Aftercare & Substance Abuse Treatment

goldfish jumping out of bowl

There are primarily two kinds of substance abuse treatment: inpatient and outpatient. However, it is important that we not think of these treatments as “either/or.” The best, all-encompasing substance abuse treatment will not be either an inpatient program or an outpatient program. Rather, it will include both.

It is best that an addict begin his or her treatment with inpatient. This provides on-site care for detox, which should always take place under medical supervision. In addition, inpatient provides a safe and structured environment. Inpatient can protect addicts from access to drugs, as well as the temptation to use them. If they feel any cravings or emotions such as fear, anger, or depression, inpatient compels them to consult a therapist rather than get high. However, addicts cannot stay “shielded” from the outside world forever. In order to truly recover, they must experience life outside. This is where aftercare comes in: it provides the addict with ongoing care, gradually decreasing the intensity of their substance abuse treatment.

There are two components of aftercare. First, it is recommended that addicts live in a halfway house after completing inpatient treatment. This not only provides them with another safe and drug-free living situation, but also continues to hold them accountable. At the same time, addicts are given more independence. Most halfway houses do not provide the 24/7 supervision that inpatient does. If an addict is to recover, this forces them to “grow up” and take responsibility for going to meetings, buying their own groceries, etc.

The second component of aftercare is outpatient. Outpatient programs vary by frequency and intensity, but they all continue the substance abuse treatment that began in inpatient. Addicts continue to consult with therapists in individual and/or group settings. This ensures that the addict is not “cut off” from their treatment. They will continue to experience troubling thoughts and emotions, continue to experience temptations and cravings, and continue to run into trouble in certain areas of life. Ongoing therapy provides the recovering addict to stay sober and mentally fit, rather than relapse.

Aftercare is a vital part of substance abuse treatment, so be sure to choose a program that offers it! To find a treatment center, call Recovery Hub at 888-220-4352 today!

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