Addiction recovery is a process and not an event. It is not something that occurs at a particular juncture; rather, it is something that progresses and unfolds over time, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Because recovery is life-long, addiction aftercare is of vital importance. Addiction aftercare is an extension of the treatment process, according to the Mayo Clinic. Addiction aftercare in Montgomery is a unique, comprehensive post-treatment course of programming that typically includes counseling or therapy (individual, group or both), medication and participation in a support group (typically a 12-step program).
At the heart of an aftercare program is an addiction aftercare plan, commonly called a relapse prevention plan, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The addiction aftercare plan is developed while a person is in a treatment program. It also sets forth the strategies a person intends to employ to avoid relapse after rehab, or to lessen the consequences of relapse.
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The objectives of addiction aftercare in Montgomery are two-fold, according to researchers at John Hopkins University Medical Center. First, addiction aftercare is designed to build upon the progress towards sobriety, recovery and healthy living initially established in drug and alcohol addiction rehab.
The reality is that even if a person is in a more long-term, in-patient addiction rehab program, all issues will not be fully addressed. (Keep in mind that this type of extended, in-patient treatment definitely is the exception and not the rule when it comes to treatment in the 21st century.)
Second, in addition to serving as an avenue for progress, an aftercare program is designed to prevent relapse, or to lessen the negative consequences associated with relapse. Like recovery, relapse is a process and not a singular event. It begins with emotional relapse, when a person starts to confront different problems, issues or people that historically resulted in the consumption of a mind-altering substance.
Relapse progresses to a mental stage, when a person actually thinks seriously about using again. The final stage of relapse, the physical stage, occurs when a person returns to substance abuse.
The reality is that emotional relapse is difficult to avoid, particularly when a person has just left a treatment center. Indeed, in many cases, a person does not even recognize that he or she experiences emotional relapse, according to researchers at the Menninger Foundation.
A primary goal of a relapse prevention plan, as part of an overall aftercare program, is to stop the relapse process at the emotional or mental stage, and before a person physically returns to substance abuse.
A person completing an addiction recovery program is in a fragile state. This particularly is the case when a person transitions from an in-patient treatment program to life in the proverbial "real world." Upwards of 35 percent of individuals discharged from a drug treatment program are readmitted within a year, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Approximately 50 percent will be readmitted within a five-year time period. A solid, well-structured aftercare program potentially cuts these percentages in half, according to the Mayo Clinic. Remain in recovery and seek the proper addiction support.