Sucessfully completing inpatient drug and alcohol treatment may feel like an occasion to celebrate, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t more work to do. Recovering addicts are still at risk for relapse weeks, months and even years after the completion of addiction rehabilitation. Co-morbid disorders, such as a dual diagnosis, also increases the risk of relapse into addictive behaviors and destructive patterns. Attending a solid individual outpatient program can help minimize these risks and keep one moving forward towards long-term sobriety.
The caliber of the aftercare or individual outpatient treatment obtained can strongly influence an addict’s chances of staying sober after treatment. A solid aftercare plan may provide a good foundation as part of a comprehensive outpatient treatment plan. The treatment team should also be there to help plan and prepare for a client’s transition from treatment to societal integration. A high level of quality therapeutic care and support, during and after treatment will help ensure the newly recovering addict can better maintain the gift of sobriety they have worked so hard to achieve.
Addiction experts now recognize that relapse is often a characteristic symptom of addiction and consequent recovery. If one has co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety or PTSD, the temptation to return to substance abuse in order to self-medicate and manage symptoms puts some addicts at greater risk for relapse. These individuals may have a more difficult time maintaining their sobriety and this must be considered, as relapse among dual diagnosis individuals may be more common. Long-term sobriety is absolutely achievable however, once a holistic approach, is put in place to treat the physical and emotional needs dual diagnosis clients may experience in early recovery.
Individual outpatient programs that offer continuing care consultations, group sessions, one-on-one therapeutic sessions, telephone support, equine therapy, meetings with psychiatrists, nutritionists, and individualized treatments such as trauma work, and all help provide an extra layer to ensure continued success to the newly recovering addict. An effective aftercare relapse prevention program may also involve an educational component such as learning about emotional, physiological, or environmental triggers. Often times there are many social and psychological factors that can trigger a relapse into substance abuse. A depressive episode, abuse flashbacks, relationship conflicts, even stressful public events may entice one back to addictive patterns. Learning about and identifying these weak spots, as well as planning in advance for responding to them with new behaviors, will help being caught off guard.
Learning how to deal with stress and cravings prior to leaving treatment and in real life scenarios played out in the supportive environment of an aftercare program can be of great assistance in maintaining newly obtained sobriety. Situations such as starting a new job, beginning a relationship, or moving into a new residence can leave an addict in early recovery in a vulnerable position. Counseling sessions and support groups offered in individual outpatient treatment may help one cope with these high-risk situations.
Thinking through the drink or drug and the consequent outcomes with sober consideration beyond just feeling better at the time may help an addict reconnect with the unpleasant realities of overdoses, incarceration, family, job and relationship loses. Part of an effective outpatient relapse prevention program helps newly sober addicts evaluate potential outcomes prior to picking up their drug of choice. A momentary lapse or minor setback need not turn into a major relapse if one is taught to reach out to their support group immediately and regain momentum in their recovery program.
To learn more about highly effective individual outpatient solutions