Why Aftercare Is Essential After Inpatient Rehab?

Although some addiction treatment is always better than no treatment at all, the risk of relapsing declines in direct relation to how much treatment a person receives. Spending one month in inpatient rehab is often referred to as “getting a good start”. Even three months spent on a closed, secure campus, and with access to multiple treatments, modalities isn’t guaranteed to help a person stay the course.

When exiting inpatient rehab, people are often encouraged to enroll in some form of aftercare. Many rehab facilities offer in-house aftercare services. However, aftercare can also be comprised of various forms of individual, offsite post-treatment support. Aftercare following inpatient addiction treatment is considered essential for a vast range of reasons. In addition to extending a person’s time in formal addiction treatment, it also acts as a stable bridge between the structured and highly sheltered environment of inpatient rehab and the return to the outside world.

This give patients more time to adapt to everyday stressors and challenges, and it provides an extended opportunity to build distress tolerance, and leverage newfound and ultimately healthier coping skills. Aftercare is often also designed to offset many of the challenges that people face due to the consequences of prolonged substance abuse. These can include joblessness, lack of viable work skills, homelessness, legal issues, financial distress, and loss of minor children, among other things. In aftercare, people are often presented with local resources and learning opportunities such as skill-building classes, career development workshops, transportation assistance, transitional housing, and long-term housing assistance.

Different Options in Aftercare

If you attend an inpatient rehab that offers onsite aftercare, you’ll likely have access to:

  • Relapse prevention training
  • Stress management workshops
  • Goal-setting activities
  • Financial planning
  • Resource identification workshops

Many rehab centers also help their clients find transitional housing before their inpatient programs come to an end. Although recovering addicts can certainly return home after addiction treatment, it is only possible to do so safely when patients have:

  • Loving and supportive families
  • Stable relationships
  • Relatively stress-free home environments
  • Temptation-free households

Returning home to be potentially confronted by toxic relationships, active substance abusers, enabling family members, and other temptations, challenges, or triggers greatly and unnecessarily increases the risk of relapsing.

As such, sober living homes and halfway houses are highly recommended part of post-treatment recovery plans. Sober living homes and halfways houses offer more freedom than the typical inpatient rehab. They also provide a similar structure, similar levels of accountability, and access to around the clock support. In sober living homes and halfway houses, those in active recovery can return to work or school, begin looking for long-term housing, deal with pending legal issues, and take care of other planning and problems. However, sober living homes maintain strict curfews and often have mandatory drug and alcohol testing.

Residents are additionally required to take part in weekly or bi-weekly community meetings and to share their goals and report their progress. Relapse prevention as part of aftercare is designed to give each person a customized and needs-specific plan for successfully addressing common stressors and other triggers.

Whether signing up for sober living or returning home, all patients are advised to either have solid relapse prevention plans in place before exiting inpatient treatment or to enroll in formal, 12-week relapse prevention programs.

People in inpatient rehab who aren’t ready to attain increased independence and autonomy can continue their addiction treatment by enrolling in basic outpatient programs, intensive outpatient programs, or partial hospitalization programs as needed. Ultimately, no matter how your aftercare is styled, it is important to have continued support services and other resources in place for ensuring that recovery remains your top priority going forward.

Whether you’re just starting the road to recovery or are soon to exit inpatient addiction treatment, we can help you get a solid aftercare plan in place. Contact us now by calling 833-497-3812. Our counselors are always standing by.