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Finding Drug Addiction Support After Rehab

Addiction is a lifelong illness. Many people go through recovery and seem fine but when they leave the program, they quickly relapse. This leaves them right back where they started. Up until recently, there were very few options for help after rehab. Rehab only teaches people the skills they need to live without the addiction, it is up to aftercare to support them while they bring those skills into practice. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, without continuing treatment many people relapse. There are aftercare options to prevent this from happening.

Community Support

Community support is one of the primary methods for rehab aftercare. Addiction is said to be a lonely illness and community support programs help solve that loneliness. There are varieties of community support options available. Some of the most prominent and well-known community support programs are the 12 step programs.

There is a 12 step program for just about every addiction. These programs offer help and support to anyone who wants to leave drugs behind. They have two key philosophies that they base their program on. These philosophies are:

  • addicts need to help other addicts recover, for themselves and for those they help
  • take things one day at a time.

These two philosophies form the essential foundation of the majority of the 12 step programs out there. There are also the famous 12 steps. These steps are based on the principles of:

  1. surrender,
  2. hope,
  3. commitment,
  4. honesty,
  5. truth,
  6. willingness,
  7. humility,
  8. reflection,
  9. amendment,
  10. vigilance,
  11. attunement, and
  12. service.

Most people who follow the 12 steps and go to the meetings wind up maintain sobriety longer than those with no aftercare at all.

Another part of the 12 step program that helps you avoid temptation after rehab is their sponsor program. Many 12 step programs offer sponsors. These sponsors are people you can turn to in times of potential relapse. It often helps to have someone who understands what you are going through to talk to when you need it.

Counseling

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Counseling is an integral part of aftercare support.

Continuing counseling is a very important part of rehab aftercare. Most intensive rehab only goes on for a short time, after rehab, it is up to the addict to continue their counseling. Sometimes this does not happen, as it should. People who are exposed to their triggers for the first time after rehab often end up relapsing because they are unsure of how to handle the situation.

The only way to prevent this is through continuing counseling after rehab. Most people who go through rehab have a plan when they come out. Once this plan is in play they feel that they can relax. This is when relapse happens.

Counseling also helps underlying conditions. Many addicts become addicts because they have a mental illness that if left untreated continues the addiction. It normally takes longer than the length of rehab to get a handle on a mental illness or mood disorder. Without treating the cause of the addiction, relapse is likely. Rehab facilities either have counselors on staff or they can recommend good ones that you can see after your rehab is over.

Friends and family

Friends and family sometimes can form a frontline of support against relapse. Identifying a friend that can help you in times of temptation is a very good way to prevent relapse. It is important to make sure that the friend you use is up for the task.

Remember that friends and family might also be worried about you so they might not make the best people to turn to. It is a good idea to speak with them or have your rehab therapist speak with the person that you think would help with aftercare.

Where to Look for Aftercare Help

Rehab programs are usually the best place to look for aftercare programs. If you are relocating or feel you need additional help, most rehabs offer information on support programs. There are also community centers that have information on community meetings, 12 step programs and other support services. Most areas have a network of drug and alcohol support resources where you can find information on rehab support options.

What a Good Addiction Support Program Should Offer

When considering a drug addiction support program there are a few things you should look for. A good addiction support program should:

  • help you with your cravings,
  • help you continue to learn about your triggers and how to manage them,
  • help you to think through the dangers and outcomes of relapsing,
  • give you nonjudgmental help in the event that you do relapse, and
  • treat any underlying or co-occurring mental illnesses.

Each addiction is different just as each person is different. There are many options when it comes to addiction support, it is up to you to choose the one that has the services that you need.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, addiction support is key to successful recovery. People who have a good network of support options are less likely to relapse into drug use. Those that do not find the support they need in the community, through counseling, or with friends and family, often find their way back to doing drugs. The best places to find addiction support programs are through the community and rehab centers in your area.

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