After a period of time in rehab, a recovering addict is often ready to return to their daily life. But the road to recovery is never truly over. It’s important that addicts develop an addiction aftercare program to help them maintain the coping and recovery tools that they learned in treatment. Without a solid plan for long-term sobriety, it’s easy to fall back into old addictive habits and risk relapsing.

Recovering from addiction can be a long and difficult process, and the relapse rate is high. It’s estimated that 40 to 60 percent of people who complete detox and rehab will relapse. Thankfully, addiction aftercare programs are designed to prevent relapses and help people to manage the triggers that can cause them to use drugs or alcohol. Having a well-rounded recovery plan that includes ongoing support from family, friends and peers will improve your chances of staying sober.

Addiction aftercare programs can take many forms. They can include community support groups, online peer-to-peer support systems, private therapists and even sober living homes. The most important part of any aftercare program is that it is tailored to the specific needs of the recovering addict. For example, a person in recovery may need help with reestablishing healthy relationships, finding employment and housing or dealing with legal issues that are tied to their active drug or alcohol use.

An addiction aftercare program is usually developed as the client is nearing completion of their rehabilitation treatment, but it can also be initiated at other times, such as when they resume work or school or if they have children. It is recommended that people who participate in a rehab aftercare program begin as soon as they leave acute care to increase their chances of success.

An addiction aftercare program can help recovering addicts stay connected with the doctors, psychiatrists and therapists who helped them in treatment. It can also help them to find employment and housing, and to address any underlying mental health issues that might be causing their addiction. Depending on the individual’s situation, they can also receive medication management to control recurrence of drug or alcohol use and symptoms associated with co-occurring disorders like anxiety or depression. This can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of drug or alcohol rehab.

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