Long-Term Addiction Recovery
Aftercare Planning

“Addiction recovery is a lifelong commitment.”

This statement might seem overwhelming at first, especially if you or your loved one has not yet entered into a multi-phased program of addiction recovery. The word “forever” can be quite intimidating – which is why there is such a strong emphasis on taking things “one day at a time.” If you or someone you love has been struggling with a substance abuse disorder of any severity, it is important to understand that there is no quick fix. Addiction treatment is an ongoing commitment – but it is entirely manageable when you have the right support and when you have adequately developed the tools and coping mechanisms you need to stay sober for years to come.

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The American Psychiatric Association describes a diagnosable substance use disorder as “a condition in which there is uncontrolled use of a substance despite harmful consequences.” People who develop substance use disorders continue using their substance of choice despite an accumulation of personal issues, which range from financial insecurity to interpersonal problems and problems at work or at school. No matter how hard they attempt to quit, they cannot do so on their own accord – in order to maintain sobriety long-term, a multi-phased program of clinical care is absolutely essential. This is because over time, the brain becomes accustomed to the presence of chemical substances. Neurological rewiring starts to occur, and the brain tells the body, “Hey, listen – if we don’t keep pumping ourselves full of drugs or booze we literally aren’t going to survive.” To the outside world it might seem like someone who is struggling with a substance use disorder simply lacks conviction or the desire to quit. It might seem like he or she just needs to employ a little will power or try a little bit harder. If you have firsthand experience with substance abuse and dependence you know that this is not the case. Addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disease, one that can be effectively treated but never cured. Because of this, developing a long-term and personalized program of aftercare is absolutely essential.

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What Is Aftercare Planning?

Aftercare planning refers to the personalized plan for continuing care that is developed while an individual is engaged in medically monitored detox, inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization or an outpatient treatment program. Every reputable treatment program places a large emphasis on aftercare planning, which decreases the risk of relapse while helping clients stay committed to their personal programs of recovery. According to an article published by the International Journal of the Addictions titled, “Aftercare in Drug Abuse Treatment,” the primary goal of every aftercare program is to prevent a return to drinking or drug use through a variety of means. Every phase of the recovery process has its own unique aftercare plan, and the components of each aftercare plan depend heavily on the unique needs and clinical requirements of each individual client. For example, a person who is currently in the medically monitored detox phase of treatment might have an aftercare plan that consists of the following:

  • Transition immediately into a therapeutically-based rehab center for three months
  • Continue taking antidepressant medications under the observation of a licensed psychiatrist in order to combat the psychological symptoms associated with protracted (or post-acute) alcohol withdrawal
  • Undergo an additional clinical, medical and psychological assessment once every month in order to track progress and ensure all recovery goals are being met 

Aftercare plans vary significantly on a person-to-person basis. To learn more about this specific addiction treatment service contact us today.

The Main Components of Aftercare

There are several main components of every effective aftercare program, including:

  • A continuation of one-on-one therapy sessions – The therapy provided in medical detox and inpatient treatment is only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. In order for underlying issues (like unresolved childhood trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder) to be overcome long-term, years of therapy are often required.
  • A continuation of psychiatric services wherever dual diagnosis disorders are concerned – Dual diagnosis treatment centers help clients identify and treat any underlying mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. But it is essentially that clients continue to see a licensed psychiatrist on a regular basis so that he or she can check to make sure psychotropic medications are working and that an ideal quality of life is being maintained.
  • Family therapy and continuous family involvement – The family serves as a built-in support system, and it is likely that when treatment concludes and a client returns home, he or she will be faced with a new set of family-oriented experiences and challenges. Ongoing family involvement is vital to continuous sobriety.
  • Daily attendance at 12-step meetings – Clients are encouraged to make at least one 12-step meeting every day in order to keep themselves engaged and accountable.
  • Working through the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous with a sponsor – Clients are encouraged to begin working through the 12 steps as soon as inpatient treatment concludes.

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When it comes to the aftercare planning services that we provide at CuraSouth, we place a strong emphasis on rehab placement. We work closely with several reputable, gender-specific drug and alcohol rehab centers throughout the country, and we never discharge a client without a plan for continuing clinical care in place. According to an article published in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse titled, “Aftercare Plans of Inpatients Undergoing Detoxification,” roughly 98 percent of all men and women who are physically stabilized in a medical detox facility reported some level of aftercare following the withdrawal process. Among the aftercare services that clients requested were individual therapy or counseling sessions that took place at least once a week, daily involvement in a 12-step program of recovery, vocational training services and a continuation of relapse prevention training. At CuraSouth we offer all of the above-listed services as part of our aftercare planning program – along with many others.

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Our Aftercare Planning Services

Thorough and individualized aftercare planning services are considered a predominant indication of an effective addiction treatment program. This is because in order for clients to maintain sobriety long-term they must remain committed to a comprehensive program of continuing care. At CuraSouth we begin developing an aftercare plan as soon as a client is admitted into our detox program. Each client is assigned a dedicated case manager who gets to know that client on a highly personal level. Case managers work closely with the clinical and medical team, going over the unique challenges each individual client faces and ultimately developing a plan of action that ensures all personal needs are going to be met long-term. At CuraSouth we believe that when addiction treatment is done right the first time there is no reason why a client would ever need to experience the devastation of relapse.

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    At CuraSouth we remain dedicated to making our comprehensive and highly individualized program of medical detox as accessible as possible to those in need. We understand that committing to a long-term program of addiction recovery can be overwhelming in and of itself. For this reason we have developed an admissions process that is simple and uncomplicated. The moment you or your loved one makes the decision to contact us we begin developing a viable and stress-free plan of action, which includes setting a date and a time for intake and arranging reliable transportation plans. When all is said and done we can have you or your loved one en route to treatment as soon as the very next day. To begin your personal recovery journey or to help your loved one get started contact us now, we are available to help you 24/7.