I Got Treatment. What’s Next?
Why is aftercare so important to recovery? This is a very common question, especially among newly sober people. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make it any easier to answer. That’s why we decided to post this article on why aftercare matters so much. Hopefully, it will shed a little light on a perennial recovery question.
You did it. You admitted there was a problem in your life. You acknowledged that you could not handle it on your own. You enrolled in a treatment program. Maybe it involved detox. It might have been either inpatient or outpatient. You learned a lot about yourself, and you have done some really hard work. Kept showing up to group meetings and made it to therapist appointments on time. You should feel good about the choices you have recently made. Honestly, you deserve to feel good after exerting that level of commitment and concentration. But a treatment program, no matter how intense, is not realistic long-term. The purpose of treatment, whether inpatient or outpatient, is to help you eventually return to your own life. So, recovery doesn’t end just because your program ended. Treatment is often just the first step. Recovery is a lifestyle. It is a journey that lasts as long as your life lasts.
What Is Aftercare?
At the end of your treatment program, your doctor or counselor will likely give you some information on aftercare. Don’t overthink it; it’s nothing complicated. Aftercare is simply a deliberate, intentional plan for your continued success. If you’ve been taking prescription medications as part of your treatment program, you’ll want to keep taking them. For you, aftercare might include further appointments with your therapist, perhaps weekly or bi-weekly to start out. Your therapist or counselor may likewise suggest group therapy sessions. Still, other alternatives for aftercare include 12-step programs like the faith-based Celebrate Recovery. If you prefer a secular option, you might consider Rational Recovery.
Why Does Aftercare Matter?
Treatment programs can be incredibly successful transitions. But the biggest factor in your success is not just which treatment program you chose. What matters most is how you participated in your treatment program. Schedule and structure can help you recover successfully. However, you must remember that a treatment program is not real life. Treatment programs teach us a lot, but the best care providers cannot live our lives for us. Treatment programs allow us to escape from life, even for just a little while, to an environment that encourages sobriety and recovery. When in treatment, we learn the skills necessary to continue to choose to recover. To continue recovery after treatment ends, we must take some of that order and regimented living back with us. We ought to wake up and to go to sleep at the same time each day. We ought to prepare and eat healthy meals that nourish us properly. We ought to push our bodies with movement and exercise. We also ought to mend our relationships with friends and family and to find hobbies we enjoy. Aftercare can keep us motivated and accountable to keep walking the road we began when we enrolled in treatment. It can help us form partnerships with others in recovery who will support our life choices. In treatment, you began trying to understand and undo some of the habits that led you into addiction. Aftercare helps by further educating you on how to create and maintain new habits.
What If I Still Have Questions?
If you’d like to know more about Harmony Recovery Group’s aftercare options, call us now at 866-461-4474