After you go through detox and the initial stages of treatment for substance use disorder (SUD), you must also plan for what continuing steps you’re going to take to remain on the path of recovery. This process, called aftercare planning, is a very important part of making sure that you avoid relapse.
Recovery is not only about discontinuing your substance use; it is an entire lifestyle change. Before you return back to your daily life following the initial stages of treatment, you want to make sure that you’re returning to an environment where you will be able to remain sober. At The Ho Tai Way, we’ll help ensure that you are prepared as possible for living a happy and healthy sober life.
Why Is Aftercare Important?
There is a root cause to each person’s addiction. Maybe you already know your root cause, or maybe you don’t. For some people, it is unaddressed trauma from the past. In many situations, addiction stems from undiagnosed mental health disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or anxiety.
For a lot of people, their root cause is connected to simple life stresses like financial hardship, marriage problems, toxic work environments, or sick children. No matter what your root cause is, it is crucial to identify and address it so that you don’t fall back into substance abuse following treatment. This can be done through aftercare planning and talking through these things with a counselor.
With the help of a counselor, you can also learn to identify potential negative habits you’ve been struggling with and need to address. For example, maybe you turned to substance use when feeling stressed or sad. Once you have identified this, you can begin to work on other healthier and more effective ways to combat stress and other negative emotions.
How Does Aftercare Prepare Me for Life After Treatment?
An important part of aftercare is considering what your life is going to look like when you leave our treatment facility. This involves starting with the basics. For example: Where are you going to be living? What are your finances going to look like? What is the next step you’re going to take to pursue your education or career goals? These are all things you can sort through while working with your treatment providers.
Some additional things to consider during aftercare include:
- Who will your support system be when you return home from treatment?
- Are there specific changes you are going to implement in your life?
- What will you do if you find yourself in a situation where you’re sobriety is being threatened?
- Is your living environment going to be safe, and if not, what other accommodations can you make?
- How are you going to take care of your mental and physical health?
Other things to think about include the following:
- Do you have a relapse prevention plan?
- What sort of triggers do you need to be on the lookout for?
- Do you have a safe and reliable mode of transportation?
- What sort of people are you going to surround yourself with after treatment?
- Are there certain people who you used to spend your time with that you will need to distance yourself from?
Part of aftercare planning will also involve you considering what type of continuing treatment is right for you. Many people in recovery choose to attend support group meetings on a regular basis. This can include 12-Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Others choose to attend therapy so that they can continue working on their mental health while in recovery.
Why Are Life Skills An Important Part of Aftercare?
Life skills development is an important part of aftercare as it helps ensure that you are prepared to live a healthy and productive life when you leave treatment. At The Ho Tai Way, we focus on life skills like critical thinking, empathy, self-control, assertiveness, communication, and healthy decision-making. These are skills everyone needs in order to form good relationships with others and cultivate a healthy and successful lifestyle.
It’s also important that you are prepared for success outside of treatment by learning other abilities that will come in handy when you return home. Some examples of these things could include:
- How to prepare healthy meals for yourself
- The ability to keep a clean home
- How to manage your finances
- The ability to build a stable and healthy daily routine
- How to create a resumé and apply for a job
- The ability to apply for student loans or fill out a college application
- How to include self-care in your daily life
- The ability to take care of your physical health by engaging in workouts that fit your lifestyle
All of these things can help ensure you’re as prepared as possible for a happy and healthy sober lifestyle.
It wouldn’t make sense to go through treatment for addiction without making a plan for what your new sober lifestyle is going to look like. That’s why aftercare planning is so important. This is the time when you consider not only the different changes you’re going to make in your life, but what sort of continuing care you’re going to take part in to prevent relapse. At The Ho Tai Way, we want to make sure that you’re as prepared as possible to live a happy sober life. Call our team at (714) 581-3974 today to learn about the different types of services that we provide. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.