Addiction is described as a compulsive behavior, or a pattern of repetitive and senseless thinking. In rehab, a recovering addict is encouraged by example how to overcome the compulsion to abuse substances. While there, the patient has plenty of support and people encouraging sobriety.
But, what happens when the patient leaves rehab and ventures back into known territories? Without support it’s possible to have a slip or relapse. This is the reason credible recovery centers put Continuing Care Plans in place while the recovering addict is still in rehab.
What is a Continuing Care Plan?
A Continuing Care Plan (also referred to as Aftercare) is a plan of action to help the recovering addict stay sober. The Continuing Care Plan will include a discharge summary that details all activities the patient is to complete once home. Some rehab centers will include ongoing support on-site or by conference calls if the patient leaves the area.
What to Include in a Continuing Care Plan?
Each rehab facility that offers aftercare, or referrals for aftercare, will have a specialized list. AION Recovery in Southern Florida recommends the following items to be considered.
- Local NA/AA meetings
- ALANON meetings for family members
- Support groups
- Primary care physicians
- Medical referrals to specialists
- Psychiatric referrals
- Medication transfers
- IOP/OP referrals
- Individual therapy
- Couples counseling
- Family counseling
- Any other specific counseling needs
- Halfway houses
- Employment/career counseling
- Continuing education resources, including information on financial aid
Aion Recovery’s complete explanation of aftercare can be read by clicking here.
If the patient has legal problems or probation, the Continuing Care Plan will include case coordination and drug screening if required.
When is the Best Time to Schedule Continuing Care?
The best time to discuss aftercare is while the patient is in rehab. Ask the counselors for a discharge summary. If the rehab does not offer aftercare, ask for a referral to an aftercare program in your area. Then set appointments so the patient is aware help will be available.
Adjustments to the Continuing Care Plan
Just like medical care for a disease, the Continuing Care Plan for addiction recovery needs to be checked. Change to the aftercare is based on the patient’s progress. If the patient expresses concern for relapse, then more care may be needed. This could be increased number of 12-Step meetings, individual counseling meetings, and sometimes a return to rehab may be necessary.
Continuing Care Plan Should Include Positive Influence Activities
For many recovering addicts, returning home presents other problems. Seeing friends who are not recovered can influence a slip or relapse. It’s important to find new activities that will promote new friendships. Find something of interest to focus on that will not include the same crowd of influence. Some patients opt for cooking classes or group music lessons as it’s a natural progression from non-traditional therapies offered in rehab.
A new group of positive influence is important for teens. For a comprehensive guide to Continuing Care for Teens, click here.
Are you interested in a comprehensive recovery program with continuous care after rehab? Contact Aion Recovery at 888-811-2879. We offer a Comprehensive Continuing Care Plan with 12 months of ongoing support.