Recovery Connections: After Treatment, What’s Next?

After a tumultuous journey at a residential rehabilitation facility, the recovery process will begin with an onslaught of new perspectives and opportunities. Knowing the best recovery connections for your new lease on life is paramount to maintaining sobriety.

While treatment focuses on the process of weaning a former addict off addictive substances, recovery is a lifelong phase that tests a recovering addict’s self-control and behavioral impulses.

But, never fear, the recovery process can be a journey of growth, maturity, and a complete lifestyle change — even if a relapse occurs.

Knowing the best connections to treat your addiction while in recovery can help implement therapeutic practices and accountability within your sobriety.

Gaining access to proper recovery or treatment connections can be challenging for some, despite the abundance of resources available for recovering addicts.

According to an eight-year study that followed about 1,200 people in treatment and followed up with 94 percent of the clients after treatment, only 1 in 3 people who were abstinent less than a year remained abstinent.

The National Institutes of Health study published in the Psychology Today article, “How often does long-term sober alcoholics and addicts relapse,” also found that the longer a recovering addict remained sober, the higher their chances were of not relapsing. The recovering addicts who made it to five years of sobriety had only less than a 15 percent chance of relapsing.

To maintain a lengthy sobriety, the right treatment and aftercare come hand in hand so the recovering addict can develop resilience throughout life’s challenges and temptations.

Sober-living homes provide haven for transitioners

When some people think of sober-living homes, they may think of it as an adult foster care, but it’s quite the contrary. Sober-living homes are recommended for those who have graduated from an extensive rehabilitation program but may not be ready to go back full-throttle into their previous environment.

According to a National Association of Recovery Residences study, “‘Recovery residences’ is a broad term describing a sober, safe, and healthy living environment that promotes recovery from alcohol and other drug use and associated problems.”

In a study done by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a team of researchers at DePaul University’s Center for Community Research in Illinois assessed 150 participants who either went to an Oxford house, sober-living home, or usual care conditions. The study eventually found that those who went to a controlled and low-risk environment, such as an Oxford home, had a decreased rate of relapse and, also, financial gain was greater for those living in the home.

Sixty-five percent of the participants in Oxford houses had refrained from substances in comparison to the 31 percent of the participants who were not in an Oxford home and remained sober.

The study also found that incarceration rates were lower at the Oxford houses with three percent of participants being incarcerated in comparison to nine percent of the participants who did not transition into a sober-living home.

Lead researcher, Leonard A. Jason, a psychologist and director of the center, evaluated the results and the impact the sober-living community had on the participants.

“Even we were amazed at the results,” Jason said in the article. “These findings suggest tremendous public policy benefits for these type of low-cost, residential, non-medical care options for individuals with substance abuse problems.”

Sober-living homes give recovering addicts an environment that is conducive to sobriety and responsibility. The residences are expected to maintain household chores and work while attending therapy sessions or 12-step meetings. This kind of community not only protects the resident from the temptation of addictive substances but it prepares the addict for the real world and a longevity of sobriety.

Continuing recovery with outpatient care

Outpatient care can be the best recovery connection for those who suffer from a less severe addiction or those looking to continue a milder form of treatment.

Outpatient treatment is essentially treatment that allows the client to stay active in their households and at work while seeking therapy or medically assisted care. The benefits of outpatient care are that it gives the client anonymity and privacy as they go through educational courses on addiction or receive counseling, according to PsychCentral.

This form of treatment is similar to the programs offered at a residential facility.

While in recovery, a client can receive the following treatments:

  •         Family counseling
  •         Group therapy
  •         Individual therapy
  •         12-step meetings
  •         Medical treatment for dual-diagnosis clients

According to Drug War Facts, the 2013 World Drug Report stated that only 1 in 6 people struggling with substance abuse receives treatment for their drug dependence. But a study done by the Justice Policy Institute that was published by Drug War Facts, reported a major reduction in criminal offenses with those who complete either an outpatient or residential drug program.

“Increases in admissions to substance abuse treatment are associated with reductions in crime rates,” reads the study. “Admissions to drug treatment increased 37.4 percent and federal spending on drug treatment increased 14.6 percent from 1995 to 2005. During the same period, violent crime fell 31.5 percent.”

The effectiveness of outpatient treatment supports the recovery process because it implements structure and teaches the client how to contain their addictive behaviors.

It also provides that additional care that someone who may have already completed an extensive program but is still struggling with their addiction needs. During recovery, mistakes are bound to happen, whether it’s a mental health or addictive regression, but constantly seeking guidance is the recovery connection that will get you back on track.

12-step meetings give recovering addicts new footing

So, before you begin to skim through this section as if it’s another one of those “how-to” or “self-help” guides, it’s really not. Everyone is different, meaning that every recovering addict may find that different forms of aftercare programs best holster their progress in recovery.

If you find that encompassing yourself with a community of people who have had similar experiences in their addiction past is the most beneficial recovery connection, then 12-step meetings can be taken advantage of.

For introverted people who may desire communication with a sponsor or friend but find it difficult to speak about their experiences, joining small communities can inspire honesty and transparency.

AA Agnostica, a blog about those who were apprehensive about attending Alcoholics Anonymous because of their religious beliefs—or lack thereof—tells the story of Faye, a middle-age alcoholic who initially struggled with her identity but came to embrace the diverse stories of alcoholics.

“I walked into a meeting that night and I felt like I was home,” she wrote. “There was a 21-year-old kid who was telling my story. I somehow managed to keep my façade going for a much longer time than him. My only hope was that he would find happiness before I did.”

Because of the anonymity of its members, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous statistics have been hard to conduct by researchers and organizations. Yet, according to the Scientific American’s article, “Does Alcohol Anonymous Works,” a 2006 study published by a Stanford psychologist, Rudolf H. Moos, quite simply discovered yes, it does.

The 16-year study followed alcoholics who either quit through AA or on their own. Of those who attended at least 27 weeks of during their first year of abstinence, 67 percent were still sober at the 16-year follow-up, according to the article. But only 34 percent of people who quit alcohol without the help of AA were sober at the 16-year follow-up.

In an article published on The Fix, Dr. David Sacks, an addiction psychiatrist, said the indicator of whether AA works for attendees is whether or not they take advantage of therapy and its methods.

“When you look at people just taking themselves to a meeting, long-term abstinence is pretty low,” Sacks said. “But the fact is it works really well for the people who work it.”

AA meetings are so instrumental in the recovery of former addicts because it gives attendees the stepping-stones to sobriety (pun intended).
If you have completed a drug rehab program but are still struggling to find recovery connections to remain sober, then our specialists at Pathway to Hope are available 24-7 to help provide guidance. Call us today at 844-557-8575 and seek the right help for long-term sobriety and support.