Relapse and Prevention: What’s in an Aftercare Plan?

Relapse and Prevention: What’s in an Aftercare Plan?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse recommends that recovering addicts stay in treatment for at least 90 days. The longer treatment lasts, the better. This time allows the body to heal. It takes longer for the brain to recover, but three months away from toxic people and places is a good start. Recovering addicts also get more time to work on essential life skills like self-awareness. To help with relapse prevention following residential treatment, having an aftercare plan is key.

Once a person completes treatment and is welcomed home by loved ones, maintaining sobriety can be a challenge. Not only do recovering addicts have to stay sober but also control urges, manage impulsive behaviors and prevent triggers. This requires good judgement and vigilant work at all times.

To help with relapse prevention, more drug treatment centers in Phoenix AZ are offering aftercare plans. At Continuum Recovery Center, we take this process seriously. We realize that a strong continuing care plan can make the difference between staying sober and relapsing.

Stages of Drug and Alcohol Relapse 

Addiction is a chronic disease, meaning that it never fully goes away. This is why you have to work hard to avoid temptation and make the right choices to support a sober lifestyle. If you get complacent or stop going to your 12-step meetings, it’s easier to fall back into old habits. 

What surprises many people is that relapse is not a single event but a process. This is actually a good thing because it allows you to get help from a holistic outpatient treatment rehab before you relapse. With proper intervention, you can prevent the last stage of physically using drugs and alcohol. 

Let’s break down the cycle of relapse. 

  • Emotional stage. This is the stage when the potential for relapse begins. Usually, there are events or situations happening in your life that make you long for drugs and alcohol, such as a death in the family or financial troubles. 
  • Psychological stage. The psychological stage is where bargaining takes place. You might find yourself saying, “I’ll just use once and then stop.” The addictive mind is powerful enough to make you think this is true, but it’s not. Relapse can be dangerous and restart the desire to use again. 
  • Physical stage. The last stage is the physical stage, or the point where you actually use drugs and alcohol. The problem is that these “good” feelings you get from being high last a short time, and then you must face what happened.

Main Points Covered in a Relapse Prevention Aftercare Plan

Many of our clients and their families ask what will be included in their aftercare plan, so we thought we would address the details. Each program is specifically for the individual and addresses their unique lifestyle. Here are the main areas that our Phoenix treatment center focuses on.

  • Support meetings. Times, locations and frequency of support groups are discussed for AA, NA or other group meetings.
  • Support people. Names and phone numbers of sponsors or other support people are included. This way, supportive, sober individuals can be reached in times of crisis.
  • Triggers. Not all triggers may be known right away, but some will. Common triggers include tense family relationships, specific locations or mental illness. An action plan for managing and dealing with these triggers is also included.
  • Individual goals. Some of the personal goals that our clients work on are self-awareness, managing emotions and improving relationships.
  • Individual therapy. Most recovering addicts continue individual therapy to further develop self-help skills and manage a possible mental illness.
  • Time management. To prevent boredom, aftercare plans address balancing time between employment/education, hobbies, exercise and more.
  • Public assistance. If the individual qualifies, information for public housing, public transportation, child care, parental assistance and other state programs will be provided by our drug rehab in Phoenix.
  • Insurance. Information on insurance is given so that recovering addicts know what type of care is covered going forward.

Outpatient Treatment in Phoenix Relapse Prevention

Continuum Recovery Center provides drug and alcohol outpatient treatment in Phoenix. We work with people in all stages of recovery, including those who have relapsed. As an outpatient treatment center, we have a number of programs that allow you to receive support while being able to work, go to school or take care of your family. You also get to choose the level of support you need. 

We offer a wide range of tools to support your recovery, including counseling, family therapy and holistic healing practices like yoga, naturopathic remedies and art and music therapy, mindfulness meditation classes, and more.  You’ll be able to build strong connections with others in the program and hopefully navigate life without needing to resort to relapse. 

Recovery is a lifelong process, but the most vulnerable time is during the first three months. An aftercare plan intends to reduce relapse rates by giving recovering addicts and their families additional support, guidance and direction. 

To learn more about our relapse prevention services, contact us today at 855-869-7132 or fill out our contact form

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