September 9, 2015 Marissa ObrienAftercare0

28 Days Later

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Why planning an after-care program is just as important as in-patient treatment.

Many of us perceive treatment as essentially a 30-day in-patient program where an individual receives 1-on-1 intensive therapy to relieve them of their addictions. For many of us, 30 days is a major commitment, requiring an individual to put aside their obligations to their family, career and lifestyle in order to reconnect with themselves and reclaim a new sense of purpose and intention.

But for the majority who achieve sustained recovery, it requires at least 90 days or more of concentrated commitment in a safe environment to cultivate legitimate recovery. Do you remember the last time you mastered something new? It more than likely took you much longer than a month to become an expert. Nevertheless, the initial concept of spending 3 to 6 months or more in a program of recovery is typically, if not always, met with divergence. Especially as our commitments become greater, we become more reluctant to give up our time even for something as important as getting sober.

However, it is the initial weeks and months after leaving an in-patient rehab program where patients are the most susceptible to relapse. Triggering situations such as returning home or to a career can, with remarkable quickness, spiral a newly sober individual back into their same addictive patterns. And since no one is capable of conceptualizing how susceptible they are at this point, it’s imperative that an aftercare program is explained during treatment and initiated immediately afterward.

Some of the cornerstone elements of aftercare include accountability, comfortability and sustainability. Depending on each person’s own needs and resources, this can be achieved by scheduling out-patient services with a treatment facility or therapist, enrolling in a transitional living home or committing to an aggressive submersion into the recovery community, typically attending 90 meetings in 90 days and finding a sponsor and support system.

During this transitional phase, it is highly recommended that an individual be placed in a sober-living home where they can continue to receive regularly scheduled therapy while maneuvering into real-life situations. While this may initially seem uncomfortable, newly sober individuals typically feel safer and more connected with other individuals in recovery, which helps them to work past this difficult phase. Accountability is monitored as all members are encouraged to attend 12-step fellowship groups, meet with a therapist, secure work and contribute to community chores all while remaining sober. These temporary housing situations, located practically anywhere throughout the country, are comfortable, affordable and free from the outside stressors that may cause relapse.

There are plenty of options in terms of an aftercare programming, all of which are typically tailored to an individual’s personal needs. Professionals discover that they can return to work while living in a safe environment tucked away from home. People with limited resources can afford a semi-permanent housing situation and secure a stable job while growing alongside others in the program. Mothers can choose a facility that allows them to bring young children. And otherwise committed individuals can attend out-patient programming for months following treatment that fits with their schedule.

The truth is, time flies. Many of us, or our loved ones, have spent years in addiction waiting for the right time to get help. I have heard countless individuals explain how everything seemed to slow down once they achieved sobriety, allowing them to finally savor in the life they always wished for. In addition, they gained mental and emotional freedom to think, feel, love, dream, imagine and inspire while beforehand, their mental space was filled with stress, anxiety, regret, resentment, depression and most of all, fear. Mary Augustine once said, “We become happier, much happier, when we realize that life is an opportunity rather than an obligation.” Let you or your loved one experience the opportunity of life through a long-term commitment to recovery.


January 14, 2015 Marissa ObrienRecovery0

Completing an extended-stay drug treatment program is a huge accomplishment – one that very few individuals battling severe substance dependency are actually able to complete. However, while graduating from an inpatient program is undoubtedly reason for a serious pat on the back, it is by no means the end of one’s journey into recovery. In order to maintain sobriety for years to come, it is crucial that a newly sober individual implement a comprehensive and highly personalized aftercare plan. In most cases, each client will sit down with their addiction counselor before graduating from their treatment center and formulate an inclusive list of future recovery goals and attainable objectives. Listed below are several components crucial to sustained momentum in sobriety and essential elements that will lead you closer towards maintained sobriety and farther from potential relapse.

How To Succeed After Drug Rehab

  • Create a solid circle of sober supports.

Surround yourself with healthy and happy individuals who are content in their sobriety and who are emotionally available at pretty much the drop of a hat. You will undoubtedly need to talk through situations at one point or another, seeing as you will be faced with new circumstances you have never before handled without the assistance of drugs and alcohol. Surround yourself with positive people from who you feel comfortable asking for help.

  • Join a fellowship.

Joining a 12-step fellowship is completely essential to maintaining sobriety if you are new to the sober lifestyle. Not only will you instantaneously have 20 friends to call if you find yourself in a sticky situation, you will have the opportunity to learn from the experience, strength, and hope of those who are just like you.

  • Work a “safe” job.

Even if you have ample experience bartending, it might be best to steer clear of that scene until you are entirely comfortable in your sobriety. Work a job that will humble you, one that will not trigger you, and one that you enjoy.

