Studies have found that addiction aftercare at a drug rehab center is a crucial part of overcoming any addiction. In fact, it has been noted that traditional drug rehab only works for roughly 50 percent of the people who attend drug rehab facilities, with the other 50 percent relapsing back into drug and alcohol use. Additionally, those studies have found that the two months following the rehab pose the biggest threat, as relapses most often happen in that time period. Addiction aftercare at a drug rehab, can prevent the majority of these relapses. Additionally, aftercare should be extended on a more infrequent basis for the years following release. Aftercare is so important for this duration because the chances of staying sober increase dramatically if one can stay clean for five years after initially attending drug rehab.
To fully see the benefit of aftercare, it’s important to look at the relapse numbers for drug addiction. The way that the National Institute on Drug Abuse addresses this is by looking at what percentage of recovering alcoholics will make it to eight years of sobriety. Of those who have been clean for one month to a year, 36 percent will make it to that eight-year mark. Of those who have been clean for one to three years, the percent rises dramatically to 66. Once people get over five years, 86 percent of them will then make it to eight years. These stats show that reaching this milestone drastically increases the chances of maintaining long-term sobriety.
The problem with rehab without aftercare is that it often works in a controlled environment where a person can get counseling and assistance. The person does not have access to drugs or alcohol, so the risk of a relapse is naturally lessened. They could check themselves out of rehab in some situations, but having to go through that process is often enough of a roadblock to keep them from turning to their old addictions.
The problems often arise when the person gets back into the real world, where they can easily get drugs and alcohol if they desire them. They often fall back into the same patterns; spend time with old, substance abusing, groups of friends. This can gradually push them back into drug use, which then frequently turns back into full-blown addiction. Addiction aftercare becomes necessary so that the addict can stay on track and remain committed to the changes that were brought on in alcohol or drug rehab.
No two people are the same, and no addictions are the same. People need different programs and tactics when it comes to aftercare; programs that are set up precisely to address their needs. One of the most common types is the 12-Step Program, which provides regular meetings with other people who are dealing with the same problems. These support groups can help significantly because many addicts return to use when they feel that they are fighting the battle alone. Being held responsible by others in the same situation makes them more likely to remain dedicated to the recovery process.
Additionally, counseling sessions can be used. These sessions often have the same effect as a group meeting, but they provide a one-on-one setting that may make a person feel more comfortable. Another option is a booster session, which is similar to a brief return to rehab. If the person is feeling tempted and drawn back to their old habits, a short stay can often help them grow strong again so that they do not relapse and need an entire rehab session in a few months. No matter what type of session is used, though, it can clearly be seen that aftercare is just as important as rehab.