The Importance of Aftercare

Drug and alcohol addiction treatment isn’t always easy, and those who complete their time in rehab successfully have all reasons to feel proud. It’s a major, life-changing accomplishment, but it’s only the first step in a lifelong recovery process. Leaving treatment can be exciting, sometimes frightening. The stepping from the protected world of rehab back to the triggers, stresses and temptations of everyday life can feel overwhelming.

A well-considered aftercare plan is critical to ease the transition and increase the chances of long-term success. The plan is integrated into treatment from the beginning, and ongoing support should continue after rehab. It is especially critical during the first three months after completion of addiction treatment, when recovery is fragile and relapse triggers are often difficult to resist. Many addiction professionals recommend that aftercare should continue for at least six months, and sometimes longer and varying in intensity.

Aftercare is personalized and considers each client’s lifestyle and surroundings. Although aftercare may take various forms depending on individual needs, a good plan provides:

  • Relapse prevention strategies that offer ways of coping and prevents small slips from becoming major problems.
  • Techniques for managing emotions such as stress, anger and boredom.
  • Methods for identifying situations that may trigger relapse.
  • Counseling for ongoing mental health and psychological issues.
  • Tools for repairing relationships with family and friends.
  • Cognitive-behavioral training that aids in new ways of thinking, improved decision-making, and better judgement.
  • Development of positive lifestyle changes to enjoy a meaningful, substance-free life.

At Paracelsus, aftercare services include a mentoring program that usually involves the client’s primary therapist returning home with him or her and remaining for a period ranging from a few days to several months. Mentoring also includes counseling with the therapist, either at the client’s home or at the treatment center, as well as continued contact and support with Paracelsus via Skype or phone. We are available for our clients to support them 24/7.

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