Deciding to seek treatment for a substance use disorder is only the first yet likely most vital step on the path to recovery. A comprehensive addiction treatment program dramatically improves your chances of long-term recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. But once treatment is complete, what happens? Are you cured? Do you resume your former life picking up where you left off without continued support? In short, no. 

Aftercare planning is an integral part of the addiction treatment process. Aftercare plans are designed to help someone recovering from addiction ease back into life with a high level of essential support. Without comprehensive aftercare planning, individuals recovering from addiction can struggle with isolation and other challenges pertaining to the drastic changes in their day-to-day activities necessary to maintain sobriety. In a large portion of cases, these struggles can lead to relapse. 

What Is an Aftercare Plan in Addiction Recovery? 

Aftercare plans in addiction recovery are uniquely designed plans that take effect at the end of a residential or outpatient primary treatment program. Here at Casa Serena, we understand the most successful aftercare programs are developed based on your specific needs to help you safely and successfully navigate life after addiction and addiction treatment. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines an aftercare plan as a program that supports ongoing recovery by using evidence-based practices and a range of services designed to help maintain motivation and momentum as one moves forward in sobriety.

Why Are Aftercare Plans Important? 

Addiction is a chronic, relapsing condition that does not have a “cure.” However, through comprehensive, evidence-based treatment and a robust aftercare program, long-term sobriety can be achieved and maintained. Although each program is different, a typical aftercare program will include a combination of ongoing therapy and participation in community-based support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.  (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Your treatment team may add other components to the plan based on your unique support needs, including time in a transitional living community, legal assistance, educational assistance, and assistance finding housing.

Aftercare plans are vital to relapse prevention. A properly integrated aftercare plan begins. Staying connected to the recovery community and support system that the person has become comfortable with is one of the number one ways to remain sober and prevent relapse. The road to recovery from addiction is not always easy. Often, the journey is long, and challenges may arise along the way. Completing a comprehensive addiction treatment program is the best way to identify the barriers that keep you from becoming sober and maintaining lasting recovery. Another benefit to residential treatment is that it provides a safe environment away from triggers, allowing you time to make necessary personal and behavioral changes to aid in your recovery. However, upon returning home to families, friends, and jobs, staying on track can become difficult.

Recovering addicts, regardless of how long they’ve been in recovery, must be consistently attentive to their sobriety to avoid slips or a full relapse. At Casa Serena, our aftercare planning sets treatment program alumni up for long-term health and success in ongoing sobriety. We design our aftercare plans to ensure your post-treatment support needs are met. During your treatment program at our women’s only treatment center, our treatment team will help you start your journey to recovery. As you prepare to discharge from your primary treatment plan, your team will work with you to set up access to essential aftercare elements, including therapy, medical appointments, and peer support group information. 

Learn more about how Casa Serena’s women-only treatment and aftercare programs can help you find lasting freedom from drugs or alcohol today. 

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