One of the biggest mistakes someone receiving treatment for substance abuse can make is to think that, once they leave active treatment, the process is over and not remember aftercare.

But recovery is not a one and done event, but an ongoing process that requires continual maintenance and effort to keep going. This only further emphasizes the importance of aftercare in addiction recovery.

Aftercare is exactly what it sounds like: it’s care received after the end of clinical treatment. The purpose of aftercare is to ensure the patient continues to get the attention and proper care to keep them from falling back into addictive habits and possibly ending with a total relapse.

Aftercare can take many forms, from scheduled check-ups with a doctor or psychiatrist to keep tabs on mental state and behavioral patterns to recurring therapy sessions for continual care or informal check-ins with a “buddy” who has also dealt with addiction and its aftermath.

No matter the form, the intent is the same: to keep the addict from falling back into addiction and remain on a healthy, stable footing in their post-treatment life.

Without aftercare, the possibility of relapse increases greatly. Former addicts can find themselves falling into old habits, even with the best of intentions. Habits that seemingly have nothing to do with substance abuse can lead the patient into recurring patterns that, ultimately, end in the cycle of addiction once more. 

Reconnecting with friends who still abuse drugs or alcohol, frequenting old hangout spots where substance abuse still goes on or resuming old patterns that once led to substance abuse are all danger signs of possible relapse if the addict does not pursue their path carefully and cautiously.

The Importance of Aftercare in Addiction Recovery

With proper aftercare, clients can feel more secure in their sobriety, able to resist temptation and avoid destructive habits, knowing they’re being held accountable and face consequences should their behavior fall short. Ideally, a client undergoing aftercare won’t feel tempted to pursue destructive habits or recurring patterns of addiction at all.

Of course, just as treatment cannot always overcome addiction in every case, aftercare is hardly perfect. Even those in aftercare programs may end up relapsing in the wrong circumstances. Nothing, after all, is guaranteed when dealing with the vagaries of human behavior.

But with aftercare in place, such failures are much less likely and the importance of aftercare in addiction recovery becomes clear.

Many addiction recovery programs and treatment plans offer aftercare packages of some sort to help bolster a client’s success. This includes facilities like Good Landing Recovery, which makes aftercare a priority in the treatment of almost every patient.

Aftercare is not just a buzz word or perk of treatment. It’s a major factor in many lives between successful recovery and sudden relapse. It’s a significant form of treatment, received after treatment.

Don’t let your addiction treatment go to waste. Make sure you get the aftercare you need to keep substance abuse and addiction at bay. Good Landing can help, if you’ll let them. Aftercare is the right choice for everyone.