Addiction aftercare is crucial for long-term addiction recovery.
If you’re new to addiction recovery, the idea of 10 years, five years, or even one year sober may seem like a long shot. It’s not a long shot. Once you create a firm foundation and root yourself into a new, sober life, you begin to gather tools for long-term recovery; this is where the role of an addiction alumni program is vital.
Addiction is a chronic illness. If you’ve been diagnosed with a substance use disorder, managing this condition will require a lifelong commitment. There’s no cure for addiction yet, with the exception of successful treatment. And that’s also the good news. Today, there are more options and opioid addiction treatment therapies than ever. Contact us today at 717.969.9126 to learn more.
What Is an Addiction Alumni Program?
Some would say addiction aftercare is at the heart of a recovering person’s new life. It is a time when you become a member of a new community of sober individuals. Aftercare is the time for a more in-depth exploration of the issues hidden under addiction. These programs help to facilitate sustainable healing and relapse prevention in those who are serious about making lasting changes in their lives.
Aftercare is where meaningful growth occurs.
The Importance of Community in Relapse Prevention
For those new to addiction recovery, inclusion into a community can be challenging. The friends who drank and used with you are no longer a part of your circle. Addiction aftercare brings a clean slate and access to other individuals looking for positive change.
When Danielle left an inpatient addiction recovery center, she was overwhelmed with all the lifestyle changes on her addiction aftercare plan. She even had to adjust the routes she drove to work because there were places along the way she used to stop and drink. She imagined a lonely life ahead, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Some of the most important benefits of community in addiction alumni programs include:
- Providing a safe, supportive space for individuals in recovery
- Offering resources and support to individuals who are struggling with addiction
- Promoting accountability and relapse prevention
- Providing a sense of connection and belonging for individuals who are recovering from addiction
A year after leaving treatment, Danielle has a closer group of friends than she ever had when she was using. The friends Danielle has today know all her secrets and still support and encourage her. They’ve seen Danielle in her darkest moments. In part, she feels this way because of this new community surrounding her. Addiction alumni programs helped her create a healthier community of friends she could depend on.
Addiction Alumni Programs Handle Heavy Issues
In addiction aftercare, Danielle has uncovered some deep memories of abuse from childhood. She and her addiction recovery therapist have gently looked at some previous trauma in Danielle’s past. With her therapist and sober friends’ support, Danielle is learning to manage grief, stress, and past hurts without using drugs.
Before she left the inpatient addiction recovery center, Danielle helped create an addiction aftercare plan, which included more time for self-care. Danielle enjoys kayaking, and her aftercare plan encourages time on the river and other hobbies she enjoys.
As deeper issues from childhood have surfaced, Danielle has leaned more heavily on her sober support system and hobbies. Initially, these deeper issues caused cravings, and she used the tools from treatment to stay sober. Danielle relied heavily on her aftercare plan to help her relapse prevention efforts.
Now, she’s discovering new tools for managing her chronic addiction. Exercise, fellowship, and other tools like meditation have replaced the urge to use when she feels uncomfortable.
Danielle discovers even more tools to use in her relapse prevention system as she gets healthier and stronger. For instance, when using, Danielle never took vacations. Now, she makes sure to schedule at least two weeks away from work each year. In this way, she keeps up her energy to manage her recovery.
Alumni Programs Promote Meaningful Growth and Relapse Prevention
Danielle doesn’t feel comfortable with the idea of organized religion. For Danielle, spending time in nature is where she feels the most spiritual. There were suggested actions in her aftercare plan to maintain a spiritual connection with a power higher than herself.
Daily meditation, meetings with fellows in recovery, and time outdoors all qualify as spiritual moments for Danielle in her new sober life. By staying rooted in her new sober life and surrounding herself with a strong support group of recovering individuals, Danielle is experiencing a more meaningful life. Her addiction alumni program was the starting point for this new life.
Knowing where you fit within the addiction recovery stages can help by providing a gauge in your aftercare. It’s always reassuring to know you aren’t alone and aren’t the only person feeling as you do.
The Ranch Invites You to Consider Our Alumni Program
No matter what stage of recovery you’re experiencing, you can get to the next chapter of your story. The Ranch Pennsylvania can help. Call us today at 717.969.9126 for more information about your treatment options or to enroll in an aftercare program.