After Care


Drug addiction treatment programs are often focused on the intervention and immediate detox, but the aftercare treatment is overlooked in the need for immediate care. Extended and long lasting sobriety are not going to be found with immediate detox and prevention, but require substance abuse aftercare to reach the long term goal of sobriety without relapse. Intervention may seem an immediate need and is in fact the most important first step toward recovery, but an aftercare drug treatment program is equally important toward establishing long term goals.

Addressing Substance Abuse

Clearly, before aftercare treatment can be addressed an immediate drug recovery program must be assigned. Every addict is different, they have favored drugs and substances and different reasons for using. Typically speaking in general terms, and addiction prevents itself from treatment until an intervention occurs. All too often intervention takes place with a short stay in the county jail or local hospital, but much preferable is when friends and family see the problem before it happens and intervene with the offer of sobriety and support as a gift to the addict.

Finding Recovery

Finding recovery, successfully, is determined not by the strength of the addict but by the help and support they receive from loved ones while understanding what is expected by treatment. Any addict can detox, they won’t like it, but can do it to convince family members they don’t need formal rehab. Unfortunately, the very nature of the illness known as addiction is that it teaches the addict how to “game the system” and say the right things at the right times. Someone offering support needs the assistance of a professional rehab and intervention specialist who can explain how detox and immediate treatment programs are only the beginning. Sobriety is a life-long event which requires continuing aftercare treatment to assure successful recovery over the years to come.

Intervention and Treatment

Aftercare is usually an afterthought as immediate needs come before long term plans. However, it is important to begin planning an aftercare program along with initial detox treatment. The plan may change as doctors and therapists begin to evaluate the patient’s needs during the course of treatment, but it needs to be assumed from the start as to how aftercare is going to be a part of the patient’s ongoing recovery. Aftercare might involve living in a safe drug free zoned house with a curfew, it will require ongoing therapy and counseling, and of course if there are any lingering legal problems they will be incorporated into an aftercare program. If by chance addiction has led to seemingly unrelated physical health problems, the treatment for such symptoms will be diagnosed and addressed as part of the continuing plan toward extended recovery.

Initial Treatment

Although aftercare is going to be as difficult as any other stage of recovery, at least it is planned ahead and expected to occur before it happens. Initial drug treatment is usually quite hard on the addict as they suffer withdrawals in detox and then start to learn how to live without using while in treatment. Those who love the addict can rest assured treatment does work, and there is hope for the person who was once an amazing and wonderful aspect of the larger family unit is going to come back and continue to offer the love and support they were known for before addiction.

Substance Abuse And Recovery Aftercare

The fact of the matter is, as hurtful as intervention and treatment may have been, there is always going to be ongoing aftercare solutions which prevent the addict from returning to drug and alcohol abuse. Aftercare is a means of therapy which allows the addict to deal with issues using healthy and favorable means instead of returning to drug while ignoring the problems life has to offer. Aftercare emphasizes the gift the addict received when first offered an opportunity toward sobriety, and also allows them to find healthy ways to approach the problems which arise in an immediate timeline of work and family relationships. Although the goal might be to maintain extended sobriety, the reason for such an idea is that the addict is capable of providing a healthy life for themselves and friends without the use of drugs or alcohol to avoid the relationships they hope to maintain.


The fact is, there is no simple explanation of what an aftercare program consists of, because every addict is different. It’s simply the nature of addiction. The addict didn’t have a particular set of plans which led to their drug use, but expect the addiction logic to determine a set of plans towards aftercare drug treatment. It doesn’t work that way. What does work is for the addict to seek help for whatever reason they choose, and then work with the trained professionals toward determining a successful long-term treatment plan.