, addiction aftercare gives patients the tools they need to succeed both now and in the future.
Call Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers Brooklyn at 718-408-2197 to find out more about our aftercare services and other helpful resources that can assist you in your recovery journey.