Attending a rehab program is just one part of the recovery process. Effective treatment requires long-term aftercare to help promote lifelong recovery.
Addiction recovery is a lifelong process that requires ongoing maintenance, support and preventative care. Although professional treatment programs help build a foundation for lasting sobriety, people in post-rehab recovery still need resources to keep the foundation from crumbling over time. This is why many rehab centers, including The Recovery Village Atlanta, provide long-term aftercare programs that help support and guide clients through the many obstacles that can arise in recovery.
What Happens After Rehab?
Rehab treatment programs typically offer different levels of care that clients move between as they become more stable in their recovery. A common treatment plan may involve a medical detox program that helps relieve withdrawal symptoms, followed by inpatient rehab that addresses the underlying causes of a person’s substance use. As a person makes progress in their recovery, they may drop down to a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or outpatient treatment.
PHPs and outpatient programs allow people to return to their daily lives while attending treatment at the facility for a certain number of hours each week. This helps clients to have an additional layer of support as they learn to live each day without turning to substance use.
Treatment ends when a client (and their treatment team) feels they are prepared enough to stay sober on their own. Even then, clients will begin an individualized aftercare plan that helps them find support, build connections with others and reduce the risk of relapse. This aftercare plan may include support groups, follow-ups, referrals to continued medical care and therapy, and other recovery resources.
Drug and alcohol addiction is a disease for which there is no cure. Its relapse rates are around 40% to 60%, which are similar to those of diseases such as high blood pressure and asthma. However, this does not mean that substance addiction cannot be managed through treatment and specific recovery strategies, including relapse prevention.
A large part of both rehab treatment and long-term aftercare involves relapse prevention strategies. Substance use is often triggered by certain situations, environments or even individuals. Creating an effective relapse prevention plan involves identifying these variables and learning to avoid or at least cope with them in healthier ways. Aftercare helps reinforce the prevention strategies created in rehab, allowing people to maintain their sobriety even in the midst of difficult or triggering situations.
Continuing Support and Aftercare
Aftercare support can involve many different approaches, ranging from therapy appointments and support groups to medication-assisted treatment and outpatient care. These services help clients transition out of rehab treatment and into long-term recovery; they also help address obstacles that may come up throughout the recovery journey.
Aftercare typically comes after the outpatient treatment process has already ended. However, clients in aftercare may continue certain treatments that were offered as part of their outpatient care, such as medication-assisted treatment and counseling. They may also receive a referral to other vetted medical providers who can assist long-term in their recovery.
In some cases, clients in aftercare may realize that they left outpatient care a bit too soon, and they still need additional structure and support before beginning the aftercare stage. In these situations, a client may return to outpatient treatment to gain more stability and confidence.
Individual and Group Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a highly effective therapy for people struggling with addiction. CBT helps individuals address thoughts and behaviors that lead to substance use, learn how to reframe these feelings and use healthier coping mechanisms instead of drugs or alcohol. CBT and other forms of therapy can also be helpful throughout aftercare, as they help people identify new concerns, learn about new strategies and continue practicing healthy ways to cope over time.
Teletherapy provides all the same benefits as an in-person therapy visit, but it is conducted virtually through an online video meeting platform. Teletherapy is highly accessible and widely available, meaning people who are in remote locations or lack transport can still access mental health and addiction recovery support. In addition to our in-person rehab options, The Recovery Village Atlanta offers teletherapy support delivered by licensed mental health professionals.
Our facility is also connected with Nobu, a mental wellness app by The Recovery Village. Nobu offers free mental health resources like mental health lessons and videos, goal-tracking, journaling, and clinical assessments. For an additional fee, you can access a licensed therapist or counselor who’ll meet you online for regular teletherapy appointments.
Some drugs, particularly opioids, cause overwhelming cravings and other withdrawal symptoms that can last for prolonged periods. In these cases, medications such as methadone or buprenorphine can reduce cravings and other symptoms, allowing clients to maintain focus on their recovery. Many people use medication-assisted treatment (MAT) during rehab and well beyond, as it is a safe and effective approach that helps many find lasting recovery. Many rehab centers, including The Recovery Village Atlanta, provide MAT as part of long-term aftercare.
12-Step Programs and Other Support Groups
Support group meetings and 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous provide ongoing support and a sense of community to those in recovery. In these meetings, members can share their experiences with one another, provide guidance and find new strategies for staying sober. Many people find that support groups help them stay committed to their recovery and hold themselves accountable for their sobriety.
Addiction Recovery Services in Atlanta, GA
It’s difficult to recover from substance abuse and addiction on your own. Fortunately, there are effective treatment options available at professional rehab facilities like The Recovery Village Atlanta. At our center, we provide a full continuum of care that addresses substance abuse as well as underlying mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Our evidence-based approach to addiction treatment can give you or those you love the tools needed to stop substance use and begin a life of recovery.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with drugs or alcohol, The Recovery Village Atlanta is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about addiction treatment programs that can work well for your situation.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Treatment and Recovery.”>” July 2020. Accessed June 20, 2022.
- Foxhall, Kathryn. “Preventing Relapse.”>” American Psychological Association, June 2001. Accessed June 20, 2022.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).”&am[…]gt[…]atment (MAT).” June 10, 2022. Accessed June 20, 2022.
The Recovery Village Atlanta aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.