It is widely recognised in the field of addiction that maintaining abstinence from an addictive substance is a long-term process. It is highly recommended that even after a residential rehab programme that individuals continue to access services and support mechanisms to prevent relapse.
The intensity and type of after-care programme will be different for different people. Some people may have permanent full-time employment, secure accommodation and a family to go back to, whilst others may be homeless and without work therefore potentially requiring more support in the long term to maximise chances of abstinent recovery.
In 2010 some researchers and leading academics in the field of addiction, working alongside the government, produced some evidence based theory in relation to addiction and recovery. They coined a phrase called ‘Recovery Capital’ – things that are required in a person’s life and within society for such a profound change to take place after a period of addiction.
The 3 ‘markers for change’ were defined as:
- Personal Life skills, esteem and efficacy
- Beliefs and Desires around Recovery
- Support and engagement in family communities
All three of these factors are going to play a massive part in your life in recovery and will be looked at and developed within the treatment you receive for your addiction. Whatever treatment path you take, to make the changes you need to stop taking drugs and alcohol you need to develop beliefs about recovery and abstinence from substances that you may not have had before. You will develop personal skills, coping strategies and build positive self-esteem every day that you are clean and sober. Your family will be receiving support from a mutual aid group or from the rehab that is providing your treatment.
But what happens when you complete your treatment programme? How do you maintain positive self-esteem, continue to believe in the power of recovery and receive the support and encouragement from family and society to maintain your change?
Rehab Healthcare will help you and your family develop a personal treatment package tailored to your lifestyle and support needs that may encompass one or more of the following critical components in building the recovery capital you need to stay clean and sober
It is often said that it is in your first year of recovery that you are most vulnerable to relapse and for obvious reasons the longer that you remain clean and sober from addictive substances and behaviours, the easier it will become to maintain sobriety.
All of the residential rehab facilities that are recommended by Rehab HC will offer a free after-care programme that you can attend for as long as you need it. This aftercare package will often comprise of a weekly after-care group session, post-treatment telephone counselling and in some cases 1-2-1 counselling. It is important when choosing which rehab to attend, to consider how easy it will be for you to engage in their aftercare service if you are planning to return home after your stay in rehab.
Rehab Healthcare also works with BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) registered 1-2-1 Counsellors across the country, which you can access as part of your after-care treatment therapy. We will help you to find the right counsellor to meet your ongoing needs, as there is a wide variety in counselling styles and certain counsellors will be specially trained or experienced in working with specific issues such as abuse, trauma, relationships, co-dependency, self-esteem, stress, bereavement and most importantly, relapse prevention.
How long is Aftercare treatment and where does it take place?
Aftercare services can and should be accessed for as long as someone needs them. Most rehabs will offer a weekly programme and you may attend them for as long as you feel is important to you, anything up to 18 months after your residential treatment programme. Rehabilitation aftercare will take place within the rehab itself, which is beneficial because the Counsellor’s facilitating the aftercare programme will know you and be well equipped to support you with any ongoing issues. They will also be able to speak with you over the phone when you need to talk to someone.
1-2-1 counselling sessions with a registered Psychotherapist will often take place in a neutral venue in your local area and it is usually recommended that you see a Counsellor on a weekly basis for a minimum of 12 sessions. If you wish to receive local 1-2-1 counselling as part of your after-care package, Rehab HC may, with your consent, ask the rehab clinic to provide a report for your Counsellor so they have a ‘picture’ outlining any ongoing needs you may need to deal with. We will also ensure that there is a seamless transition from your rehab clinic so that you do not have to wait to see your Counsellor.
Having a solid support network of family, friends and other people in recovery will play a big part in your life going forward after the treatment programme you engage in. Family and Friends will hopefully have received support from the service at which you receive your treatment, and know how to help you to stay clean and sober.
Another important part of an ongoing recovery programme is participation in local recovery networks. In many areas where a residential rehab is located, there will be a strong ‘recovery community’ of people who have been through a rehab programme, all working to maintain their abstinence from drugs and alcohol. A critical component of a long-term treatment plan will involve you attending regular, free to access, ‘mutual aid’ meetings in your local area.
AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), CA (Cocaine Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) are examples of known ‘fellowship’ of people all working towards the same goal: to maintain abstinence and sobriety from drugs and alcohol. There are also specific meetings for Gamblers (Gamblers Anonymous) and even for people with relationship/sex-based addictions (SLAA – Sex and Love Addictions Anonymous).
These groups often run daily meetings in most towns and cities in the UK and worldwide. This means that wherever you are, wherever you go, there is always a place for you to go to access support when you need it.
One of the main reasons why continued attendance at these fellowships work, is that addiction isolates its sufferers, where users feel alone and helpless. Their social networks consist of other drug addicts and bad influences. As human beings, one of our core human ‘needs’ is to feel a sense of belonging, a sense of family and trust in others. By engaging in these fellowships, people in recovery get to feel ‘part of’ something. Something positive, something rewarding. A place where you can share your experience and help others, which in turn will help you by stimulating the reward pathway in your brain, an important thing to do, which you once only ever rewarded with drugs, alcohol or addictive behaviours.
At these meetings, you will be able to find a ‘Sponsor’ – someone who has been through an addiction and is working a programme of recovery. This sponsor will be someone you can speak to morning and night, who will always be there for you to offer support. Soon you will find yourself ‘sponsoring’ and helping other people.
This rewarding sense of belonging and helping others is something that many people in long-term recovery from addiction continue to play an active part in, many years after getting clean and sober.
Supported Housing Projects
Many people in active addiction get to a place where a completely fresh start is needed. They may live in a town where all they know is drug dealers and other users, they have been barred from every establishment in town. Some people’s addictions have got them to a place where they no longer have a home.
Rehab Healthcare also works with some residential rehab clinics that are linked with supported housing providers that can offer long-term (and in most cases – free!) housing to people that successfully complete treatment at the rehab clinic. The length of time you spend in the supported housing project will be entirely up to you and governed by your long-term aspirations and social needs.
There are many benefits to going into a supported housing clinic. Firstly, you get away from the triggers that may be a cause of relapse. Even if a drug user was to go back to a supportive family home after a stay in rehab, just being in the town where they know where the dealers are or bumping into an ex-using associate, will lead to trouble and the downward spiral of addiction will start again. You may have been detoxed and completed months of intensive counselling, but the mind of an addict can be a dangerous vulnerable. By starting completely afresh in a new town, with new sober friends, can give someone a new lease of life and a new sense of purpose, away from the dangerous triggers of relapse.
By being in a supported housing project you will also be able to access ongoing psychological treatment interventions, often delivered by the rehab. Many supported housing providers have dedicated Keyworkers who will be able to offer weekly 1-2-1 and group support sessions which will not only focus on relapse-prevention but your future goals. You will be supported to maintain your tenancy, find employment and education opportunities and truly start a new life in recovery.
You will also be around people you know and have been in rehab with; people that you can go to aftercare and AA meetings with. Safe and secure housing is recognised as one of the most critical of the ‘Recovery capital’ elements as we all need a secure base to live our lives from, not one fraught with danger. We have found that the long-term success rate (1 year after treatment) increases by up to 15% when people engage in long-term supported housing. Some people stay for 6 months, find a job and move into their own accommodation after this. Some have been known to stay for up to 2 years because that’s what works for them.
If you think that you or your loved one needs a new start in life and needs to get away from where they are living, Rehab Healthcare can help you!.