Continuing Recovery After Drug Rehab
Completing drug rehab is a tremendous accomplishment. Yet the day that formal rehab treatment concludes is not the day that addiction is forever in the past and recovery has a solid foothold in the future. In fact, while rehab represents perhaps the largest step an individual will take on their journey of recovery, it is actually only a first step. Addiction experts are in agreement in urging participation in aftercare programs in order to find lasting recovery and the greatest chance for success.
Addiction is largely influenced by a breakdown in some area of mental health. Therefore, overcoming addiction will be greatly influenced by developing strong mental health. Staying in programs which continue to support mental health is a logical part of regaining full health and well-being, all of which is damaged through drug use and addiction. Many aftercare programs provide support not only to the formerly addicted person, but also to his/her loved ones and family members. Recovery is a process for everyone who is touched by addiction.
One form of aftercare is the sober living environment. This describes a home that is a controlled place where a person can make incremental steps toward fully re-entering everyday life. The sober home provides a drug and alcohol free environment along with continued counseling and therapy. The sober home offers the person time to ease into the full responsibilities of life and a strong support atmosphere as each step is taken. Most sober living homes are gender specific.
Formal drug rehab centers sometimes offer alumni support programs. Continued meetings with trusted counselors, therapists and even other patients can help the recovery process to stay on course even when the challenges of daily life start to set in and threaten to pull a person back into bad habits and relationships. Surrounding oneself with other people who are invested in your continued recovery can make a world of difference in maintaining your own positive outlook and determination.
Some of the more well-known community aftercare programs include Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Both of these are 12 Step recovery programs with a proven record for sustaining commitment to drug-free living outside of the rehab environment. These 12 Step programs usually provide members with a one-on-one sponsor who is committed to helping the individual succeed. The programs often are able to connect members with a variety of community service projects which are part of the 12 Step plan for living sober and well.
Aftercare programs are a key part of maintaining the forward momentum earned through drug rehab. They offer a ready-made support network that understands the challenges and has answers for those looking to establish a new normal for living.