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Aftercare and support at Centres for Health and Healing 

At Centres for Health and Healing, we believe you deserve a great deal of credit for completing your addiction treatment with us, but we also know that this is just the beginning of your recovery journey. 

Having a personalised, effective aftercare plan is a vital component of any successful treatment and plays a significant role in the long-term success of a person’s recovery.

At Centres for Health and Healing, we provide 12 months of aftercare services with all our treatment plans, based on your specific needs and issues. Staying sober during the first 6–12 months after residential treatment can be difficult. Our expert team is here to guide, motivate and support you as you transition back to everyday life, and ensure you have all the tools needed to beat your addiction.

Our aftercare services provide an opportunity to be a part of a sober community in a familiar environment. They help you to stay on track with your long-term recovery and include additional, follow-up treatments as needed. This gives you a sense of community in which to maintain sobriety and create a life with meaningful connections and a real sense of purpose.

We can also refer you to a range of services or suitable professionals to ensure you have the highest level of support for the duration of your recovery journey.

What is aftercare and support?

Recovery is not a single action but a continuous series of actions and choices made throughout a recovering person’s life. Many people in recovery find that sobriety is hardest to maintain during the early stages of the process but gradually becomes more manageable as new habits, relationships, and routines develop and stabilise.

Aftercare and support are therefore an essential part of any recovery, whether a person is recovering from drug or alcohol use disorders, chronic mental health conditions, other addictions or a dual diagnosis. 

They usually consist of a personalised plan, based on each individual’s specific needs and issues, designed to help them navigate life after treatment with a high level of support.

Aftercare planning is like the treatment of any chronic health condition, similar to a discharge plan from hospital. It typically includes any interventions, activities and resources a person needs to cope once they have completed residential treatment.

Why is an aftercare plan so important?

Going into residential treatment is the first and most vital step for many in their recovery, but it is only one step. The time most people spend in a rehab facility is only a very short period compared to the many years that follow in recovery. 

For the majority, adjusting to life after rehab can prove very challenging, especially with the loss of routine coupled with the return of external factors and influences.

This is why an aftercare plan and support system are so important and need to be in place when a person returns to everyday life. It is especially crucial during the first 6–12 months of recovery, where people are naturally most vulnerable.

Recovery from any condition can be a considerable challenge, requiring daily mindfulness and a high-level of self-care. Aftercare offers the crucial support needed to help those in recovery maintain motivation, continue their growth, and stay on track with their recovery plan and short- and long-term goals.

Research has shown that continued care and support after treatment – in the form of an aftercare plan – play a significant role in successful, sustained recovery.

How is an aftercare plan constructed?

Aftercare planning is typically based around SAMHSA’s four key factors known to influence and support recovery. These are health (physical, mental and emotional), home, purpose and community (social health).

Treatment centres will construct an aftercare plan, customised for each person’s specific needs, offering continued resources, interventions and support. They can include anything that helps a person in recovery to live safely in their community and continue with their healing journey. For example:

  • building a healthy support network – with family, friends, a mentor or religious/spiritual advisor
  • community support groups, including 12-step services
  • extended residential options
  • life skills groups
  • medical support
  • ongoing management of mental, physical and emotional health
  • outpatient treatments, such as therapy with a counsellor/therapist
  • recreational activities
  • safe housing arrangements
  • transitional living
  • vocational or educational assistance.

It can be difficult for individuals to apply what they have learned during treatment when they first return to everyday life, so personalised aftercare planning and support are essential to maintain and sustain recovery.

What does an aftercare plan usually include?

As a crucial part of the recovery process, aftercare planning should ideally take a holistic approach and consider all the necessary elements required to support and aid healing. Taking into account each individual’s specific needs, considerations will include:

  • a realistic, sustainable self-management plan
  • a medical plan to help support physical health and manage symptoms
  • a relapse protection plan, to activate in the event of possible relapse 
  • continued therapy or counselling needs
  • potential barriers to successful recovery
  • outpatient care expectations
  • full understanding of the severity of the condition
  • a stable support network.

Aftercare planning always takes into account the continued therapeutic needs of the recovering person. One of the primary functions of this is to continue working with an experienced therapist, to develop short- and long-term goals. It can also include:

  • one-on-one therapy, such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)
  • learning new, healthy coping mechanisms
  • practising new skills, such as mindfulness, breathing techniques and meditation 
  • developing self-esteem and self-responsibility 
  • improving interpersonal skills
  • rebuilding trust in self and others
  • family therapy.

In addition to individual therapy sessions, aftercare planning often includes complementary group therapy to provide a safe space to discuss anxieties and issues and share experiences with those recovering from similar conditions.

Typical aftercare steps

Individual aftercare steps, after leaving a treatment centre, can include:

1–30 days after rehab

  • create a personalised recovery plan, including goals and how to achieve them
  • learn how to recognise and manage negative impulses
  • find healthy and supportive living arrangements
  • develop and establish a daily routine and schedule
  • find and regularly attend suitable support groups 
  • find and regularly attend a counsellor or therapist
  • establish a healthy support network 
  • exercise regularly
  • avoid taking on too much.

30–90 days after rehab

  • maintain regular attendance at support groups – at least once a week 
  • continue counselling or therapy – ideally once a week
  • keep a recovery journal, including triggers and how they were overcome
  • discuss personal and professional goals with a counsellor.

90–180 days after rehab

  • start repairing broken or damaged relationships
  • develop short- and long-term goals with support as needed
  • begin to focus more on longer-term goals
  • experiment with new hobbies and interests.

180–365 days after rehab

  • celebrate important milestones, especially at 3, 6 and 12 months
  • begin to support others who are starting their own road to recovery
  • look at developing 5 and 10-year plans: personal, professional, and financial
  • continue to explore new motivations and healthy ways to occupy time.

What are the key benefits of aftercare and support?

Aftercare and ongoing support are vitally important when setting up and maintaining a life worth living after a treatment stay is completed. 

The numerous benefits are irrefutable and include:

  • practising and refining skills that help address and manage daily stressors/triggers 
  • developing and using healthy coping strategies and techniques
  • building self-awareness and self-confidence
  • continued mental and emotional healing
  • creating a new foundation of positivity through new perspectives, healthy relationships, and new habits
  • developing social health
  • practising and reinforcing long-term behaviour changes
  • preventing relapse
  • repairing and improving relationships 
  • supporting ongoing self-care – taking time to maintain physical and emotional health through good diet, exercise and sleep habits.

A robust aftercare plan will prepare and support those in recovery for the challenges and temptations that lie ahead as they return to daily life.

Studies show that good aftercare and support play a significant role in a person’s recovery success – with regular aftercare participation proven to be a key indicator of sustained recovery.

If you would like to find out more about the personalised aftercare services we provide at Centres for Health and Healing, please call us today.

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