Background Image

Addiction Aftercare Programs for Substance Abuse Rehab

Taking the steps to live a recovery lifestyle continues after detox and rehab. This process can include a variety of treatment options and support. As part of the continuum of treatment, an aftercare rehab program for addiction is an important part of recovery.
Call 888-341-7785
Helpline Information

What Is Aftercare for Substance Use Treatment?

“Aftercare” is a general term used to describe any ongoing or follow-up treatment for substance abuse that occurs after an initial rehab program. No matter the setting, treatment provider, or methods used, the goals of addiction aftercare programs are the same and include:

  • To maintain recovery from substance use.
  • To find ways to prevent relapse.
  • To achieve a life filled with rewarding relationships and a sense of purpose.

Types of Addiction Aftercare

There are many types of addiction aftercare programs. These programs cover a range of options that vary based on the intensity, setting, staffing, and duration of treatment. The appropriate type of aftercare will depend greatly on your individual symptoms, needs, and status following the completion of an initial rehab program.


Components of Successful Aftercare

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has outlined treatment characteristics that contribute to recovery in successful aftercare programs.

The four components of successful aftercare are:

Is Aftercare Effective?

Like many serious chronic conditions, there is no easy cure for addiction. Relapse is always a possibility, which makes it challenging to measure the effectiveness of an aftercare program. Effective treatment reduces symptoms, and poor or absent treatment is linked to increased frequency of symptoms or occurrences such as relapse. This is true of addiction as well as other chronic physical health conditions such as:

  • Type 1 diabetes.
  • Hypertension.
  • Asthma.

Finding Effective Addiction Aftercare

There will be a tremendous variation among addiction aftercare programs, but effective treatments will share a common philosophy that the best treatments account for the entire person and all their needs. Based on this treatment principle, the best aftercare programs will offer comprehensive services that address the individual’s physical and mental health, housing, finances, relationships, and more.

This system is based on the understanding that an imbalance with any of these components could lead to increased stress and a greater chance of relapse. If aftercare only focuses on one area, it may not be addressing the root of the greater issue.

For example, SAMHSA reports that roughly 7.7 million adults struggle with a co-occurring substance use disorder (also called dual diagnosis) and some form of mental illness. By only treating one condition, there is an opportunity for the co-occurring issue to worsen, which may lead to relapse or other unwanted consequences in the future. The best addiction aftercare will take a comprehensive approach to your treatment and be tailored to your individual needs. If you need help finding care, contact our admission navigators today.