  • Learn to love yourself.

Spend time learning to love yourself! Discover your personal interests, passions, what makes you tick. It is important to remember that you will not be able to properly love anyone else until you learn to adore your own mind, body, and soul.

  • Continue with therapy.

Just because inpatient treatment is over, it does not mean your therapeutic process has come to an end. In fact, you are most likely just beginning to scratch the surface. If you cannot continue with your therapist from treatment, find a new one and meet for weekly sessions.

  • Work on rebuilding family relationships.

If the timing is right and you feel comfortable doing so, it may be wise to slowly begin mending familial relationships. Family will play a big role in your overall recovery, and family therapy (if it is not already) should be incorporated into your aftercare plan at some point down the line.

  • Remember that abstinence is key.

No matter what, don’t pick up.

The rates of relapse are unfortunately high amongst those who graduate from drug rehab without a carefully planned aftercare program. If you have recently completed a treatment program and are looking into aftercare options, feel free to contact one of our licensed representatives to find out what steps to take to ensure your sobriety remains intact and you continue to flourish in the journey of recovery.

Committing to extended-stay inpatient treatment program is a major, life changing decision. Pledging to begin a journey into recovery entails the introduction and involvement in a completely different way of life. Giving up everything you once used as a crutch to avoid reality and facing life head-on can be terrifying when you aren’t even really sure who you are. It is important to consider your perception of the situation. Try to look at the opportunity with excitement – you are being given the chance to begin your life over, to get to know yourself on a personal level, and to mend all of the relationships that have been tarnished by your drug or alcohol addiction over the years. Still, it is understandable that there is some trepidation involved even when looking at the experience with enthusiasm. To make the process a bit easier, here is a list of several things you should expect when attending inpatient drug treatment for the first time.

What To Expect in Drug Rehab

  1. Expect to spend long hours in group therapy.

It may seem daunting, and at first it may be slightly intimidating. But group therapy sessions will play a major role in saving your life. Speaking about yourself in front of others will remain an absolutely crucial component of your recovery for years to come – and practice makes perfect! Or in this case, practice makes progress.

  1. Expect to touch on some of the dark stuff.

Drug rehab is not only about treating the physical components of addiction – it is about comprehensively treating underlying causes. This includes traumatic experience and psychologically scarring events and circumstances. Prepare to dig deep inside and face things you have buried under years of numbing substance abuse. While this seems scary, it will be extremely beneficial in the long run, and will provide such an incomparable sense of relief and healing.

  1. Expect to be put on a new medication.

In the vast majority of cases, addicts and alcoholics will turn to chemical substances in order to self-medicate undiagnosed psychological disorders. As you sober up you are likely to find that you are suffering from a mild disorder that has contributed to your substance abuse. Anxiety and depression are the most common, though addicts are sometimes found to suffer from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

  1. Expect to follow the rules – no matter how outlandish.

When attending drug rehab for the first time, you may be shocked and appalled by some of the rules that are in place. Wake up at 6 am?! Make my bed every morning?! WASH MY DISHES?! You will quickly learn that breaking the rules is simply not worth the flack you will undoubtedly get. Prepare to adjust quickly and clean up after yourself thoroughly!

  1. Expect to make friends – with yourself.

Recovery is a highly self-involved process. It is important to spend more time getting to know yourself than anyone else – you will have ample time to make best friends later on down the road. Learn to love yourself first!

  1. Expect to feel things you haven’t felt in years.

Remember feelings? How about emotions? Don’t worry, no one expects you to. But they will inevitably come back, swiftly and without warning. You will feel sadness, fear, and aggravation… but experiencing joy, love and compassion for the first time in years is so rewarding it will make everything else worthwhile.

  1. Expect to learn patience.

This little virtue will come in handy more often than you may think when living with a group of drug-addicted strangers.

  1. Expect to go to a sober living facility.

The success rates of those who attend an inpatient rehab without a comprehensive aftercare program – including sober living – is significantly lower than the success rate of those who transition directly into a halfway house. If you are serious about staying sober, halfway is the way to go.

Above all else, expect truly great things to come from this experience if you truly open your heart and take advantage of the opportunity with which you are being presented.

The Hope Center

The Hope Center for Rehabilitation offers a full range of services both leading up to, during and following treatment, including professional interventions, a luxury, medically assisted detox program, inpatient rehabilitation (30-90 days), intensive out-patient rehabilitation and out-patient services. Each of our clients become a part of our alumni program at the completion of their treatment to help foster a continued community of recovery.

Copyright by The Hope Center 2016. All rights reserved.