Aftercare Programs for Substance Use Disorder
Understanding Addiction as a Chronic Disease
Substance use disorders are chronic conditions because substance use affects the way your brain functions. It can even change its structure, especially the reward and pleasure systems, triggering specific responses to the substance in question. Addiction can also make changes to the frontal cortex of the brain, which affects impulse control and judgment.
The changes that the substance makes in your brain can lead you to use the substance despite negative consequences, and you can still be vulnerable to relapse even after a long period of sobriety.
These brain changes can persist for years after you get treatment for substance abuse, making continued access to addiction treatment services important.
What Is an Aftercare Program?
After completing one of our addiction treatment programs, you will want to begin taking on life again. An aftercare program by Paramount Recovery Centers can help keep you on the right path moving forward.
Our aftercare programs for substance abuse give you the freedom you need to go about your daily tasks while still having access to the supportive environment and services you need to maintain sobriety.
An aftercare program may help provide you with numerous ways to continue your care, including:
- Access to your therapists
- Support groups
- Group activities and events to keep you connected
- Supportive opportunities for high-risk moments
One of the most important ways that aftercare programs can help you as you deal with substance use disorders is that you have access to mutual support groups. These support groups let you hear from other people struggling with addiction, letting you understand that you are not alone with your challenges.
Aftercare programs also offer assistance for family members, helping them understand the process of drug and alcohol addiction treatment and how they can support you.
At Paramount Recovery Centers, we offer relapse prevention services as part of our addiction aftercare programs. These services can offer the tools and strategies you need to learn to cope with stress and triggers in ways other than using substances.
Our therapists can teach you how to deal with difficult situations, including major life changes, and how to prepare for emergencies so that you do not resort to substance abuse in times of crisis.
At our rehab facility, we can help you put together an aftercare plan so that you can have the best chance at maintaining sobriety through all of life’s changes.
The Importance of Relapse Prevention
Relapse happens to many people facing addiction. It is not a sign of failure. Rather, it is an indication that a person needs additional therapy and support to maintain sobriety.
There are many relapse triggers. A common trigger is being around people or in places that are related to addiction. Seeing others using drugs or drinking alcohol is a powerful trigger that can lead to relapsing. At our aftercare programs for substance abuse, we always recommend that you avoid people who have substance use disorders.
Another trigger is stress. Going through stressful situations without having other coping strategies in place can quickly lead to a relapse.
It is not only negative emotions that can lead to relapse. Celebrations can also cause it. During celebrations, someone with a substance use disorder may feel that they can control their substance use, but that is a dangerous belief. Until you learn the right coping skills, it is best to stay away from these situations, too.
Difficult emotions can also cause a relapse. People with an addiction tend to rely on the substance to help them handle intense feelings. An aftercare program can teach you how to manage depression, anxiety, anger, and other emotions without resorting to substance use.
Experiencing a relapse can decrease your own confidence in the recovery process, so engaging in relapse prevention strategies is crucial.
Preventing relapse is important not only for your mental health but also for your physical health. People who relapse after a period of sobriety are at a higher risk of overdosing because the brain and body lose the tolerance they built up for the substance. Many people who relapse do so because they think they can use the same amount of substance as before.
Overdosing can be fatal, especially with opioids or alcohol, so turning to aftercare treatment once you have completed outpatient or partial hospitalization can offer the help and education you need to maintain your sobriety.
Who Needs an Aftercare Program?
Anyone who has gone through drug and alcohol substance abuse treatment can benefit from access to an aftercare program. Even if you have a strong support system at home and ample people working to help you recover from substance abuse, there may be hard times in the recovery process where you need additional help and support. This is what this type of treatment can offer.
An aftercare program is essential for people who do not have support from family members or who live in difficult environments. By having access to mutual support groups, individual therapy sessions, and more, you can strengthen your recovery process and your confidence in your own motivation.
An addiction aftercare program is also a good idea for people who have a mental health disorder that can aggravate drug and alcohol addiction. By being able to receive mental health treatment, you can continue healing from the conditions you face.
At Paramount Recovery Centers, we also offer alumni programs if you have completed formal drug or alcohol addiction treatment and still want to have access to mental health services and ongoing support options.
Our alumni programs offer the chance to get individual and group therapy sessions and to maintain connections with those who helped you during previous treatment programs.
You can also participate in group activities and meetings to strengthen your sense of community while also receiving access to addiction education and stress management resources to help you learn better coping skills.
Our alumni programs can also provide an introduction to 12-step programs like Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, and other support groups that offer self-help services.
Continue Treatment at Paramount Recovery Centers
If you suffer from alcohol or drug abuse, turning to a treatment program to help you recover is important. Once you complete outpatient treatment or partial hospitalization treatment, you can then turn to aftercare treatment programs like the ones we offer at Paramount Recovery Centers.
With a team of experts ready to help you put together an aftercare plan, you can receive the continued treatment you need to maintain sobriety. Why struggle with alcohol and drug abuse when you can get help? Contact Paramount Recovery Centers today to begin your recovery journey.