Aftercare Options Following Substance Abuse Treatment


Substance abuse treatment is a challenging process, but it is an important first step on the long road to recovery. Many clients—and those who support them—may not realize that treatment and recovery is ongoing. Maintaining sobriety is a lifelong endeavor, one that’s much easier to maintain with an effective treatment follow-up plan.

Following inpatient treatment, you may wonder, what’s next? It can be overwhelming, and even scary, to think about life after residential treatment. You may not feel ready to be on your own.

There are a range of treatment options available to those who have completed inpatient substance abuse treatment. These include support groups, halfway houses, and outpatient treatment. This is called “continuum of care” and refers to the comprehensive levels and intensities of care. For many individuals, this continuum is helpful in maintaining sobriety.

The right approach will vary for each individual, but aftercare can truly be the difference between recovery and relapse.

Seek Support Groups

Completion of a rehabilitation program can feel like a personal victory, and in many ways, it is. What’s important, though, is not losing sight of the true goal: long-term sobriety. Studies show that a majority of relapses occur within six months following treatment, which makes a clearly defined aftercare strategy essential. Participation in support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous is helpful in keeping yourself accountable.

Find Structure in a Halfway House or Sober Living Home

Locking in a trusted support network is key to maintaining your treatment benefits. This will likely include your loved ones, but also other people in recovery. If your living situation would make after treatment difficult, a halfway house might be a preferable environment.

In a halfway house, you maintain part-time employment or volunteer, while also participating in AA meetings or similar group meetings. A halfway house can be an ideal setting for clients who need structure following inpatient treatment. Halfway houses operated by licensed treatment providers are more likely to be structured. If you desire a higher level of care, make sure to seek this type of residence.

The term halfway house is often used interchangeably with sober living home. There are a couple of key differences. A sober living home may be operated by peers and may be less structured. One does not have to be in treatment or just completed treatment to live in a sober home. Additionally, these are often long-term residences, while a halfway house has a shorter stay in comparison.

When talking to an admissions counselor at any treatment provider, be sure to ask about the specifics of their housing programs. Again, they may use some of these terms interchangeably, so it’s important to understand the structure.

Continue Therapy in an Outpatient Setting

If your living situation is stable enough, you may benefit more from regular check-ins as part of continued outpatient therapy. Often many individuals who participate in inpatient treatment benefit from outpatient treatment. This is a level of care that provides support and therapy while allowing individuals to live at home, work, etc.

Pyramid Healthcare offers outpatient therapy at many of its treatment facilities. These centers offer individual therapy, group counseling, life skills sessions, and more for substance abuse. You may benefit from a combination of individual and group therapy, or one or the other.

Depending on the type, duration, and severity of your previous substance use disorder, different methods may be recommended. It’s important to work with your counselor to find an aftercare plan that works for you and your treatment needs.

Following inpatient treatment, clients at Pyramid Healthcare work with an aftercare counselor to identify next steps. We’re your partner in your recovery, and we want you to succeed. Aftercare services are available to adults and adolescents across our treatment centers.

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