Whether your loved one goes into a sober living home after rehab, comes home to stay with you, or ends up living in another arrangement, aftercare is criticial to their long-term success in recovery. That transitional period between treatment and the return to normal life is a difficult and delicate time, and aftercare provides a much-needed bridge.
During aftercare, your loved one will stay in therapy, either in one-on-one or group sessions. Family therapy may also be in order, especially if you have decided to let your loved one live with you. During this therapy, your loved one will continue to develop new, healthy habits and learn coping strategies to make recovery successful. The continued therapy also drives home the point that, no, they’re not cured when they finish treatment.
Your loved one may be frightened to face the responsibilites, stresses, temptations and pressures of the real world after such a long time masking problems with drugs. The support system provided during aftercare for six months to a year allows your loved one’s confidence and life skills to grow and expand.
Look for an aftercare program, whether residential or outpatient, that focuses on preventing relapse, helps your loved one restructure family dynamics, addresses triggers and temptations, teaches relational skills, and provides stress management tools. Many aftercare programs also incorporate random drug testing into their design.