Graduating from a drug or alcohol rehab program is a tremendous achievement, but this phase of recovery can be unsettling — even frightening — for someone who’s newly sober. After all the hard work you’ve done to free your body and mind from the influence of drugs, how will you maintain your sobriety? Where will you live and work? How will you face the people and places that remind you of the days when you were drinking?
A successful recovery program must include a plan for aftercare. In the days, weeks and months that follow rehab, you’ll continue to need help from knowledgeable professionals who care about your future. You’ll also need a step-by-step course of action to help you reach your goals for recovery. Your individual program should be tailored to your needs, but in general, the components of aftercare include:
- Participation in an outpatient program as you transition back to the real world
- Membership in a support group of peers who have also graduated from rehab
- Access to a case manager who can work with you to stay on course
- Follow-up care from therapists, doctors and other addiction treatment specialists
- Transitional housing in a sober living home or other safe, supportive environment.
The Role of Case Management
How can a case manager help you through the aftercare process? According to the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, the role of case management in substance abuse treatment is to streamline the recovery process, so that the client isn’t left trying to navigate a complicated system alone. Case managers provide moral support, encouragement and valuable information as you make the transition back to the world outside of rehab. A good case manager applies his or her knowledge and expertise to helping you get the resources you need to stay sober. He or she also acts as your advocate, supporting you as you make your way back into the community. Your case manager will play a critical part in defining your aftercare strategy.
Finding Transitional Housing
Returning to the community can be a scary prospect for someone in early sobriety. Transitional housing gives you a chance to apply your new coping strategies in a setting that resembles the real world. Sober living homes are situated within the community, but your sobriety is protected by rules and regulations that support you in your recovery. Alcohol and drugs are not allowed on the premises, and residents must attend meetings and agree to regular drug testing.
Support Groups and Therapy
In a research study of the most effective practices for long-term addiction treatment, the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office points out that up to 80 percent of recovering addicts have stayed clean and sober by participating in self-help support groups. Peer support is one of the greatest sources of strength for newly recovered addicts, as they can gain hope and insight from others like themselves. In addition to their participation in support groups, the addicts in this study sought professional counseling as part of their aftercare program.
Self-help groups are available throughout the community. Many recovering addicts rely on 12-Step meetings, which are widely available and free of charge. Aftercare support groups are also available through comprehensive rehabilitation programs, like the aftercare program offered by The Oaks at La Paloma. At The Oaks at La Paloma’s exclusive treatment facility, we offer intensive outpatient services for our alumni, along with case management and free aftercare support group meetings. If you have questions about how you’ll cope with life in sobriety, call us at any time for help and support.