Aftercare plays a crucial role in the treatment and recovery process for individuals struggling with addiction. It involves a range of supportive services and resources designed to help individuals maintain their sobriety and successfully transition back into their daily lives. Throughout the country, including in the state of Washington, aftercare programs are available to support individuals in their journey toward long-term recovery.
At Free by the Sea, we understand the importance of aftercare as it pertains to the lifelong sobriety journey. That’s why we offer aftercare services as part of our treatment and recovery programs. We want to be with you every step of the way on your road to recovery, and that includes after you have finished treatment at our facility and started your new, sober life.
Addiction is a chronic disease that requires ongoing management and treatment. Even after completing an initial treatment program, individuals need continued support to maintain their sobriety.
This is where aftercare comes in.
Aftercare is an ongoing sobriety program that is designed for those who have already completed addiction treatment, whether that be through an inpatient program, outpatient program, or partial hospitalization program. The goal of aftercare is to help individuals develop the necessary skills, strategies, and support systems to prevent relapse and successfully reintegrate into their daily lives.
While just like treatment, everyone’s aftercare plan also varies, most aftercare plans involve:
Creating, and sticking to an aftercare plan early on in the recovery process can greatly decrease the risk of a relapse as you go through the process of navigating your new, sober life.
Like most treatment plans, aftercare plans are also custom-made to fit both you and your needs. Aftercare plans are often put together by sitting down with your treatment team upon successful completion of your addiction treatment program.
When putting together a treatment plan, your treatment team will take into account a variety of factors such as:
Much like the plan itself, the length of your aftercare plan will vary as well. Aftercare programs can be anywhere from a few weeks long to a few years depending on many of the factors listed above.
As we touched on, aftercare programs are not “one-size-fits-all” programs. There are a number of different aftercare programs to choose from. Some programs may even be combined to create an all-encompassing aftercare recovery program.
Outpatient programs provide ongoing counseling and support services for individuals who have completed a formal treatment program. These programs offer flexibility, allowing individuals to continue their daily responsibilities while attending therapy sessions, support groups, and educational workshops.
Support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), or SMART Recovery, are an essential component of aftercare. These groups provide a supportive community of individuals in recovery who share their experiences, offer guidance, and provide a network of accountability. Attendance at support group meetings is often encouraged as part of an aftercare plan.
Individual therapy sessions can be instrumental in addressing specific challenges, underlying issues, and personal goals related to sobriety. These sessions provide a safe and confidential space for individuals to explore their emotions, develop coping strategies, and receive guidance in their recovery journey.
A popular form of therapy used both during treatment and as part of a continuing aftercare program is behavioral therapy. Examples of behavioral therapy include:
Aftercare programs often include life skills training to help individuals get back to their lives in a meaningful and productive manner. These programs may offer classes or workshops on employment skills, financial management, communication skills, and stress management techniques. By equipping individuals with practical skills, aftercare programs enhance their ability to navigate daily life without resorting to substance use.
Substance abuse affects not only the individual but also their family members. Aftercare programs may involve family education sessions to address the impact of addiction on the family dynamic and provide strategies for healing and rebuilding relationships. Family involvement in aftercare can foster a supportive and understanding environment for sustained recovery, making the transition back home easier for everyone involved.
Unfortunately, not everyone has a home to return to once they have completed their time in treatment. Some people have lost their homes as a result of their addiction and have nowhere to go. Others may have a home but for one reason or another, it is not a safe or supportive space for them to return to as a newly sober person.
Regardless of the reason, sober living homes are a great option for those needing somewhere to stay as they make the transition from treatment back into the real world.
Sober living homes provide a safe and drug-free living environment where individuals can practice the skills they learned in treatment, build a support network, and gradually transition back into independent living. While living at the sober home, residents are required to follow all house rules at all times including, but not limited to:
If you are in need of sober living, our team at Free by the Sea will help make the transition as smooth as possible. We will work with both you and the staff at the sober living facility of your choosing to ensure that the transition process is as easy as possible.
If you have successfully completed addiction treatment and are ready to get started with an aftercare program, there are many different options available.
Many detox and addiction treatment centers either offer aftercare services at their facility or partner with outside aftercare programs that they recommend. At Free by the Sea, we offer aftercare programs for everyone that has successfully completed addiction treatment with us, making the transition from treatment to aftercare as easy and stress-free as possible.
Should you choose to go a different route and participate in an aftercare program not affiliated with the facility you underwent treatment, you can consult with your primary care physician or your therapist for recommendations when it comes to finding an aftercare program that would best fit you and your needs. They may even be able to provide a referral to help expedite the process.
Attending support group meetings in your community can be a great way to find out first-hand some of the preferred aftercare programs in the area. Not only are support groups a great way to find out more about aftercare options but they are also a vital part of the overall recovery process.
Friends, family members, and loved ones play a key role in the recovery process. In addition to the connections made at support group meetings, family members and loved ones often make up the core of a person’s support system while in recovery.
If you have a family member or loved one who is in recovery and you are looking for ways to help them, below are some things that you can do:
At Free by the Sea, we understand that aftercare is just as important to the overall recovery process as detox and treatment are. That’s why, in addition to our detox and various drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs, we also offer aftercare and alumni programs and services.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction or is in recovery and looking to either start or continue their aftercare treatment, contact us today.
Dr. Richard Crabbe joined our team in 2019 as our psychiatrist and medical director. He attended the University of Ghana Medical School where he became a Medical Doctor in 1977. From 1978 through 1984, he was a medical officer in the Ghana Navy and provided a variety of services from general medicine to surgeries. He received his Certificate in General Psychology from the American Board of Psychology and Neurology in 2002.