How To Continue Care After Your Treatment Program

When you're ready to complete the residential part of your rehabilitation program, we know that you're likely feeling many different emotions.

You may feel pride at what you've been able to accomplish, but you're likely also experiencing a great deal of fear and anxiety about your ability to remain sober when treatment ends.

With recent studies showing that a shockingly high number of rehab participants do relapse, you have reason to feel that fear.

Luckily, you also have options.

One of the most effective options is entering into a continuing care program.

But what is continuing care, and how can you find the program that's right for you?

Read on to find out.

What is Continuing Care?

There's a marked difference in the controlled environment of a rehabilitation center and the harsh realities -- not to mention, the serious temptations -- of life on the outside.

It's much easier to stay sober when you're constantly surrounded by a network of supporters, following a strict schedule, and focusing on your recovery in a sober environment filled with medical and psychological professionals 24/7.

Yes, you've learned a lot -- but sometimes, re-entry into the "real world" can be a bit of a shock. It's easy to feel overwhelmed, and even easier to let your demons get the best of you.

Continuing care is there to help to ease this often challenging transition.

Aftercare will offer you a continued network of support, help you to reinforce your new lifestyle, and allow you to ensure that you put what you learned in rehab into practice.

You'll also work to understand potential triggers in your new environment, understand how to confront and control these triggers, and hopefully, prevent yourself from relapsing.

Continuing care can vary greatly on an individual basis, especially because most addicts in recovery look for aftercare programs that they feel are a good fit for their addictions, personalities, and comfort level.

Your Options for Continuing Care

When it comes to recovery from addiction, there is no such thing as "one-size-fits-all."

The same is true of continuing care. Depending on where you are in your process, your emotional state, and how you feel about your ability to live independently, you have lots of aftercare options.

Let's take a look at them now.

Sober Living Homes

One of the most famous options when it comes to addiction aftercare is to enter a sober living facility, colloquially known as a "halfway house."

You'll live in a home with other people in recovery, and you'll be given strict curfews, rules, work guidelines, and other responsibilities that you'll be expected to follow.

Of course, it goes without saying that alcohol and drugs are strictly prohibited in these homes -- but when the sobriety of others is at stake, you may find you take these rules more seriously.

You'll enjoy a nice social life with others in your position, and you'll learn how to be responsible for yourself again.

Outpatient Services

If you feel as though you're ready to live in your own home, but would still like at least some of the structure of traditional rehab, then outpatient services may be the right fit for you.

You'll still be able to work a job and live at home, but you'll need to meet with a counselor, attend a group therapy session, or just check in with clinical staff on a daily basis.

Eventually, you'll see those at the outpatient center less and less.

Outpatient services are particularly helpful for those who would like to involve their family members in their recovery process. The family members and friends of addicts can also take part in counseling, meetings with addiction specialists, and other clinical experts to address their own psychological responses to a loved one's addiction.

They can also get advice on how to make the home environment the most beneficial to the addict in recovery.

12-Step And Other Support Groups

12-Step meetings and other support groups are also one of the most popular forms of continuing care for addicts.

These are especially helpful for addicts who have been in recovery for a longer period of time, and are now able to lead relatively independent lives.

These meetings provide an ongoing network of support for addicts in all phases of recovery. However, those in long-term sobriety may feel that helping, mentoring, and serving as a "Sober Coach" for newly-sober participants helps them to maintain their own sobriety.

12-Step is a wonderful solution for addicts of all kinds, whether you're fighting alcoholism, heroin addiction, or even dealing with more complicated demons like sex and love addiction.

There are also programs and support groups available for the family members of addicts.

The culture of anonymity and the atmosphere ofnon-judgment makes these support groups especially valuable. Plus, meetings are driven by others in recovery, so there is seldom the "hierarchy" associated with traditional rehabilitation.

Looking For Continuing Care?

Just because you've finished your treatment program, doesn't mean that you've finished battling your addictions.

As we're sure you're now aware, addiction is something that you'll be fighting against for the rest of your life.

The good news is, you don't have to go into that fight alone.

Whether you choose to enter an outpatient program, a sober living facility, or just want to attend support groups, you have many options.

Need additional advice about life after rehab? Want to find a program that's right for you?

We can help.

Spend some time on our website to learn more, and reach out to us when you're ready to start your own healing process.



Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on March 19th, 2018.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Diamond House Detox
Vicky is a board certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She began her nursing career in healthcare by working in the intensive care unit, and then an inpatient psychiatric hospital. After realizing the mental health needs of both the patients and the families she served, she became a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Throughout her experience working with clients, she has developed a passion for those with dual diagnoses and specializes in helping individuals recognize the issues driving their substance use. This recognition has been crucial to the individual’s success in treatment. Vicky opened Diamond House Detox so that she can address these issues early on in a therapeutic environment to allow clients to transition to the next level in their recovery.
Vicky Magobet
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