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The Importance of Rehab Aftercare

Written by Brandon Okey. Mina Draskovic, B.Psy., reviewed this content for accuracy.

After a challenging journey through rehab for substance abuse, you or a loved one may want to get on with life and put the past behind you. While that’s good, keep in mind the importance of aftercare. Continue reading about why it’s so important to continue the aftercare of recovery.

What Happens After Rehab?

Celebrating after accomplishing rehab is normal; however, staying sober is a lifelong process, and aftercare is essential for the individual. It will take time to reverse habits and get back to life. They’ve had to readjust to a whole different experience. Let’s talk about ways you can help a loved one maintain a sober life after rehab.

Be Patient

You’ve had to be patient, waiting for your loved one to admit they have a problem and need help. Now, you need to have patience as they go through the transition from addiction to a sober life. It’s a fact that most relapses occur in the first six months after treatment, so there will be ups and downs, and you may find at times it’s too much to deal with, but it will be worth it when your loved one changes their life for the good.

Show Support Without Enabling

After finishing rehab, many loved ones want to help in any way they can. However, they may not realize, some of their actions enable the alcoholic. Money, for instance, can play a significant role in allowing harmful behavior if the person is still vulnerable. A well-meaning parent may offer money to help them get back on their feet, but the alcoholic may be tempted to spend it on alcohol. Many online resources can help family members navigate the waters of aftercare.

Schedule Check-Ups

It’s important to promote accountability, so ensure your loved one has regular mental and physical health check-ups with a professional. This ensures they stay on course and are making continuing progress. Some people develop side effects from their substance abuse, such as:
  • Breathing or heart problems
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Muscle twitching
  • Sleeping problems
  • Wounds
Monitoring them at least quarterly allows professionals to address and treat issues.

Attend 12-Step Programs

Aftercare relies on programs that keep people clean and supported. The 12-step method involves the person admitting powerlessness and relying on a higher power to help them stay sober. They also admit any wrongdoing and accept responsibility for broken relationships or harming other people. Customized 12-step programs are available for each person, tailored to an individual’s preference, religious style, and cultural values.

Help Them Build a New Social Life

Going back to their old ways is tempting for many recovering addicts. They need to prepare for changes in their lifestyle and habits, which will affect their social lives. You can help them, especially if it’s an adolescent, by encouraging them to get involved and active in community activities, such as playing sports, taking a class, or volunteering. Also, keeping them engaged with life keeps them focused on staying clean.

Call Ardu Recovery Center for Help

Recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction may be the most challenging thing a person goes through in their life. It requires a lifelong commitment to sobriety, and it isn’t quick or easy. If you or a loved one is ready to start the rehab process, we can help. Our staff is here to answer questions or address concerns you may have. Taking the first step to recovery is the hardest but most rewarding step. Call us now.  
Brandon Okey

Brandon Okey is the co-founder of Ardu Recovery Center and is dedicated to empowering people on their journey to sobriety.