AFTERCARE + BEYOND
What is Aftercare + Planning?
Nobody gets addicted to drugs or alcohol overnight. It takes time for the physical and psychological changes caused by the abused substance to take hold. The same is true of addiction treatment. It takes time. The most extensive work when fighting addiction often takes place during physical detox and an inpatient rehab stay. During that time, every minute of your day is planned to help your body become clean and free your mind of thoughts about getting high. You undergo group and individual counseling, learn ways to deal with stress and start on a 12-step program to help you change your mindset. By the time you are ready to be discharged, you have been handed tools that are meant to help you face the world from a stronger, more healthy perspective. You are meant to take those tools, return to the outside world and work at staying clean and sober. You may be feeling more confident and you are better educated on how to cope with adverse situations. You have changed, but the world outside of rehab hasn’t. That is where a good aftercare program comes into the picture.
In essence, aftercare is the continued treatment you receive once you are discharged from inpatient rehab. It is set up to help give you support that may be crucial in avoiding a relapse. It can also be the first line of intervention if a relapse does occur, allowing you to get back on track before you return to the point you were at before you entered the treatment program.
Every individual sees a different aftercare scenario because everyone has different needs. Sometimes a weekly check-in or support group is all you need to keep your resolve and put into action the new things you have learned. Other individuals may need mental health treatment, family counseling, and more. What this continued treatment is set up to accomplish is giving you a sense of support during this important recovery period. It is meant to be something to hold onto if you feel you need that extra support and it helps to reinforce the lessons you have been taught until they become a strong part of your daily life.
Detoxification is the process of removing harmful substances from your body. This is usually the start of the recovery process because it allows you to remove yourself from drugs and alcohol so you can have a fresh start in a safe + comfortable environment.
An inpatient drug rehab program like North Hills Addiction Treatment Center is when you spend time disconnecting from the world to recover from your use of drugs and alcohol. This stay allows you to take the time to really focus on yourself and heal from addiction.
At North Hills Addiction Treatment Center, we will be with you every step of the way for your sobriety. We will design an aftercare plan that is intended to keep you sober long after you leave our inpatient program and ensure that our treatment produces lasting results.
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Why is Aftercare Needed?
Some people wonder why aftercare is needed. After all, drugs or alcohol are no longer physically in your system. You have possibly been given medication that can help manage any mental health issues that you may have been self-medicating, and you have learned more positive ways to deal with things like stress and anger. Leaving an inpatient facility is a time of celebration. It can also be a time of fear and stress.
Most people leave addiction treatment and end up returning to the same major situations they left. They return to the same family and maybe even the same friends. They have jobs or seek out new ones. People are surrounded by the same stressors and temptations that they faced before treatment. You have been given tools, but you need time to practice these skills.
Addiction literally changes the brain. Neural pathways were created throughout the years that became stronger the more you used drugs or alcohol to deal with a feeling or situation. At the same time, other pathways became dormant. Your brain needs time to restrengthen the positive pathways used in coping. Think of it like going to paramedic school. You are given instructions on how to start a heart that has stopped. You even get to practice on a CPR model. But, it isn’t until you get out there and actually work on a human being who has gone into cardiac arrest that you truly know you have learned the procedure. This is the same thing with addiction rehab.
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What to Expect During the Aftercare Planning Process
Aftercare differs for every person. Someone will sit with you when you are making discharge plans and together you will figure out where you may need extra support. If you are going back into a household where everyone interacts in an unhealthy manner, family counseling may be what is needed so that your family understands how they can best help you stay on track. Individual and group counseling may still be needed to help deal with issues surrounding anger or depression.
Some people can’t remember a time when they ever enjoyed a social situation without the addition of drugs or alcohol. This may mean you will need help learning about ways to socialize differently. At first, you may find yourself having to attend meetings a few times a week but as you become stronger and more confident, that time will lessen. In some cases, an individual may need the comfort of a monthly support group meeting for years. Others will feel ready to handle whatever comes along without consistent contact. Whatever your needs, what matters most is being able to live a full, happy life without using artificial means such as drugs and alcohol.
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Let Go + Find Long-Term Recovery at North Hills in California
Let our Aftercare program at North Hills Addiction Treatment Center help you. By the time you leave our facility, we will have helped you incorporate the coping skills and self-knowledge that will enable you to make a fresh start. Aftercare treatment will allow you something to continue counting on until you feel you are ready to leave your drug addiction as far behind as possible. Returning to life outside rehab doesn’t have to be something you do alone. We are here to help you succeed every step of the way.
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