Aftercare is an essential component of any treatment programand begins on the day of admission to treatment for addiction. Prior to discharge, an individualized plan for follow-up care is completed for each patient by the treatment team. Residents that require intermediate transition into a sober living environment can be provided with continued structure and support easing the process of reintegration into the community.

An effective aftercare plan includes: individual therapy, family therapy, attending 12-step meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, private addiction counseling, urine testing or screening for drug use, maintenance medications such as methadone or buprenorphine, and transitional living, such as sober living communities and attending church functions. A family may spend a significant amount of time talking about the addict’s treatment program. Here, the addict will receive intensive therapy of a short period anywhere from 30 – 90 days of time to help begin the process of recovery.

As important as this phase of recovery is, conquering addiction usually requires more than simply completing a detox program. In fact, most addicts need a significant amount of help for months or even years in order to truly recover. According to a study published in the Journal of Addiction Disease, relapse rates among addicts vary from 75% – 90%. In order to ensure that the addict indeed remains abstinent, an aftercare program that begins when inpatient programs end is imperative.

The addict will play a key role in developing an aftercare plan. In fact, most treatment programs require the addict to begin work with a counselor to develop a specific plan to put into place upon admission to treatment. Family members may also be asked to provide input.