The Importance of Aftercare Programs to Avoid Relapse

Relapse is not inevitable.
Recovery from years of substance abuse is not an easy task.

According to Thomas McLellan, a substance abuse activist and founder of Treatment Research Institute in Philadelphia, substance abuse should not be taken as a psychological affliction towards drugs. Instead, it is a form of chronic disease which requires a cure by lifelong dedication. After researching the effectiveness of rehab courses and therapies, it has been found out that most of the methods practiced for substance abuse recovery are highly outdated. Years of alcohol and meth addiction cannot be recovered within few weeks of therapies and medical aid. Just like chronic diseases, for example cancer or kidney transplant, substance recovery requires lifelong dedication and consistency to avoid relapse. Being a part of aftercare programs and support groups is very important because of strong withdrawal symptoms of powerful drugs like alcohol, meth, nicotine, hash, marijuana etc.

Routine patterns for clients in the following months of treatment should be processed and controlled because steps taken in this time decides the outcome of patients to submit to permanent sobriety or to end up in a vicious circle of relapse and rehab. Aftercare programs vary with individual’s capacity and nature of treatment taken. However, the percentage of relapse is very high.

Major cause of relapse is lack of confidence in society especially if the patient has spent a considerable time in a rehab center. The addict usually finds himself/herself surrounded by similar conditions of old times, which eventually can influence him/her back to their drug afflicted lifestyle.

According to statistical evidence, in the USA only, there are 23.4 million people who want to recover from substance abuse and only 2.5 million of them are able to adapt a permanent transition. Unfortunately, only eleven percent of them are able to receive full rehab facilitation. Most of them continue to struggle against substance abuse, the reason being lack of adequate facilities and awareness for aftercare programs.

Aftercare programs include counseling sessions, motivational meetings, mild therapies and indulging in various social events so as to divert client’s attention from drugs and submission to old habits. The aim of such programs is to provide a positive environment to addicts, where they can dwell among other recovering clients, share stories of coping with stress and drug urges. A vital part of aftercare program include thorough counseling of family members like children, spouse and parents. It largely helps to provide moral and financial support to psychologically affected families via educational meetings, public forum discussions and most importantly, support.

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