Surviving the whole treatment process inside a rehab facility is a great achievement for any patient. However, once outside the rehab, the individual is again exposed to the huge risk of substance abuse and behavioral disorders.
In order to help patients maintain sobriety, a good rehab center must have an aftercare program to prevent any relapse.
What Is an Aftercare Program?
An aftercare program is a post-treatment program conducted for patients who have successfully completed their treatment inside the rehab center. This is important because patients going out of the facility are prone to relapse in the early days after the treatment.
Here some of the common aftercare programs for most rehab centers.
- Sober Living Houses
These are also called halfway homes that can help recovering addicts transition back to society. These houses are affiliated with rehab centers and the government to provide temporary shelter for individuals who completed a treatment program.
Things inside a sober living house:
- Lesser rigid structure compared to in-house rehab centers but still has a structured program
- Residents often stay for 6 to 12 months
- Individuals are allowed to work and go to school
- Individuals must attend recovery meetings and do household chores
- Random drug testing
- Avoid drugs and alcohol
- Individual or Group Therapy and Counseling: Psychological and behavioral therapies are conducted for individuals depending on their condition. The person can go into a 1-on-1 therapy and/or join a group therapy session. Likewise, this procedure is important particularly to those diagnosed with behavioral disorders.
- Support Groups: This program provides an avenue for people to share their experiences, emotions, and coping mechanisms done to foster recovery. Each member gains important insights and inspiration from the shared experiences and knowledge.
- 12-Step Program: The concept of the 12-Step Program came from Alcoholics Anonymous. Its main principle highlights the importance of social interaction and cooperation towards the fast recovery of the patient members. However, everything is useless unless the person accepts one’s vulnerability and need for external intervention.
Why Is an Aftercare Program Important for Recovery?
Approximately 25 to 35 percent of people coming out from rehab centers go back to substance abuse and behavioral problems due to lack of support and their exposure to the negative influences of society. The aftercare program provides extensive support to maintain the sobriety of people coming out from the treatment facility.
Can I Get My Job Back After Rehab?
There are several factors to be considered in order to tell if one is still able to return from his previous work. Some of these factors include company policies, drug history, and present mental and health conditions.
Likewise, one has to overcome the social stigma associated with people coming out from rehab centers.
Here are a few tips one can do in order to increase the chance of regaining back previous work or getting a new one.
- Notify the employer of the average length of one’s treatment inside the rehab center.
- Give the company a head’s up of one’s intention of getting back to work after the treatment.
- Disclose the severity of one’s addiction or behavioral disorder.
- If one can work while undergoing treatment, give sufficient updates on work in progress
- Expand Network: While going through the 12-step program and group therapy, make the most out of the interaction between members and build a good rapport. Some rehab centers have tie-ups with other companies and they can give one a recommendation for any job openings.
- Remove Expectations: There are instances that a person cannot go back to one’s original position in the company. It is better to let go of any expectation as this will result in resentments.
Being open to taking entry-level positions
Be patient with the processing time
Be open to new environment and workmates
- Utilize and Volunteer Skills: Sharing one’s skills in community services can improve a person’s chance of being noticed by prospective employers. Likewise, it gives more positive feedback and an impression of one’s condition after going through rehab.
- Enhance Skills and Education: A person from rehab can go into sponsored short-term educational or vocational courses. This increases one’s chance of getting hired by prospective employers and a means of learning new skills. A person who undergoes further education or training is a great way of proving one’s mental capacity and breaking the social stigma.
- Mention Experience of Rehab Treatment When Asked Only: The priority of any employer in choosing an applicant is one’s skills and attitude for work. Better if one does not readily disclose the experience of going through rehab because of the social stigma unless the employer asks that question.
How Do I Regain My Loved One’s Trust?
Broken relationships with families, friends, and loved ones are mostly associated with substance abuse and behavioral problems. Restoring the trust from loved ones and families is not impossible, rather a challenging path that needs determination and patience.
Here are some tips to successfully regain back trustworthiness after rehab.
- Exercise Patience: Being under the influence of substance abuse and behavioral problems can inflict great pain on families and loved ones. It can result in broken relationships, unemployment, and financial crisis which can also ruin one’s reputation. Getting those things back will take time and so one needs to be realistic in setting expectations and must exercise patience along the way.
