Aftercare and Relapse Prevention: An introduction

According to an independent research, it has been revealed that a staggering amount of 2.15 million of U.S. population has a substance use disorder (SUD). The relapse rates among people suffering from SUD are also very high, ranging from 37% to 56%. However, several studies have concluded that people who use Aftercare and relapse prevention programs are less like to relapse than those who do not opt for such services.

Regrettably, only 50% of the people avail aftercare services after recovering from SUD. The rate of people who enrol in an Aftercare and relapse prevention program is ever lower.

What Is Aftercare?

Recovering from a drug abuse or addiction can be a daunting and painful process. However, it is totally worth it as you get to live a better-quality life in the return. However, the treatment period does not end in the hospital. It is imperative that an aftercare should be continued, followed by an addiction treatment care.

The post-treatment period is very crucial to the patient’s recovery and neglecting this can prove to detrimental to the retrieval stage as the patient can easily relapse back into older habits, which can ruin all the efforts made during the treatment.

There are various aftercare treatment options available in order to prevent relapse and help the patient to cope against the temptations during rehabilitation program. Some of them are following:

Outpatient Treatment

The outpatient program allows people to stay in their home while working on their addiction issues. It has an appointment system that accommodates patient’s personal commitments like childcare or working hours. It is convenient for people who need to carry out their responsibilities and give time to their family while dealing with their addiction problems.

Group Counselling

Group counselling allows the patients to listen share their experiences with people dealing with similar issues and addiction problems. It may consist of 3 members up to more than a dozen. Generally, the duration of the meeting is somewhere between an hour or two. There are many kinds of groups available for this purpose such as support group, psycho educational group or skills development group. The therapist is responsible to decide which type of group is most suitable for the patient.

The group counselling gives an assurance to the members that they are not alone. The exchange of experience and stories boost their self-esteem and confidence. Moreover, expressing their feelings also make relieve their guilt, pain and stress levels.

Individual Therapy

The individual counseling provides an intervention-based treatment with a trained therapist. People continue individual therapy while transitioning into the post-drug lifestyle in quest of a long-term sobriety. In the initial sessions, the therapist assesses their client’s condition and devise an aftercare and relapse prevention treatment plan.

After evaluating your behavior and beliefs, they may work on several aspects regarding your personality like managing emotions and coping skills. Most therapists assign their clients some kind of homework. For instance, reading books or maintaining a log, which can facilitate your healing process and provide you with motivation to stay sober.

The Final Word

The clinicians may suggest aftercare, the duration of which may vary depending on the condition and requirement of the patient. It is important that the patient rigorously commits to the aftercare plan in order to prevent substance relapse. It is also imperative that patient’s friends and family provide them complete support throughout their aftercare and relapse prevention period to ensure that their loved one remains safe from drugs and substance.