All the hard work you put into getting the most out of rehab could be wasted if you do not have sufficient help once you return home. Below we have outlined six reasons why aftercare is so important.
Staying sober in a rehabilitation centre is easy because you will be surrounded by all the resources and help you need. It can come as a shock when you move from this protective and supportive environment back to reality. This is why such a high number of people relapse at this stage. The way to stay safe during this transition is to have plenty of support in the form of aftercare; you cannot really have too much aftercare during those initial few weeks back home.
Rehab provides you with a great foundation for your new life, but there is still plenty of work to be done once you return home; this is when you begin building. You are going to need access to at least some resources once you go home, and the most convenient way to gain this access is as part of an aftercare package.
You’ve taken a major step forward by ending your addiction but there is no reason why your progress should stop there. One of the great advantages of an aftercare programme is that it can provide you with a path that you can follow for the rest of your life. This path is not only going to be designed to put some safe distance between you and your old addiction, it is also created to help you achieve your dreams and find happiness. There are many aftercare programmes for individuals to choose from, such as the 12-step programme.
Breaking away from addiction usually means giving up old friends who are still drinking or using drugs. It is important to always have some type of social network, but when you first become sober, you may not have this. A comprehensive aftercare programme is going to contain opportunities for meeting new people in recovery. This could include things like attending a fellowship group where you will be able to make new friends.
When you first walk out of rehab, you are likely to be highly motivated to build a new life and you may feel almost unstoppable and very optimistic about the future. The problem is that this high level of motivation can start to wane over time unless you keep on working on maintaining it. One of the most important reasons why you need an aftercare following rehab is that it is going to keep you motivated in the long-term.
If you leave rehab without enough aftercare, you will not have fully completed the programme. It is helpful to think of your time in this facility as the theory-learning component of your recovery; it’s where you learn all the stuff you are going to need to build a new life. Once you return home, you are going to need to continue your learning with a focus on practice, so the aim of aftercare then is to help you put everything you have learned into practice.