An addict’s family usually spends a significant amount of time talking about the addict’s treatment program. In the program the addict will receive intensive therapy for a short period of time, usually anywhere from 30 – 90 days, to help begin the process of recovery. As important as this initial phase of recovery is, conquering addiction usually requires more than simply completing a detox program. In fact, most addicts need a significant amount of help for months or even years in order to truly recover from addiction. According to a study published in the Journal of Addiction Disease, relapse rates among addicts can be as high as 75 – 90%. In order to ensure that the addict indeed remains sober, it is imperative that an effective aftercare program begin when the inpatient program ends.

The Importance of a Good Aftercare Program

Aftercare is an essential component of any treatment program. In fact, most treatment programs require the addict to begin work with a counselor to develop a specific plan to put into place upon admission to treatment. The addict plays a key role in developing their aftercare plan and even family members may be asked to provide input. Prior to discharge, an individualized plan for follow-up care is completed for each patient by the treatment team. Some residents may require an intermediary place of care that will continue to provide additional support before transitioning fully back into the community. A sober living environment can provide an individual with continued structure and support which helps to ease the process of reintegration into the community.

There are many parts to an effective and successful aftercare program. An effective aftercare program would consist of: individual therapy, family therapy, attending 12-step meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, private addiction counseling, urine testing or screening for drug use, maintenance medications such as methadone or buprenorphine and transitional living, such as sober living communities and attending church functions.

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