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A Guide to Aftercare

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Drug and alcohol addiction aren’t matters most can tackle on their own. As it stands, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that about 9.2 percent of the American population over the age of 11 reported past-month use of an illicit substance or psychotherapeutic drug at the time of being surveyed, and another 7.2 percent of American adults are alcohol abusers, per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

For some, detox and a few weeks or months of rehab are enough to warrant a recovery, but the most effective forms of treatment incorporate follow-up care including, but not limited to:

The vast majority of substance abusers need to complete rehab in a facility supervised by professionals in order to be successful at reaching and maintaining a drug- and alcohol-free life. Approximately 23.5 million people needed substance abuse treatment in 2009 and only 2.6 million received it, according to NIDA. That being said, at some point, you will have to go home. Integrating back into daily life with a family that may not be trusting of you and no sober friends in sight can be difficult.

You’ll have to make changes to your entire routine. For some, triggers are best avoided by distancing oneself from old habits and friends. If you pass your favorite bar on the way home from work, for example, find a new route to drive. Likewise, if you spent all of your time with people who still engage in substance abuse, steer clear of them and seek new friends through support groups, family associations and religious affiliations.

Continuing Therapy

Psychotherapy is one of the most common avenues one can take in effective aftercare. The most widely used therapy concept in substance abuse treatment settings is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which targets the reasons behind a person’s actions and sets out to change them. For the substance abuser, CBT can be highly effective in rerouting the feelings and urges a user gets from certain triggers, thereby inhibiting them from engaging in more drug or alcohol abuse as time passes. CBT has been shown to be successful in various studies, like one published by the American Psychological Association in which only 34 percent of participants who received computer-based CBT for substance abuse tested positive for drugs, compared to 53 percent of those who didn’t receive CBT.

Self-Help Groups

Support groups are other common forms of aftercare. There are many groups that offer 12-Step programs similar to the treatment module set up by Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Support groups are great places to meet others struggling with the very same problems who won’t judge you for your past mistakes. Likewise, you’ll find many who are also coping with newly rendered diagnoses, wondering how to tell their family members and friends, how to relate to loved ones, and looking to connect with others who are supportive of their recovery.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration attests to an approximate five million Americans in attendance at self-help groups nationwide over the past year in an effort to cope with alcohol or drug abuse problems; of them, 45.1 percent abstained from substance use in the month preceding being surveyed.

Mental Fitness

Due to the overwhelming presence of mental illness among the substance abusing community, it is important to incorporate treatment for mental health disorders into affected individuals’ plans post-treatment. A lot of substance abusers and addicts enter treatment completely unaware that they even have mental health problems, with many being diagnosed during treatment. Often, leaving treatment newly diagnosed brings with it a new stigma as the patient tries to find their way in life and maintain sobriety and solid ground from the point of view as a mentally ill individual.

The good news is that those who receive comprehensive treatment for their mental health issues are better able to maintain their sobriety. Oftentimes, the mental health issues greatly factored into the addiction in the first place; addressing both issues allows the individual to best maintain a sober, balanced life.

SAMHSA states that an estimated seven to 10 million Americans have both a mental health disorder and a substance abuse disorder. Self-medication is now a widely understood concept when it comes to substance abuse treatment. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 61.5 million people across the nation have at least one diagnosed mental illness in a given year. When you have a mental illness that co-occurs with your substance abuse issues, you’re automatically at a heightened risk of relapse. Aftercare can provide you with the extra support that is needed to make sure you remain strong in your recovery.

Well-Rounded Comprehensive Treatment

Aftercare is essential to any sustained recovery. We can connect you to a high-quality treatment facility that includes aftercare. The best recovery programs don’t abandon you once you exit their doors. Ongoing follow-up care is an inclusive part of the top programs, and we can help you find the right one to help you start a new healthy life in recovery. Call us now.


Rehab International is a service provided by Foundations Recovery Network. As part of the Foundations Recovery Network, our goal is to provide science-based treatments to individuals suffering from issues of addiction and mental illness.

When you call you will be connected to a member of the Foundations Recovery Network who will assist in providing you with any questions you may have regarding the treatment process.

The treatment directory on Rehab International is created using resources made available in the public domain. If you would like a listing removed or edited please contact us. If you are trying to reach a resource listing on one of the pages, please contact them directly through their website or contact information provided.

JCAHO The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) is the national evaluation and certifying agency for health care organization and programs in the United States. JCAHO strives to improve health care for the public. FRN is proud to be affiliated with several JCAHO accredited facilities.

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