- Be consistent in proving one’s dedication to living a healthy life: Trust is not something that grows overnight. It takes time and consistent effort to bring back trust. Practice consistency in one’s words and actions towards regaining trust.
- Practice Healthy Communication: Proving that one can effectively communicate with loved ones in a sweet and healthy manner can slowly bring back trust. This communication can either be verbal or through thoughtful actions such as cooking for them or cleaning the house.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid negative influences: As the old saying goes, “Action speaks louder than words”. Make sure one is able to maintain the aftercare program and avoid friends who are under the influence of alcohol and drugs. It is also a good thing if one can participate in community or church services as it nourishes positive feedback and recognition.
- Engage in Couples Therapy: Seeking professional assistance in mending broken relationships is an effective strategy in gaining back trust and love. This therapy allows the couple to resolve conflicts and set arrangements to regain relationship satisfaction.
Should I Go Back to Rehab?
The most common sign one needs to go back to rehab is when that person experiences constant relapse or “slips” after a few days coming out of the facility. If the person feels the huge risk of being unable to control relapse, it is better to go back to the rehab center.
Here are the most common warning signs towards a relapse.
- Change in Attitude and Mindset: The person suddenly feels that going through the aftercare program is useless
- Increased Stress Levels: The real world is very different from a rehab center because it is full of stressors, unlike a treatment center which is a controlled environment. If the person is unable to maintain adequate stress levels, negative emotions will come out such as anxiety, depression, and anger.
- Denial: The person starts to deny that stress from the real world is getting into one’s system.
- Post-Withdrawal Symptoms: The inability of the person to handle stress leads to post-withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include anxiety, depression, and difficulty sleeping.
- Sudden Change of Behavior: The person tends to be defensive for one’s actions and a decision from not doing the routines to keep oneself sober. The person also becomes secretive upon evaluating one’s behavior and condition.
- Being Anti-Social: The individual constantly finds excuses not to interact with other people and no longer attends support groups.
How to Prevent Relapse?
In order to avoid getting back to rehab, one must prevent relapses from occurring. This is challenging but not impossible. It takes strong determination and discipline to overcome relapses.
Here are some common tips to prevent a relapse.
- Surround oneself with positive people such as families and friends. Make sure these people are not under the influence of substances or with behavioral problems.
- Continue to attend support groups
- Make oneself busy with recreational activities or hobbies that will promote new skills and learnings.
- Always remind oneself of the negative consequences of substance abuse and behavioral disorders.
- If necessary, schedule a weekly appointment with a psychologist or therapist to seek professional advice.
Will My Social Life Change After Rehab?
An individual’s social life after rehab will face several challenges due to the social stigma. It is important to effectively manage criticisms and stress in order to have a normal and happy social life.
Here are a few points where one can start living a happy social life while being sober.
- Gain Confidence: Be confident in one’s great achievement of overcoming addiction.
- Convert Negative Criticisms to Strength: Whether one has done something great or not, people will always have something to say. Learn to accept negative criticisms and treat them as starting points for self-improvement.
- Socialize and make new friends: Never surround yourself with unsupportive people. If old friends are no longer there to accept you, be kind and respect their decision. There are still hundreds of people to mingle with who can value one’s worth. Expand one’s network and the nearest place to start is with the people in one’s support group.
How Do I Help a Recovering Addict or Alcoholic?
A full recovery from substance abuse is a great achievement to be proud of. However, it is even greater if one can help another soul from getting the same achievement.
Be an inspiration and motivate others to live a happy and sober life. Here are a few things one can do to help others in this path to recovery.
- Never Judge, Just Embrace Them: The barrier created from social stigma and prejudices hinders the full recovery of the patients. Love and acceptance are the two main things needed to speed up recovery.
- Safe and Clean Environment: This means that the place where the patients are to live must be free from things that will trigger relapse and addiction.
- Hear them out: Conversation is a great recovery tool for patients as it lightens up one’s burden. Be kind and give time to listen to what they say as it helps them recover.
- Motivate them to learn: Encouraging them to have positive hobbies or learn new skills is a great tool towards self-improvement and self-worth.
- Exercise Patience: Complete recovery takes time and so one needs to have extended patience for these people.