When a person completes a drug or alcohol treatment program, they cannot simply go out the door and immediately enjoy a sober life without challenges. On the contrary, there is still a new series of challenges before individuals after the completion of a rehabilitation program. To help the individual cope effectively with these situations (and avoid relapse) there are prevention and aftercare programs for addictions.
Why are drug abuse prevention and aftercare important?
Before discussing the different types of addiction prevention and aftercare, it is a good idea to review some of the issues that a sober person may face in the days and weeks after treatment. These include:
- Temptation. An individual returning to a destructive environment may immediately face the possibility of relapse. Old friends who take drugs are a common source of temptation, as they organize a “welcome” in the most destructive way imaginable.
- Stress. One of the most common “triggers” for substance abuse is stress. Then the question arises, how can the individual face life and stress when he returns home after treatment?
- Relations. Rebuilding broken trust with friends and family members can be difficult. Although the recovering addict is very excited about his new life, not everyone can be ready to forgive him.
What are the most important types of aftercare and prevention programs?
Among the best ways to help people maintain sobriety are:
- Groups of 12 steps. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are two of the most common forms of 12-step groups – where recovering addicts gather to share stories and support each other.
- Advice. Often, recovering addicts need the advice of their therapists. These sessions act as a kind of “tune up” the individual’s ongoing efforts to maintain his sobriety.
- Houses of sober life. A sober house of life can be an opportunity to make a smooth transition to everyday life. These facilities house recovering addicts who need to rebuild their autonomy.
How long do prevention and aftercare programs last after drug rehabilitation?
Although it would be good to say that you only need to attend aftercare programs for a few weeks after drug and alcohol treatment, the reality is that many people should consider attending for longer. There is no “cure” for alcoholism or for drug addiction. Success is obtained by taking recovery one day at a time and never thinking that you have completely overcome the problem. Aftercare programs, such as the 12-step groups, offer this ongoing care and the necessary support and help make sobriety and drug addiction prevention a reality for many years to come.