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Why Aftercare Matters in Addiction Treatment

Why Aftercare Matters in Addiction Treatment

Table of Contents

Of the various treatment methods available to addicts, from the basic care and support of loved ones at home to medical and therapeutic interventions in specialised facilities, an inpatient treatment programme is almost certainly the best way to start your recovery from addiction, in most cases. 

However, the difference between a healthy, happy, sustainable recovery and a lifetime of struggles peppered with relapses lies not just with the quality of the programme but also with the all-important aftercare.

A good programme can help you detox safely and get you started in intensive individual and group therapy. It’s a safe place where you can get a break from the pressures and triggers of your daily life, forget about the world, and focus on recovery. It’s an opportunity to embrace a regular schedule and create healthy lifestyle changes. By the same token, while Inpatient treatment is an utterly vital first step, it is important to be mindful of one important detail: this is only the start of the recovery journey. 

The fact is that a strong recovery requires continuing effort long after you leave. Good aftercare is essential, as it can help you make the transition back to your normal life and keep going strong in recovery for many years to come. 

But why is aftercare so important? Let’s take a look. 

Dealing with Work and Recovery

People leaving a treatment community typically face several challenges, the first being a safe, stable place to live. Many people are limited by what they can afford, but even if money isn’t an issue, finding a living situation suitable for recovery may be hard. Most people typically go back to the familiar. If that includes a chaotic or dysfunctional family life or even a clean, safe place where they feel lonely and bored, their environment may be working against their recovery in many cases. 

Returning to Normal

Another challenge is going back to the stress of daily life. For most people, that means going back to work, where, after a long period of recuperation, there may be a period of acclimation as they settle back in. This is the first major test of recovery after treatment, and for many, it can feel like jumping into the deep end all over again. For ambitious people, in particular, work stress may have played a role in developing an addiction in the first place.

Social Dynamics and Recovery

A further major challenge is that people leaving treatment often find themselves among the same people they spent time with before. Some of these people may even have contributed to the addiction, either because they used themselves or they are people who tend to induce stress in those around them. Avoiding these people should be a priority, but it often takes a great deal of effort, and you may feel lonely at first.

Maintaining Positive Changes

A fourth challenge (which actually relates to the previous challenges mentioned) is maintaining the positive changes you accomplished during treatment. With many of our behaviours being situational, going away and getting a clean break from your regular life makes it easier to learn new behaviours. On returning home, the potential for sliding back into those old habits is worryingly rife. With familiar triggers reappearing, it takes a surprising amount of effort to translate the values learned in treatment into the context of your normal life.

Aftercare is an incredibly important aspect of recovery because of those challenges. Well-rounded aftercare programmes can support you while transitioning back into normal life, but the level of aftercare depends on the treatment facility and your particular situation. It may include a sober living environment, outpatient counselling, alumni networking, reunions, or even volunteering opportunities.

Benefits of Sober Living

Sober living environments are a good option for people who are leaving treatment but may not have a stable, drug-free home to go back to. They are especially good for people who have had trouble transitioning from treatment to normal life. Sober living homes make this process more gradual through the safety of a drug-free environment. 

A good sober living house should be located in an area that helps the recovering addict transition. A sober living house in the popular, trendy area in a city would be Ideal, close to cafes, shops, restaurants, and spas, and with easy access to public transportation.

Life at a sober home is not as structured as life in treatment, but there is some structure, typically involving a curfew, with basic resident responsibilities such as housekeeping and other chores. Often, residents are required to work and submit to drug tests, but in return, more freedom and autonomy are afforded, allowing you to ease back into normal life while surrounded by others who are also committed to staying sober. A sober living programme often helps to make friends with their sober housemates, creating new social connections for when they are once more out on their own.

Creating a Relapse Prevention Plan

Any good treatment programme will include making a relapse prevention plan before you leave. This will include things like identifying triggers and knowing what to do when you encounter them. The plan will also include various ways to implement self-care for a healthier lifestyle while also learning the warning signs of relapse and strategies to deal with the emotional and mental signs that typically precede relapse. By the time you leave treatment, you should have formed a pretty good idea of what comes next in recovery.

Follow-up counselling is another important form of aftercare, and if you live near your treatment centre, you may be able to return periodically to talk to a therapist. If you don’t, you should be able to speak to your therapist on the phone or online. We understand the importance of continued care, and as such, The Dawn offers an aftercare program so contact us for more details on how that works.

This is the perfect time to discuss any unexpected challenges you’ve encountered since leaving treatment. Counselling sessions are a great way to address these challenges through the help of an experienced counsellor who understands exactly where you are.

For most people, the experience of treatment isn’t limited to the time they spend in residence. Addiction treatment is a transformative experience, and residents will often keep in touch with treatment staff and other residents. Good addiction treatment centres make a point of staying in contact because they want to know how their clients are doing. 

When you finish treatment at The Dawn, you become part of our Alumni Community, many of whom volunteer to help staff and organise events and meetings to help others overcome addiction.

Let’s take a look at the key features of our aftercare programmes – you will agree we have ensured no major area of recovery is left untreated.

Aftercare Support Groups and Online Programmes

As is the case with any good recovery aftercare, there is a continuous need for good support post-treatment. Our aftercare support includes free weekly group counselling sessions – accessible globally online or at our resort – ensuring you stay connected and supported in your recovery journey. 

For a more tailored approach, individual counselling sessions via video technology are also available, ensuring a much smoother transition back into everyday life.

Halfway Houses (Sober Living Homes)

We appreciate the importance of a stable, drug-free environment in early recovery and A halfway house prepares residents for a return to normal life while encouraging new, healthy social connections.

Intensive Outpatient Programmes 

For those integrating recovery with daily responsibilities, our IOPs provide a flexible yet comprehensive approach through strong therapeutic support – while also allowing our clients to maintain their work and family commitments. The idea here is to bridge the gap between inpatient intensity and real-world living.

Step Down Programme

The Dawn’s Step Down programme is an ideal bridge from rehab to home life in a fully supportive, semi-controlled environment where clients can practise their new skills, gradually re-engaging with daily life at a pace that suits them. 

There Is Hope

The Dawn rehab facilities

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, The Dawn Rehab in Thailand can help. As Thailand’s most respected addiction treatment, rehabilitation and wellness centre, we provide the latest treatment techniques to provide personalised care.

Whether it is drug addiction, alcohol addiction or mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, PTSD, and executive burnout, The Dawn can help you overcome your addiction. 

More importantly, we have the experience, tools, and recovery aftercare systems in place to ensure you have maximal protection against relapse, setting you up for a more secure and sustainable recovery journey.

If you think either you or a loved one needs treatment, please reach out and let The Dawn help get you on the road to recovery.

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