What is Aftercare?
Aftercare programs help people recovering from addiction issues transition from a structured inpatient or outpatient treatment program to a less structured environment. People in recovery who continue with individual, group, and family therapy and regularly participate in 12-step or other support groups have the greatest likelihood of successful long-term recovery.
Completing a treatment program and then returning to “normal” daily activities without support can be dangerous. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states relapse rates after treatment for those with a substance use disorder and no aftercare plan is between 40-60 percent. This is comparable to relapse rates for patients treated for other chronic disorders like diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.
Research shows that following up a structured treatment program with aftercare helps prevent relapse.
How Does Aftercare Work?
Typically, aftercare includes continued participation in counseling and support groups and may include living in a halfway house or sober home for a period of time. The goal of aftercare is to help patients practice and strengthen their coping skills, interpersonal communication skills, relapse prevention techniques, and healthy living practices.
Aftercare helps you stay aligned with your recovery plan and committed to your recovery goals. The continuing support you receive after completing treatment helps you to establish some healthy habits and allows you to take the knowledge, tools, and skills you’ve learned in rehab and apply them long-term.
How to Find a Therapist or Psychiatrist who Specializes in Recovery?
Make sure both your addiction specialist and their facility are licensed and credentialed. Look for accreditation by The Joint Commission. This means the facility and staff meet the highest performance standards for health care organizations, including personnel and programs.
Therapists should be certified in addiction treatment and have several years of experience in the field. Ask how long they’ve practiced, the approaches they use, and how they formulate an individual treatment plan.
Listen to your gut. You’ll be sharing sensitive personal information, so choose a therapist who makes you feel comfortable!
How Do I Find an Alumni or 12-Step Group?
The best rehabilitation programs offer alumni groups for those who have completed treatment. They recognize the importance of keeping you connected with the support you need to succeed. Rehab staff can also help you find a support group that fits your needs.
Other resources for continued support are your physician or another health care professional, a nonprofit organization that advocates for addiction and mental health services, a house of worship or groups like:
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
- National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
- SMART Recovery
- Women for Sobriety (WFS)
- LifeRing Secular Recovery (LSR)
Turning Point of Tampa provides an aftercare program for our alumni and their families. This support system is designed to ensure the highest probability for successful long-term recovery.
Our new app for iPhone or Android is another tool we offer our alumni, allowing program graduates to connect with peers and TPOT staff, track recovery progress, learn about local recovery events and more!
Turning Point of Tampa’s goal is to always provide a safe environment and a solid foundation in 12-Step recovery, in tandem with quality individual therapy and groups. We have been offering Licensed Residential Treatment for Addiction, Eating Disorders and Dual Diagnosis in Tampa since 1987. If you need help or know someone who does, please contact our admissions department at 813-882-3003, 800-397-3006 or firstname.lastname@example.org.