For those of us in recovery who have recently finished a treatment program and are pursuing aftercare, or for those of us planning ahead, there are post-treatment options that can significantly increase our chances for a successful long-term recovery. Many treatment facilities offer alumnae programs and ongoing treatment programs for people who have already graduated. Other facilities combine their preliminary treatment programs with continued education, support groups, and therapy. Choosing to think of our recovery as a lifelong healing journey and a long-term learning process can help us to stay sober long after completing treatment.

Pursuing Aftercare and Continuing Care

We can equip ourselves for a successful, long-term recovery by pursuing aftercare programs. The work we do to recover doesn’t end with treatment. There is so much more involved in our recovery than shedding our dependence on our drug of choice. We often will need a great deal of help and support long after we’ve first gotten sober. One model of continuing care, the aftercare program, provides crucial “extended recovery monitoring.” 

We might not be able to maintain our sobriety immediately after treatment without help. It can bring us a sense of safety knowing that we have trusted, experienced professionals and experts in addiction recovery, helping to monitor our progress and support us as we continue our recovery journey. The aftercare program at Athens Area Commencement Center is an important element in the recovery process, offering the long-term continuing care, help, and support that can make all the difference in a meaningful recovery.

Success in Recovery

As we work to heal from substance use disorder (SUD), we learn that recovery is an ongoing process that doesn’t end after initial treatment. Pursuing aftercare can be an important part of our overall success in recovery. At Athens Area Commencement Center, we offer an aftercare program that helps people continue their recovery work with the same help and support they received during their first treatment program. 

This post-treatment work is of great benefit to those who want to stay actively committed to their recovery. We have found extending the recovery work with an aftercare program to be so helpful, in fact, that “our results are an over 80% success rate, for those completing the Aftercare Program, as compared to the 10% national average for those completing inpatient treatment programs.” 

Preventing Relapse

One of the most important elements of a successful recovery is the work we do to prevent relapse. Many of us will experience a relapse, whether before or after treatment. In aftercare programs, we learn to see our relapse not as a failure but as one of the steps in our healing journey. 

Rather than drowning ourselves in guilt and shame for having relapsed, we can learn from the relapse itself. What were some of the warning signs before the relapse that we can be mindful of moving forward? Were there specific triggers that preempted the relapse? Did we have unmet needs that contributed to the relapse? How can we meet those needs in healthier ways? What steps do we need to take to prevent another relapse?

Pursuing Aftercare for Lifelong Recovery

One of the first things we learn as we begin to recover is that recovery is a “lifelong process of healing.”  There were countless factors that contributed to our SUD. We have layers of emotions to unpack, fears to confront, and traumas to heal. 

Lasting recovery means we will always need to do the work to keep ourselves well. Staying vigilant, assessing our emotional states, monitoring our responses to triggers, and withstanding our addictive urges – all of these are important elements of the long-term work we do. 

Pursuing Aftercare and Embracing the Journey

In order to stay well, we want to embrace our recovery as a lifelong journey. Seeing our recovery as a lifelong process rather than a short-term undertaking can help us stay sober over the long term. Taking advantage of aftercare programs can help us to embrace that journey. Aftercare programs teach us the life skills and emotional coping skills we need to take our initial success of finishing a treatment program and translate that into lifelong success in recovery. 

Pursuing Aftercare and Maintaining Relationships

One of the many life lessons we learn in recovery is that we don’t need to go it alone. Creating relationships that support our recovery is one of the first things many of us find helpful when beginning treatment. Over time, these relationships continue to be beneficial for us. 

The relationships we build offer us some of the stability and clarity that can be difficult for us to find in recovery. We can’t underestimate the power of a listening ear. Many of us will find comfort and encouragement in a fellow friend who is also recovering and who knows firsthand what we’re going through. Sponsors and counselors can help anchor us through the many challenges we encounter as we do the work to recover. 

Pursuing Aftercare and Easing Our Fears

Knowing there is the continued support of an aftercare program can provide invaluable comfort to those of us in recovery. Staying the course of a treatment program and being successful in our recovery can be some of the hardest work we’ll ever do. Having fears about our recovery is a normal part of the process. As we do the work, knowing there’s an aftercare program there to support us after we finish treatment helps to quell some of those fears that come up for us. 

Will I be able to stay sober after I finish treatment? What kind of help is available to me to help me stay sober? We all have those fears, and knowing there is an aftercare program there for us can make all the difference. Planning to join an aftercare program after we finish treatment can help ease some of those fears as we do the work. 

At Athens Area Commencement Center, we prioritize long-term support because we know how important it is to a successful recovery. Our aftercare program offers the help and guidance many of us need when we’ve completed a treatment program but still have ongoing challenges to face. Recovery is a lifelong journey of healing. We need help preventing relapse, and should a relapse occur, we need help learning from that experience. At Athens Area Commencement Center, we have found that those taking part in an aftercare program have a much higher rate of success in recovery than those only completing an inpatient treatment program. Give yourself the best chance for a successful recovery, and call us at (706) 546-7355.

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