When someone suffering from addiction attends a rehabilitation facility it is what most people in their surrounding community focus on. It may seem as though after the individual completes their program they will be cured from their afflictions. If it were only that easy. Choosing to stay in recovery from addiction is a lifelong choice. It is not something that just happens once the person struggling with addiction goes through detox and has completed a program. In fact, recovery is a process, it isn’t a concrete end goal that once you reach it you are done. It is something that an individual who struggles with addiction will have to work for each and every day. Many times newly sober individuals will take it one hour at a time vs. one day a time. There will be mistakes, possible relapses, and definite setbacks along the journey. Each of these will require a choice from the individual on if they want to continue their journey on recovery or not. These choices, big and small, will come up daily. This is something a recovering addict will work on every day of their lives. Maintaining sobriety and staying in recovery is a choice that will need to be made over and over again.
While in treatment an individual will receive intensive therapy and structure for the short duration they are enrolled. This is a kick start to the beginning of their recovery journey. This is often times the first phase of recovery. While it is imperative that an individual goes through this process, the actual maintenance phase of sobriety is going to be where the real challenge lies. To truly conquer addiction it will take more than just completing a detox and addiction treatment program. Many individuals require months, and even years of structured support to be successful at long term recovery. It has been shown that relapse rates can be as high as 75 – 90% for newly recovered addicted individuals. To prevent relapse and to ensure long term success at sobriety it is highly recommended for newly recovery individuals to attend an aftercare program and have a plan in place.
Aftercare programs are so highly recommended that many addiction treatment centers have individuals start to draft an aftercare plan upon admission to their facility. Clients will work with a trained counselor to develop a plan for action for when they complete their addiction treatment program. Each aftercare plan is highly individualized which makes it crucial that the client play a big role in developing their own plan. Many times family and close friends will be asked to give their opinion and input about the plan as well.
An aftercare plan will go into effect once the client has been discharged from their addiction treatment program. A typical aftercare program has many working parts that help to make it a successful endeavor for clients. An effective aftercare program would involve: individual therapy, family therapy, attending 12-step meetings, addiction counseling, drug testing, maintenance medications such as methadone or buprenorphine, and also attending community outings and functions. Their specific and highly individualized plan will also include one or more of the following: sober coaching, transitional living, and/or a sober living facility. These transitional living environments will continue to provide a secure and structured support system for the newly recovered individual, but also allow for more freedoms then an addiction treatment facility. This supportive step can help a client when they are not fully ready to re-enter their community. This will help to ease the process of reintegration into society.
A Sober Coach is a sober companion who provides one-on-one support for newly recovered addicts. Their primary job is to be an advocate for a newly recovered person. The purpose of a sober coach is to help individuals maintain their new found sobriety and provide support through their re-entry into society. They help guide the individual through the overwhelming adjustment period to living on their own again. Sober coaches are compassionate individuals who are experts in the field of drug and alcohol rehab. As part of the personalization that sober coaches provide they are able to accurately perceive and determine a client’s individual needs. Sober coaches often take an empowerment approach, which is used to build confidence, self-esteem, and to make individuals more secure in their recovery. They will also help to further reinforce and establish healthy routines once the individual has left the residential treatment facility. This includes helping the individual establish new and healthy boundaries by learning to avoid certain situations, places, and people in an effort to prevent a relapse. The relationship a newly recovered addict experiences with their sober coach is life changing, and often a long term friendship.
The importance of a good aftercare program cannot be stressed enough. An aftercare program is an essential component of a successful addiction treatment program. Aftercare programs have been shown to increase an individual’s success at long-term sobriety when continued after a residential or outpatient addiction treatment plan. Rehabilitation educates an individual on how to live a life free from addiction and an aftercare program sets the foundation to apply what has been learned to handle life after treatment. It provides the client with a support network as well as continued addiction education. This long term guidance is crucial to maintaining sobriety after addiction treatment has been completed.
At California Pet Friendly Drug Rehab we understand that the special bond a pet owner has with their pet can be imperative in maintaining long-term sobriety. We believe that an animal is the key component in helping to prevent relapse. A pet helps to keep individuals engaged in life and positively influences the rebuilding of relationships. The facilities we work with establish an aftercare group as soon as you enroll into one of our treatment programs. Our aftercare programs will continue for up to one year after completion of addiction treatment at no additional cost. As you maintain the roll of responsible and reliable pet owner, let your pet’s loyalty and loving support enhance your sobriety while enrolled in an aftercare program.
“Pets are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole”