Aftercare is the term used to describe a program of activities to support recovery following inpatient or residential treatment. It usually includes group therapy to address ongoing issues and to help prevent or deal with relapse. Aftercare groups are generally sponsored by a treatment program for their own graduates. Patients return once or twice a week to help each other deal with problems encountered in living addiction free. These therapy groups are usually facilitated by members of the treatment staff.

Many people go to treatment in places far from their home towns, and attending an aftercare group at the treatment center is impossible. They will then need to learn how to reinforce recovery in an aftercare plan. This plan could include recommendations for individual or group therapy and will most certainly include involvement in local Twelve-Step groups.

Treatment centers and programs for addiction should be able to assess the addict’s needs and should make appropriate recommendations. These may involve improvements in career, education, family and other relationships, or other activities. The more support available in early recovery, the better the chance for avoiding relapse.

Support Groups

Those who will become involved in AA or NA will have little difficulty finding good groups most anywhere in the United States. Other fellowships such as Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, or Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, may still be struggling to become strong. In such cases it is especially important that the person be provided with a good understanding of the tools necessary for recovery, perhaps including how to start their own Twelve-Step meetings.

Aftercare, see also: Codependency, Counseling, Dual diagnosis, Employee assistance programs, Half-measures, Halfway house, Impaired professionals, Psychological problems, Therapy & treatment.

Updated 12 Sep 2015

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