Guide to Long-Term Recovery and Aftercare


Sydney Schulz on March 12, 2021 at 9:29 AM

Written by: Cecilia Brit Gomez, Miami

People in recovery are individuals who strive to achieve their long-term goals just like everybody else but with one terrible burden weighing them down. To make walking a path to long-term recovery and aftercare more manageable, it is essential to implement an approach that will gradually ease this burden. Even if all the elements in the following guide are completed, relapse is possible, although less likely to happen. Moreover, family support, determination, and complete understanding of the issue will help the recoveree remain on the right path. Wavering and pausing perhaps, but staying on the path to recovery nevertheless.

Where to start once the treatment ends?

People prone to addiction are subject to the same life obstacles as all the rest, however, there is a lack of healthy coping mechanisms. The disastrous crutch that is an addictive substance leads us backward. Treatment helps us reach the starting point again. The marathon that is ahead is a process of long-term recovery and aftercare. Enduring in abstinence during recovery is a slow race with the following five rules as fuel:

  1. Creating and committing to a new lifestyle.
  2. Insisting on complete self-honesty.
  3. Asking for help and support.
  4. Practicing self-care.
  5. Not bending the rules.

To avoid relapse, it is important to understand its phases and learn how to recognize its first signs.

Three stages of relapse

The complex issue of relapse can be more easily explained if divided into phases: emotional, mental, and physical. Self-care is a vital constituent of recovery, but it is missing in all the stages. A person is isolating from people who can offer assistance, not asking for help when they need it, all the while growing angry and feeling lonely and tired.

Living too long in this phase leads inevitably to the stage of mental relapse. Here, an individual leads a conscious battle with themselves - to use or not to use. If none of the above mentioned rules are applied, the struggle results in physical relapse. 

At this point, it is crucial to make a note. The vicious circle can be broken. There are specific tools designed to help and support the individual in recovery in every way he or she may need. These tools are integrated into the long-term recovery and aftercare guide.

Counseling: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

One of the first and most important parts of a successful aftercare treatment is cognitive therapy. Its goal is to change destructive thinking paths into healthy ones and develop coping mechanisms an individual can rely on. It targets negative self-labeling and fatalistic thinking. Most importantly, it shifts focus from a person's willpower to coping mechanisms, thus providing them with an immeasurably stronger basis for further recovery.

Moving to a Recovery Home

Returning to a world full of vice after therapy is a shock that contributes to feelings of anxiety and fear. Sometimes, relocating during recovery helps if a person moves closer to their strong support system. A nurturing family makes for a great support network. But sometimes, that is not feasible.

In such situations, a transition to independent living is made through specific living facilities or communities. These Recovery Homes are designed to offer a safe environment and develop self-care habits in an individual in recovery.

At some point, the recoveree will feel ready to live on their own and face the world. At that moment, it is better to opt for the suburbs if possible, as the suburban tempo and lifestyle best correspond to demands of aftercare.

Engaging in support groups and family therapy

A vital part of post-treatment recovery is distancing from those still using and connecting with those who aren't - people in support groups. An amalgamation of understanding through shared experience and an absence of negative behavior is a way to develop healthy relationships, higher self-esteem, and accountability.

The strongest of bonds, the family ties, can be repaired through therapy that involves the foundations of healthy relationships: honesty, trust, and communication. Family support and encouragement help individuals in recovery practice healthy alternatives to using.

Educational assistance and vocational rehabilitation

Resisting relapse implies reducing stress levels and battling fears, anxiety, and depression. It is all much easier with a meaningful, satisfying job. Rebuilding self-worth may come through additional education or training, and it may necessitate professional assistance. Educational guidance is a part of an aftercare treatment guide that helps persons in recovery acquire knowledge or skills for a fulfilling job. Check out Live Rite’s vocational training programs! 

Legal assistance as a part of an aftercare treatment plan

Often, staying away from relapse is not the only battle the recoveree is fighting. A legal process that stems from substance abuse eventually needs to be faced and addressed. It is imperative that a person in recovery receives affordable or even free legal aid throughout the process. Avoiding the stress-related triggers that lead to physical relapse is vital. Hence, it makes legal assistance an invaluable part of most aftercare treatment plans. 

Regular monitoring

It is important to remember that the first step toward recovery is as difficult as the following ones. It is not uncommon to feel disoriented at times. However, having a sponsor, caseworker, mentor, or a skilled professional to monitor, assess, and guide the recovery makes all the difference.

Regular monitoring in the aftercare is crucial for a reason. As each individual in recovery is unique, it is vital to develop a tailored recovery plan. Monitoring helps devise the most suitable aftercare program that includes only the highly-effective tools in the process of recovery after treatment. After all, treatment is effective - but only proper long-term recovery and aftercare plan can extend its efficacy into the future.

Written by: Cecilia Brit Gomez, Miami


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