Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is an ongoing process that doesn’t stop after inpatient treatment is over. Instead, most patients participate in drug rehab aftercare programs after leaving rehab. Whether a person is participating in outpatient treatment, Alcoholics Anonymous, an alumni support group, or all of the above, these forms of aftercare can help keep patients on the right track. Sobriety doesn’t come without challenges. By developing a personalized drug rehab aftercare plan, patients are able to cope with challenges with the help of additional support. Fortunately, there are recovery aftercare programs available for everyone.
Types of Drug Rehab Aftercare
Aftercare consists of resources, support groups, interventions, or activities that help people in recovery cope with difficulties or cravings that they may face. Depending on a patient’s needs, they may participate in one or more forms of aftercare, including:
- Intensive outpatient programming (IOP)
- Outpatient programming (OP)
- 12-Step programs
- Alumni groups
- Sober living homes
The beauty of aftercare programs is that they are highly flexible. This means that regardless of a person’s job, family, or lifestyle requirements, they will be able to find an aftercare program that meets their needs.
Intensive Outpatient Programming (IOP)
Intensive outpatient programming (IOP) is a step down from PHP and residential treatment. Patients attend between three and give group therapy sessions each week along with a weekly individual therapy session. IOP is designed to reinforce the coping skills learned in rehab, encourage community support, and help patients learn how to prevent relapse.
Outpatient Programming (OP)
Outpatient programming (OP) is similar to IOP but is a lower level of care. Patients may only attend group sessions between two and three times a week and receive fewer clinical hours than patients who are in IOP. OP focuses on the same ideas as IOP and places a heavy focus on developing community support and involvement.
12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Cocaine Anonymous (CA), are spiritual programs where people in recovery share their experience, strength, and hope. The goal of 12-Step programs is to rely on a Higher Power for one’s sobriety, connect with others in recovery, and help other suffering addicts and alcoholics learn how to get sober. 12-Step programs are found all across the country, are free to attend, and are one of the most popular recovery fellowships in the United States.
Alumni groups consist of people who have previously attended a treatment center and have remained sober. Oftentimes, the friends that people make in rehab remain in their lives throughout sobriety, and alumni groups are a great way to stay connected with people you met in treatment. Alumni groups may hold monthly or weekly meetings, participate in group or community activities, or connect in other ways that are conducive to recovery. This form of drug rehab aftercare is highly dependent on the quality of the facility and the success of its patients.
Sober Living Homes
Sober living homes, also referred to as halfway houses, are family-style homes where people in recovery live during the early months of their sobriety. Sober homes may be associated with a treatment facility or privately owned, so each home is different. Most sober livings have a live-in house manager who is in charge of monitoring and keeping track of the rest of the residents. Residents may be subject to weekly drug testing, chore assignments, nightly curfew, and other rules and expectations.
The Importance of Aftercare Treatment
Relapse is a real possibility after treatment. In fact, between 40-60% of people who seek treatment for drug or alcohol addiction relapse within one year. However, developing a drug rehab aftercare plan can help patients prevent relapse. For example, if a person is participating in therapy in IOP or OP, they have the guidance of their peers and their therapist to lean on. On the other hand, people who live in sober living homes are surrounded by sober support on a constant basis, providing an extra sense of accountability.
Many of the behaviors and habits acquired through addiction don’t go away overnight. While inpatient rehab can help bring light to these issues, therapy is most effective when used long-term. It takes time, patience, and hard work to adopt new behaviors and learn how to live sober. Recovery aftercare programs help reinforce healthy coping skills and behaviors that are conducive to sobriety.
Find Help Today
At PAX Riverbend, our IOP and OP programs aim to bridge the gap between inpatient rehab and individual recovery. Whether you are starting rehab for the first time or are coming back from a relapse, our skilled professionals will work with you to develop a drug rehab aftercare plan that works for you. Contact us today to get started.
Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.