How to Make an Aftercare Plan
Making an aftercare plan is difficult but if it was easy, then addiction treatment programs would not provide support. The road to recovery lasts long after treatment ends. It helps to be prepared each and every step of the way, including setting up a plan for after treatment while you’re still in treatment.
Rehab is not the end, it is only the beginning of a lifelong journey. The first few months after returning home are the danger zone: statistically, a person is more likely than ever to relapse, so find a safety-net: a support network of friends, family, therapy sessions, group meetings, volunteer work—anything sober-minded and productive is good.
The transition itself is a lot like moving from high school to college: Your responsibilities are mostly the same, but unless you’ve been court-ordered, you don’t have to perform them. All you have is your own determination and the support of your family, friends, sponsors.
Ask For a Plan
By the time your treatment is nearly complete, the staff should have a solid portrait of a person’s particular needs. There are, of course, the basics–group therapy, family therapy–which vary within particular focuses. It all depends on where a person is still struggling: anger, resentment, fear. The challenge is that help is still needed. The support team at the clinic will gladly draft up an individualized plan for you, so be sure to ask.
Document The Plan
Once you have an idea of what to do moving forward, write it down in clear, concise language. Ask for referrals for different programs, take note of the locations and meeting times, and go explore.
Before making a decision on a plan, share some ideas and blueprints with family, friends, professors, pastors—anyone who is both caring and understanding. The more they know and are involved, they can better help you. Involving loved ones in the process can be helpful in developing a great plan that will last long into recovery.
Make Appointments with Counselors
This will ensure that you have a place to stay after treatment as well as an employment plan. Document everything you can to reduce post-rehab anxiety: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE. Define how you’ll prevent relapse by outlining your specific triggering situations.
Stick to the Plan
Stack on track. It’s more complicated than it sounds, we know. Figure out what works–what takes your mind off drugs and craving-inducing thoughts–and practice repetition. The longer you go without those thoughts, the more they’ll shrink, and the harder it will be for stress and fear to get to them. Remember: it only gets easier from here. It works.
If you are seeking help for addiction, please call today: ((888) 744-9969