The Importance of Post-Treatment Planning
Post-treatment planning is a critical aspect of a drug and alcohol rehab that sets patients up for long-term sobriety. After patients have received treatment for their substance use disorder and any co-occurring disorders, and have learned the root of their chemical dependencies, they can continue to focus on staying sober. Post-treatment planning helps patients live a fulfilling life after rehab and maintain their sobriety. Through this, they learn new ways to discourage relapse and can cope with the world with the help of caring staff.
Patients transitioning from addiction to sobriety may be nervous, have insomnia, or battle with cravings for drugs or alcohol. Relationships that ended or were strained during addiction need to be fixed. Jobs lost and commitments placed on the back burner need attention. Self-forgiveness and self-compassion need to be practiced. Be patient with yourself. Commitment to transformation requires endurance and confidence, along with healthy habits and a positive mindset.
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Relapse Prevention in Post-Treatment Planning
It is not uncommon for relapses to occur within 6 months of treatment. Relapse prevention, as it sounds, can help individuals maintain their sobriety. Despite them no longer being in a treatment facility, patients can take part in programs that continue the spiritual support they grew accustomed to. This kind of continuing care ensures patients maintain their levels of wellness and reduce stress. These programs include:
- Individual therapy
- Intensive Outpatient Therapy
- 12-Step/Peer group-based meetings
During the admission process of rehab, patients receive a customized treatment plan after answering questions about their chemical disorder. Treatment plans help patients structure their healing during the treatment process, but also once they are on their own. Typically, part of these plans will include individual therapy, which connects the patient to a therapist that fits their needs. From there, patients uncover sources of stress and identify behaviors contributing to their substance use disorder(s).
Using Therapy as a part of Post-Treatment Planning
Therapies can vary based on any underlying need of the patients or services provided at the facility. For example, if the patient has anxiety, therapists may include more meditation and biofeedback to calm the mind. Holistic-based therapies are gentle in accompanying detox, providing practical healing approaches for mental, emotional, nutritional, creative, and spiritual recovery.
Intensive Outpatient Therapy, or IOP, is an option for patients seeking treatment but need to tend to home or career responsibilities. Patients balance treatment, like medication and attending 12-step groups, with home life. They connect with rehab staff by checking in a few days a week while having the support of friends and family at home.
12-Step programs are offered in rehab and IOP treatments. 12-Step peer groups empower the individual to acknowledge a higher power in recovery and take personal inventory surrounding the impact of substance use disorders. Patients can also utilize wisdom from other groups, like Self-Management and Recovery Training, or SMART. SMART encourages individuals to control their behaviors and cravings with 4-Point programs. Once patients complete training, they graduate the program.
Individuals can find hobbies to reinforce their connection to the present moment. Hobbies can be creative (writing, cooking), physical (exercise), spiritual (meditation), and social.
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Alumni Programs in Post-Treatment Planning
Alumni programs are highly suggested to help reduce the risk of relapse and offer connection. Individuals can request to join alumni groups after treatment through the facility’s staff. Alumni programs offer exciting social events and activities highlighting the impact of positive contribution such as:
- Group based outings and activities
- Volunteer activities
- Social media groups for support
- Weekly meetings to maintain connection
Alumni groups consist of individuals who have graduated from treatment for chemical dependences, preserving connection and community. Maintaining positive relationships creates a positive distraction from a former life of addiction. It also reminds us of the power of uplifting friends and present-moment living.
Reinforcing Values and Accountability During Post-Treatment Planning
Aside the assistance from facilities and programs, individuals can inspire themselves to be responsible for their wellbeing after treatment. They can commit to reinventing their habits and mind frame when recovering. Patients can focus on living a life of freedom, not conforming to addiction. Patients can live a life of passion and purpose, an authentic life with hobbies and friends who encourage them to stay connected to their core values.
Here, individuals uncover a part of themselves which reveal who they really are after recovery. Patients are not just victims of addiction with painful memories, nor victims of circumstances. Our purpose supports our passion. With purposeful living, we can create daily intentions to be joyful and healthy in our healed states. Making a list of core values helps the individual build with an intention to find self-awareness. Journaling to track cravings and emotions reinforces accountability and knowledge on one’s recovery journey.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
You’ve come to a point where you realize you have to make a change. Whether you’re hiding your habit, spending large amounts of money, or have been encouraged to stop using by friends and family, you owe it to yourself to take the next step towards a life free from substance abuse. Take action and create the life you want by reaching out to a dedicated treatment specialist. They are experts who can guide individuals to the best facility to meet their financial and health needs. You can take control of your future, you just need to reach out.
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