Peninsula Health Center

Preparing for Life in Recovery

Aftercare Planning

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What Exactly Is Aftercare Planning?

Seeking treatment for a drug or alcohol use disorder is only the first (yet perhaps the most vital step) on your path to recovery and lasting sobriety. Completing a comprehensive addiction treatment program in Southern California dramatically improves your chances of long-term drug or alcohol addiction recovery. Treatment is a time of self-care and learning as you explore the physical and emotional issues that increase your risk of developing a substance use disorder. 

Therapy also helps you learn to evaluate and change negative thoughts and patterns of behavior. But what happens once treatment is complete? 

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What Happens After Rehab?

Why Aftercare is Important

Aftercare is an individual plan implemented once a primary drug or alcohol treatment episode is completed. A proper aftercare plan is designed based on your specific needs and is meant to help you navigate the challenges of maintaining ongoing sobriety. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a successful aftercare plan “supports ongoing recovery using evidence-based practices and a range of services designed to help maintain motivation and momentum as one moves forward in insobriety.” 

Addiction is a chronic disease that has no cure. However, sobriety can be achieved and maintained through a high-quality treatment program and robust aftercare program. A typical aftercare program will include ongoing therapy, psychiatric care and participation in community-based support groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Other components often added to an aftercare plan (based on individual needs) might include time in a sober living community, help to secure housing, legal assistance, educational assistance, ongoing physical and psychological health monitoring, and relapse prevention programming.

Planning for Life in Recovery

Aftercare is vital in preventing relapse because it often begins immediately after the end of treatment as you prepare to return home to your “normal life.” Relapse prevention plans are designed to create a supportive and comfortable environment where recovering addicts can speak openly about their feelings, challenges, temptations, and strengths throughout recovery. Staying immersed in the recovery community and the peer support system you have become comfortable with is vital to helping you remain sober and prevent a relapse. 

Another way to continue ongoing sobriety is to be open about thoughts, temptations, and slip-ups as part of aftercare activities. The sooner you acknowledge you are starting to or have relapsed, the sooner you can get back into treatment and on your way to recovery again. The support groups and social support (peer support) networks developed as part of the robust aftercare program provide recovering addicts with necessary outlets to open up to. A well-planned aftercare program also develops relationships with supportive, like-minded individuals to help get you back on the right track.

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Find out more about Peninsula Health Center's aftercare planning services and how we set clients up for success.

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What to Expect When Planning Aftercare?

Aftercare plans are unique and individualized plans put into place at the end of a thirty, sixty, or ninety-day primary treatment program. Proper aftercare plans are designed based on the specific needs of the individual to help them navigate life after addiction and addiction treatment. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “a successful aftercare plan supports ongoing recovery by using evidence-based practices and a range of services designed to help maintain motivation and momentum as one progresses in sobriety.” 

Although aftercare programs differ due to their unique design, there are common elements found across all programs. A typical aftercare program will include ongoing therapy. Depending on one’s specific needs, this may consist of individual therapy sessions, group or family sessions, or a combination of the above. Another essential component of aftercare consists of participation in support group meetings. Examples of these include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), among others. 

Attending these groups provides recovering addicts an outlet to discuss their challenges and victories in their sobriety journey with a group of peers also in various stages of recovery. Also, they provide a means for developing new, healthy social circles. Depending on the plan and the individual’s needs, other components may be added to an aftercare plan to help ensure comprehensive support. Some examples may include staying in a sober living environment, mental health monitoring, relapse prevention medication management, and ongoing medical support. Some aftercare programs also work with participants to pursue continuing education, secure permanent employment, and find safe housing.

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Aftercare Planning at Peninsula Health Center

The days, weeks, and months of work that go into addiction recovery begin when your primary treatment program ends. Recovery from addiction is not a process with a time restriction. Recovery is a lifelong process that requires ongoing work and effort. 

When you are new to recovery, you must be consistently mindful of places, people, and situations that may be triggering and cause you to use or crave drugs or alcohol again. Without a specific aftercare or relapse prevention plan for managing relapse triggers and the other challenges of sober living, you may face a far greater risk of relapse. As the end of your treatment program nears, our experienced and professional staff at Peninsula Health Center will work with you to develop a detailed, comprehensive aftercare plan designed to ensure you are adequately supported in the days and weeks after you complete treatment. 

Some treatment alumni opt to transition into a sober living house in Southern California for a period before returning to their daily obligations. At Peninsula Health Center, the goal of our Southern California rehab is to provide our program alums with healthy, adequate coping skills that are essential to maintaining ongoing recovery. We help out clients identify the necessary resources and support within their communities. 

We help develop a list of addiction coping strategies (relapse prevention plans) that identify specific behaviors and goals for each person. These coping tools and strategies addresses actions necessary to continue progress. They also include examining personal strengths and interests to continue to develop and understand personal limitations and areas of challenge. Following these unique relapse prevention plans will help Peninsula Health Center alumni live sober, healthy lives.

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Lifetime Aftercare Assistance at Peninsula Health Center

At Peninsula Health Center, we design our aftercare programs to set each of our treatment alumni up for lasting sobriety, successful recovery, and improved health and wellness. We can help you find your path to recovery at our drug and alcohol rehab in Southern California. Learn more about how Peninsula Health Center’s treatment and aftercare programs can help you find lasting freedom from drugs or alcohol today. Contact us for a tour of our Southern California addiction treatment center. Continue your journey of recovery in South Bay today.