Addiction is a chronic disease that requires long-term management. A big part of this is aftercare planning.

Aftercare is the follow-up care a person gets once they leave rehab. Most treatment programs recommend creating an aftercare plan before you go into the program. Here are some things to include in your aftercare plan.


Sober Living

Recovery is ongoing; treatment doesn’t end when you leave a rehab facility. A good aftercare plan supports the daily challenges that may arise and helps you build resilience to avoid relapse. It will address the pillars of health, home, purpose, and community to keep you on track with your recovery goals.

Sober living homes are great transitional supports for people who have completed residential treatment San Diego. A well-run sober living house will offer a safe, clean, and supportive environment for individuals attempting to remain drug/alcohol-free. It will also have a structured schedule with strict substance-free requirements, mandatory attendance at 12-step or other recovery support group meetings, weekly compulsory house meetings, and expectations for residents to seek employment.

Studies show that individuals who enter sober living programs are more successful in long-term recovery. They are also more likely to maintain employment, stay in school and rebuild relationships with family and friends.

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient programs can be an essential step for someone in recovery. They allow individuals to get treatment without leaving home and are typically more affordable than residential treatments. They also are more likely to be covered by insurance.

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are an option for people who want to live at home but need more care than traditional outpatient services provide. IOPs usually have a set number of hours of structured programming each week and offer individual, group, and family therapy. Some IOPs include experiential treatments, such as art or music therapy. They also may recommend that clients attend support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

Efforts to enhance continuity of care and support services are expected to help increase participation in continuing care after IOP. Studies of IOPs have found that they help individuals develop early-stage relapse prevention skills, improve their access to psychosocial support, and address a range of individual needs. However, differences in how IOPs are administered across programs make it difficult to compare outcomes.

Support Groups

Many alcoholics and addicts struggle with underlying mental health issues, which may need ongoing management after treatment. Often these conditions are addressed during addiction treatment and can be managed with medication, such as antidepressants for depression or methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) for opioid use disorder.

The best drug and alcohol rehab programs will help create tailored aftercare plans. They will also provide resources and guidance to help people find the right support groups. These can be in a particular diagnosis, such as HIV medications, a specific life challenge like grief, or more general problems like anxiety and stress.

Some groups are time-limited, such as a six-week or twice-yearly group for those who have lost a loved one to suicide, while others are long-running and can be attended on an ongoing basis. Research has found that focusing on continuity of care during treatment predicts extended engagement in continuing support groups.