Drug and alcohol treatment centers offer a wide range of residential and out-patient programs, from the initial stages of intervention and detox through to the later stages of addiction aftercare and relapse prevention. Addiction aftercare plays an important practical role in addiction recovery, with therapists and counselors giving patients the skills and support they need to find accommodation, look for work, and develop healthy living habits. Depending on the facility, addiction aftercare programs may also consist of emotion mindfulness and spirituality-based practices.
Addiction aftercare treatment is a broad term used to describe a wide range of programs and services. Aftercare refers to any intervention program that follows initial treatment, with emphasis generally on behavioral counseling and relapse prevention. While aftercare programs do take place following out-patient programs, they are often defined as the additional support given to patients following residential treatment. Patients will be taught a number of new skills and coping strategies during aftercare treatment, with counselors and therapists often specializing in either practical skills or emotional strategies.
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Relapse is common with drug addiction and abuse, with up to 50 percent of all patients using drugs and alcohol again following a treatment program. While the risk of relapse remains high up to five years after recovery, the highest risk period is during the first 60 days following discharge from a rehab center.
Avoiding relapse is the biggest goal for every addiction aftercare program, with therapists looking closely at the reasons for relapse and putting appropriate mechanisms in place. Aftercare programs focus on lifestyle skills, motivation and mindfulness, while also working with patients and helping them find places where they can live and work. Treatment centers may specialize in particular programs, with 12-step groups, booster sessions and behavioral counseling some of the more popular approaches.
While intervention is typically associated with the initial phase of a treatment program, it can also play an important role upon the completion of a residential program. Both formal and informal intervention may become necessary after a period of physical relapse, with patients having to be guided back into the recovery process.
There are a range of intervention methods available, including direct confrontation, indirect confrontation, forcible intervention and motivational interviewing. Drug and alcohol treatment centers offer a range of aftercare and intervention systems, helping patients to deal with the recovery process and lowering the potential for relapse.
A range of aftercare programs is available, with some treatment options compulsory after residential programs and others arranged by the individual. Traditional 12-step programs play an important role in aftercare treatment and relapse prevention, with members encouraged meeting regularly and going through a well-defined program with other people.
Other support groups may also be available to recovering addicts, especially for those people not comfortable with the spiritual aspects of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and similar programs. Counseling and support therapy may take place either individually or in group sessions, with recovering addicts often benefiting from regular contact with other people in a similar situation.
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