Aftercare & Continuum of Care

After you go through the steps of detox, inpatient treatment, and outpatient treatment, you may be left wondering what’s next. At Athens Area Commencement Center, we believe that care and support shouldn’t stop after primary treatment is completed. That’s why we recommend our aftercare program for all of our clients, no matter the severity of their addiction.

What Is Aftercare/Continuum Care?

Aftercare programs, also known as continuum care, are a step in the recovery process for individuals who have completed residential treatment and/or an intensive outpatient program (IOP). It encompasses a set of supportive and therapeutic services designed to help individuals maintain their sobriety and navigate the challenges of life after completing primary addiction treatment programs. 

The primary goal of aftercare is to provide ongoing support, prevent relapse, and promote sustained recovery. One key aspect of aftercare is the development of a personalized and comprehensive plan tailored to the individual’s specific needs and circumstances. This plan often includes a combination of support services. These services may include counseling, therapy, support groups, and medical interventions. Aftercare aims to reinforce the skills and coping mechanisms learned during initial treatment. It does this by addressing the unique challenges and triggers that may contribute to relapse.

In essence, aftercare recognizes that the journey to recovery is an ongoing process that requires ongoing support. By offering a continuum of care, individuals are better equipped to face the challenges of daily life while maintaining their commitment to sobriety. Ultimately, continuum care increases the likelihood of a successful and sustained recovery.

What Are the Benefits of Aftercare?

One of the primary advantages of aftercare programs is the continuity of support. Continuum care provides a structured framework that helps individuals transition from the intensive care of rehabilitation to the challenges of daily life. This continuity is essential in preventing relapse. It addresses the ongoing needs and vulnerabilities that individuals may face as they reintegrate into society.

Aftercare programs also offer a platform for ongoing education and skill development. Participants can continue to refine the coping mechanisms and life skills acquired during initial treatment, applying them to real-world situations. This educational aspect is crucial. It can empower individuals to make informed decisions, manage stressors, and navigate the complexities of life without resorting to substance use. 

The social support provided in aftercare is another invaluable benefit. Support groups and counseling sessions create a sense of community. This is important in recovery, which can be a lonely and isolating time for some. Support groups foster connections with individuals who understand the challenges of recovery. Peer support not only encourages accountability but also serves as a source of inspiration and motivation. This, in turn, reinforces the commitment to long-term sobriety.

Here are some other benefits of taking part in an aftercare program:

  • Empowers individuals to make informed decisions about their recovery journey
  • Promotes a sense of control and self-efficacy in managing stressors and temptations
  • Maximizes effectiveness by addressing personal obstacles and challenges
  • Addresses underlying mental health issues through continued therapy
  • Identifies and addresses ongoing needs and vulnerabilities
  • Acts as a crucial component in preventing relapse by providing ongoing care and support

Who Should Be in a Continuum Care Program?

Aftercare is essential for anyone in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). It doesn’t matter how severe your addiction is, how long you were using, or your preferred substance. This type of program is beneficial to anyone who has received treatment for SUD. 

At Athens Area Commencement Center, we recommend that clients attend continuum care meetings for at least two years after completing their initial treatment. These meetings are only once a week on Tuesdays, from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. It’s not a big time commitment, and that hour every week can keep you on the path of sustained wellness and sobriety. 

The efficacy of our aftercare program is profound. We have found that 80% of our clients who take part in the aftercare program after primary treatment are successful in maintaining their sobriety. Compare this to the national average of individuals who only complete inpatient treatment, which is 10%, and you’ll see why continuing care is so important. 

What to Expect

The continuum of care will look different for everyone. We carefully tailor each aftercare plan to fit the needs and goals of each client because we know that recovery is unique for every person. During your primary treatment, you’ll begin to talk with your care team about what aftercare should look like for you. That way, by the time you finish your initial treatment, you’ll have an individualized aftercare plan in place for your next steps. 

Here are some activities and services that may be included in your aftercare plan:

  • One-on-one talk therapy 
  • Family counseling
  • Support groups 
  • 12-Step programs 
  • Community involvement 
  • Recreation/social activities
  • Spirituality and/or mindfulness
  • Vocational or education support
  • Life skills training

In order to help you transition back to daily life and learn to manage your addiction on your own, aftercare may include activities and services outside of the treatment center. Attending support group meetings and 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a great option. Your care team will recommend resources like this in your area and can even help you get in touch with the right organizations. However, it will be up to you to follow through with certain aspects of your aftercare. This is a great opportunity to practice self-reliance and self-care in a post-addiction life. 

Aftercare is an important step in the journey to maintain sobriety and long-term wellness. To learn more about your treatment options, call Athens Area Commencement Center at (706) 546-7355.