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5 Reasons Long-term Aftercare is Critical to Addiction Recovery

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5 Reasons Long-term Aftercare is Critical to Addiction Recovery

Many addiction recovery programs and treatment centers have evolved their techniques and strategies exponentially over the past decade to incorporate new research and methods that prove successful for clients with addictions.  One clear factor in determining success in lasting recovery is the availability of quality aftercare for people who have recently completed an initial inpatient recovery program. Inpatient recovery should not be rushed, and it is important to find a program that continues to offer inpatient options for as long as they are beneficial to the individual.  But eventually everyone who struggles with addiction must return to their families or careers, and at this point aftercare becomes critical to the maintenance of sobriety and wellness. While the process of recovery is different for everyone, there are universal benefits to an aftercare program that greatly increase the chances of achieving long-term sobriety.

1. Aftercare Helps You Make Changes that Last

All too often, people with addictions enter recovery programs in order to detox in a safe environment, only to return to the environment that fostered their addiction in the first place without the tools to make any lasting change.  While detoxification and an initial intensive recovery program is an essential first step in the process of attaining lasting sobriety, a quality aftercare program gives you the tools you need to apply your newly acquired skills to everyday life, and prevents you from falling into old habits.  Sobriety during inpatient care is relatively straightforward, but coping with the complexities of fresh sobriety in everyday life requires the proper resources.    

2. You can Lean on the Support of Community

Participating in an aftercare program means you aren’t alone on your recovery journey.  It can be extremely jarring to suddenly transition from an inpatient recovery program in which you are surrounded by peers and professionals, and into “real life” without the support of a recovery team.  An aftercare program prevents feelings of loneliness and isolation that can lead to relapse, while also keeping you in touch with mentors and sponsors that will hold you accountable and keep you on track.  An aftercare support group meeting, for example, can facilitate discussions that help you learn how to overcome obstacles to your sobriety that may present themselves in everyday life. Without proper aftercare, it can be hard to know who to turn to for advice and reassurance in early sobriety.

3. You can Customize Your Care

Aftercare is often a bit less structured and rigid than inpatient recovery, and it allows you to choose the type of care that best suits your individual needs.  Some people feel they benefit more from group support meetings than from individual counseling, while others prefer a combination of both. Everyone’s experience with addiction and recovery is different, and it is important to have options and diverse resources available to you while you create a sober lifestyle.  Aftercare options that fit your schedule and accessibility are also important in maintaining consistency and accountability, so that you can remain committed to your sobriety going forward.

4. Your Can Focus on Your Mental Health

Identifying mental health issues and co-occurring disorders is an essential part of addiction recovery. Unfortunately, without proper aftercare, past trauma and mental illnesses can go untreated after the initial inpatient recovery is complete.  Mental health requires consistent care, and in many cases, healing can last a lifetime. Without the right attention and professional help, mental illnesses like anxiety and depression can trigger addiction relapse. While sobriety should be your number one priority in recovery, aftercare should address all aspects of your wellness so that you eliminate additional stress and find as much peace of mind as possible.  Proper aftercare can also help you to identify potentially problematic situations and relationships in your home life, and help you to create the kind of change that most honors your emotional wellbeing.  

5. You can Begin to Work Towards Physical Wellness

Substance abuse can create lifelong health issues and physical deterioration.  This can occur directly as a result of damaging chemicals entering your body on a regular basis, as the indirect consequences of living a life that was not conducive to healthy choices or regular physical activity.  Quality holistic aftercare can help you address the physical repercussions of your addiction by teaching you proper nutrition and encouraging an active lifestyle. It may also be necessary to screen for additional health issues and identify any medications you may need to support your health during and after detox.  Research continues to prove that paying attention to all aspects of your health in addiction recovery can make the creation of a sober lifestyle easier to achieve, and more likely to last.  

Burning Tree Ranch Promotes Long-term Aftercare

At Burning Tree Ranch, we specialize in long-term care that produces real results, especially for those who have experienced relapse.  Here you will find a team of qualified and compassionate professionals, ready to help each client through a customized treatment program that addresses all aspects of addiction, including the identification of co-occurring disorders.  We know that the journey towards recovery doesn’t end with the conclusion of an inpatient program, and therefore we provide extensive aftercare programs to best support our clients during their transition into lasting sobriety. We also know that addiction affects the whole family, and therefore loved ones are encouraged to participate in the recovery process and take advantage of all our support resources.  For more information, call us today at 877-389-0500.    


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