Where primary treatment for drug or alcohol misuse is successful, without addiction aftercare there is a very high risk of relapse. Even where people receive ongoing treatment following the initial intervention, there is a high relapse rate.
It is important to find a recovery treatment center that offers detailed addiction aftercare to its patients. To find out how you can enter such a program, call Drug Treatment Centers Great Neck at (516) 283-5681.
Aftercare is the treatment received after the initial period of treatment, and often begins when the patient leaves rehab. While it is the last phase of treatment, it is also extremely important, since without an effective addiction aftercare plan the addict is likely to revert to their addiction and eliminate all the gains made in rehab.
Addiction aftercare may continue for months, years, or a lifetime after the initial treatment for the addiction. This is true even for behavioral problems such as gambling or sex addictions.
Addiction relapse prevention aims at reducing the chance of relapse after the patient resumes their normal life. The relapse risk for drug and alcohol addiction is as high as 40 to 60 percent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Addiction is best considered and treated as a chronic illness and relapse does not mean the treatment has failed but that new treatments should be tried instead.
A mix of relapse prevention therapies is chosen to support the patient and prevent a relapse by treating both physical and emotional components of addiction. Many people with addictions have a dual diagnosis with a mental health issue such as anxiety or depression, and relapse prevention treatment must also deal with these issues if it is to be successful.
Among the most common relapse prevention therapies are support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or SMART Recovery. These groups provide ongoing mutual support and help the recovering addict to learn new skills and strategies to cope with life’s highs and lows without resorting to the old addictive behaviors.
Other forms of treatment include individual and group counseling. Many recovering addicts also benefit from taking part in art or music therapy or attending yoga or meditation classes as part of their relapse prevention.
Medications may be prescribed as part of ongoing recovery treatment. The drugs commonly prescribed include methadone, antabuse, and medications to deal with associated mental health disorders, such as antidepressants or tranquillizers.
Aftercare programs for addicts are usually delivered on an outpatient basis, but for some patients moving to a support housing facility, halfway house, or hospital after rehab is the safest and best way to ensure they fully recover. Some patients are urged to attend regular booster sessions at their rehab center to encourage them to remain free of their addiction and keep their motivation level high.
One of the most widely used therapies is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which aims to help patients to recognize the processes that led to their becoming addicted. CBT teaches the recovering addict how to cope with triggers and deal with situations that previously led to their substance abuse or addictive behaviors.
Another commonly used treatment, particularly for young people, is family therapy, which aims to provide relapse prevention in the context of the family and deal with any relationship problems. It is also important for the family to understand the addiction if they are to provide useful support in recovery.
Motivational enhancement therapy is a therapy that teaches the recovering addict how to stop substance abuse or addictive behavior by developing internally motivated changes in behavior.
A mix of addiction aftercare therapies is usually required, and aftercare may need to continue for life. For more information, call Drug Treatment Centers Great Neck at (516) 283-5681.