There are many aspects involved in drug treatment, including intervention, detox, medication therapy, behavioral therapy and addiction aftercare. Addiction aftercare takes place after formal treatment, with relapse prevention and practical support offered to recovering addicts through residential programs and out-patient groups. Addiction aftercare includes both psychological and practical support, with counselors and therapists working with patients to ensure a sustainable long-term recovery.
Addiction aftercare programs are available from residential centers and community support groups, with some centers specializing in particular treatment modalities. Hear more about addiction treatment options and aftercare when you call Plano Drug Treatment Centers at (972) 805-5950.
Relapse prevention is an important part of aftercare, with therapists teaching patients how to recognize triggers, avoid high risk situations and develop coping skills. Relapse is both an outcome and a transgression of the recovery process, with most treatment centers dealing with relapse as a number of separate stages.
Emotional relapse is the first stage, with patients likely to experience unhealthy emotional states such as anger, frustration, irritability, depression and anxiety. Mental relapse is the next stage, with patients stuck between worlds as they deal with the possibility of relapse. Common signs of mental relapse include thinking about relapse, fantasizing about relapse, romanticizing past drug use, spending time with old friends, and planning relapse scenarios. If left untreated, mental relapse is likely to lead to physical relapse.
Relapse prevention techniques are often based on behavioral principles, with patients taught how to reconcile their thoughts, feelings and behavioral responses. By learning to recognize unhealthy sensations and emotions as they arise, recovering addicts can be taught how to avoid impulsive and compulsive behavior. Relapse prevention is integral to the process of drug treatment, with patients likely to relapse without going through dedicated prevention programs.
Built into residential treatment or available on an aftercare basis, relapse prevention is just as important to the recovery process as detox or psychotherapy.
Medications are sometimes prescribed on a long-term or indefinite basis, with opioid replacement therapy being the most well-known example. Also known as opioid substitution therapy, this form of treatment may continue beyond the residential phase of care.
In a typical opioid replacement program, drugs like methadone and buprenorphine are prescribed to addicts as a form of harm reduction. While this program has been criticized for enabling secondary opioid addictions, it has proven effective in reducing the risks associated with illicit drug use.
Family therapy is often initiated during aftercare, with friends and family members brought into the therapy process through group counseling sessions. Family therapy may also be known as family systems therapy or family counseling, with different approaches used depending on the operational philosophy of the treatment center.
Family therapy emphasizes the importance of family relationships to psychological health, with overall family functioning known to influence the decision making process. Multidimensional family therapy (MDFT) is a particular treatment modality used in drug treatment, with other modalities including cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and motivational incentives.
Practical support is an essential element of aftercare, with patients helped to find stable accommodation and jobs to support the recovery process. From skills acquisition and job search programs through to community housing and low-interest loans, residential and community groups can give addicts the practical help they need to get back on their feet.
While mindfulness and behavioral therapy strategies are integral to the aftercare process, practical support is just as important. People with access to stable accommodation and income support are much less likely to relapse following treatment, with practical programs designed to encourage abstinence through building a better life.
To hear more about addiction aftercare treatment options, call Plano Drug Treatment Centers at (972) 805-5950.