Addiction aftercare is an essential aspect of the recovery process for an individual that is fighting to overcome a drug addiction. Unfortunately, far too many who are on their journey to permanent sobriety choose to bypass or abandon this vital element of the recovery process.
One of the causes associated with the poor decision to forego aftercare treatment is the false sense of security that is created by successfully navigating the initial phase of the recovery process. Getting through the detoxification process and the treatment and therapy phase of recovery is no easy endeavor. The problem is that the exaggerated confidence often leads to the person believing that they have beat their addiction, subsequently causing them to miss the immense need for an aftercare program.
The term aftercare, in the world of drug addiction treatment, refers to any types of intervention programs that are subsequent to the initial treatment that is received. This treatment can come in the form of group therapy, individual counseling, family involvement and follow-up meetings. The goal of aftercare treatment is to provide a support system that is built on encouragement and accountability. There is a significant amount of emphasis that is placed on helping the individual develop the coping skills that will be vital to them having the capacity to effectively avoid the inevitable triggers and temptations that will arise after treatment. At drug treatment centers in Evansville, staff provides patients with the skills and recovery tools they will need when they return to their everyday lives.
It is important for the recovering addict to understand that the risk of relapse in not over when they are released from the treatment center. In fact, the greatest risk of relapse, after the detoxification process, is during the first 60 days after leaving treatment. The risk remains substantially high over the next five years. This is why most drug treatment professionals recommend remaining in an aftercare program for at least the first two years after the initial treatment process. Drug addiction is very unforgiving, meaning that a person who fails in recovery and relapses may never get another shot, so making the most of the opportunity that is currently in front of them is essential to increasing their chance of a complete recovery and sobriety.
In addition to the high sense of self-efficacy, another factor that can raise the risk of relapse is environment. Returning to the same environment that played a role in the development of the addiction can be a major trigger if the person has not developed the proper coping skills. Whenever possible, it is recommended that recovering addicts avoid their original environment; however, reality dictates that this is not always possible. Having developed strong coping skills can help them effectively navigate the pitfalls that are associated with life in the "real world".
The statistics confirm that those who participate in some type of aftercare program succeed at a much higher rate than the individuals who choose not to. The threat of relapse decreases drastically when the complete recovery program is worked to the fullest extent of its design. The initial phase of the treatment program that takes place is the residential treatment center will be extensive and helpful; however, the vast majority of what is needed to remain sober will be learned in a real world setting. Participating in an aftercare program will go a long way in ensuring the success of the individual in reaching their goal of long term sobriety.