You already made the decision to get sober, you went through the treatment, and now you are ready to start your sober life. This can be scary for some patients, they may feel worried or overwhelmed. The important thing to remember is that you always have help and support and you can do this. Aftercare Programs are for patients who have successfully completed a recent addiction treatment program. Completing this addiction treatment is an accomplishment worth celebrating and Aftercare and Alumni Programs help patients develop and maintain a sober lifestyle. These programs are based on the needs and recommendations for each individual to help them get back to where they were before their addiction or even to a better place. A key piece of the programs are the development of a community-based support. A strong support system is necessary to maintain freedom from addiction.During your treatment program you will work with therapists and doctors to plan your new lifestyle and activities. This includes self-monitoring, attendance at activities like 12 step meetings, scheduled reporting with your therapist and ongoing support as needed. As a recovering addict you will go back to friends, family, work, and hobbies but we will help you recognize your triggers and chose the right people to keep in your renewed sober life. As life changes, you will continue to have access to staff for support and assistance. They will work with you to help you maintain your sobriety, they understand that stress and other triggers do happen. Life does change and treatment gives you the tools to deal with the changes in an appropriate manner.After rehabilitation you will have experienced new activities with new people and in a safe, sober, scheduled setting. Use these experiences to open your mind to new possibilities of fun, excitement, and sober activities that you can continue once you are out on your own. Many new recovering addicts find that once they are on their own they feel lonely and bored. Through recreational therapy, Alumni Program, continued support from staff and your family, you have connections to new sober people and activities to help you maintain your healthy sobriety. You will have a new understanding of life and the fact that you do not have to use alcohol or drugs to be happy or enjoy activities. They will help you build new routines and schedules that offer you the structure and support that you need. Even though you have completed your addiction treatment, it does not mean that you are alone. They will be there every step of the way to see all of your accomplishments and help when things may be become difficult. They want to make sure that you have everything you need to maintain your healthy sober lifestyle. Before leaving treatment you will want to ask a loved one to remove any paraphernalia from your house and remember not to go to locations that will cause temptation. Find and maintain a solid support system by surrounding yourself with people who have your best interest at heart and other sober people. This support group can be there for your when you are tempted to remind you of your accomplishments and help keep you on track towards your sober goals. Remembering why you want to be sober and all the benefits it will bring to your life make staying sober easier. Following up with your therapists and doctors helps you maintain that vital support system. Finding exciting and healthy habits and hobbies after rehab is a great way to stay sober and remember to be thankful everyday that you were strong enough to overcome your addiction and save your life. Every day you are sober is another day that your body heals a little more. You become a stronger person for yourself and your loved ones. If ever you feel tempted to use again remember why you got sober in the first place, use your support group, go to a meeting, and know that you have all these resources available to you.

Seminars and Workshops

Treatment centers know that after your treatment program you may feel like you still need help. Don’t worry, some also sponsor seminars with expert speakers for you and your family. These seminars will explain different topics and help you transition into your new sober lifestyle. It can also help your family understand what they can do to help you. Going to a few of the seminars and workshops can offer you more help and support. Topics canl include:   

Relapse Prevention Techniques
Lifestyle Planning for a Substance Free Life
Family Renewal Workshops
Codependency and Life’s Challenges
Continuing Evaluation of Pain Management

Alumni

Some treatment centers offer Alumni Programs to provide support for long term recovery to individuals and families suffering from the devastating disease of addiction. They actively bridge the gap between treatment and returning to the responsibilities of daily life by building fellowship and pride amongst alumni. Some have annual alumni retreats, activities, services, games, and more! Being a part of the alumni program allows you the chance to make and keep connections with people who have been where you have been and can help you continue your addiction recovery. They offer many activities that make it easy for you to find fun new things to do with other sober people. Surrounding yourself with like minded people will help reduce stress, temptation, and triggers. They are here to help you, using the resources available to you will help make this transition back into sober living easier for you.

12 Step Program

Use the 12 - Step Program and the 12- Step meetings to help you handle any cravings you may be having. When you feel as though things are getting difficult and you may need help getting through a craving these meetings will help. Even if you do not have a craving at the moment, the community and support that builds at these meetings will be helpful if you ever do. Meeting new people that have a sober life will help you to also remain sober. The 12 - Step Program offers support, understanding, and accountability to people who want to overcome their addiction and the meetings encourage social support and reliability. There are more than 50,000 Alcoholics Anonymous groups, thousands of Narcotics Anonymous, and other various addiction groups nationwide.

Looking for a 12 Step Meeting?

If you would like to find a meeting close to you these websites can help you find one in your area.

http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-local-aa

http://www.naws.org/meetingsearch/

http://al-anon.org/find-a-meeting