The Importance of a Solid Addiction Recovery Plan
Getting free of the grips of addiction is a life-changing event, but it requires life-changing work on your part. Is it important to have an addiction recovery plan?
Yes! It is very important to have a plan during addiction recovery. Recovery is hard enough on its own, so having a plan for after you are out of treatment is essential to long-term success.
The process of recovery continues after treatment. Addiction is a relapsing disease, which means the chances of doing drugs again will always be there. Here are some important factors to consider when developing your recovery plan! Keep in mind, each person’s addiction recovery plan will look different. What works for someone else may not work for you, and that’s okay.
We are always here to help you find addiction help for yourself or a loved one. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with us at (385) 327-7418.
- Recovery Continues After Treatment
- Understanding Addiction Recovery Aftercare
- Continuing Care Plan
- Factors of Importance
- Relapse Prevention
- Stages of Relapse
Recovery Continues After Treatment
Addiction treatment is not a cure. Addiction is a chronic disease such as heart disease or asthma. Treatment that is used for drug addiction typically is not a cure. However, it can be managed successfully.
Getting treatment allows the person to be taught ways to counteract addiction’s terrible effects. Addiction affects the brain and behavior; treatment helps to change these behaviors to regain control of their lives. Just because you relapse does not mean you failed.
Because addiction is chronic, it means that some people do relapse. Relapsing means going back to using after an attempt to stop. This is all part of the process. If you stop following your medical treatment plan, then it is likely that you will relapse.
Behavior therapy is a technique typically used in treatment programs. This type of therapy helps people modify their attitudes and behaviors linked to their drug use. Changing attitudes and behaviors can help patients handle stressful events and go through triggers that may have previously caused a relapse.
Being in recovery means having continued commitment and persistence. Again, treatment is not a cure. Going through treatment provides you with the tools needed to manage your cravings and gain control. This means you have to want to stay sober and continue to work towards it.
What is Aftercare
Aftercare is how you take care of yourself after getting out of treatment. It is a plan for the recovery person that will support them in early recovery. This is to prevent relapse and to help them reach their goals in life. Speaking of, goals are also very important to have. Why are you getting sober? What do you want out of life?
These answers could be things like your kids, a job, education, better health, financial stability, hope, feeling of calm, balance, relationships, hobbies, or other opportunities. All of these are goals, and they help to sustain the patient.
There are a lot of different people involved in the aftercare planning as well. People such as the patient, their family, referring therapist, outpatient, inpatient therapist, spiritual or cultural support, peer support, and other providers.
The 5 Pillars of an Aftercare Plan
- Coping strategies how to deal with the emotional and social triggers
- Relapse prevention planning for prevention of relapse is the key to sustaining long-term recovery
- Goals in an aftercare program, one of the most important pillars are the opportunity to receive education assistance or vocational training
- Continued therapy will help you build communication, establish and respect boundaries, and set goals for the future.
- Establishing a sober life; your aftercare program should show you how to develop sober activities and relationships for your new life.
Continuing Care Plan
Continuing care is known as a stage of treatment. It’s the care you continue to go through after completing more intensive care, such as residential or inpatient rehab.
A treatment care plan that is continued when you are no longer in a facility or program is essential to long-term sobriety. Continuing care comes in many different forms. Forms of continuing care include group counseling, individual therapy, telephone counseling, brief check-ups, and self-help meetings. Continuing care is found to be very effective in sustaining the positive effects of the original care given.
There are also many important tame home messages. These messages are regarding the types of continuing care that will be the most helpful for a typical patient.
- First, interventions with a long-planned duration of therapeutic contact appear to hold an advantage over shorter interventions.
- Second, interventions that feature more active and direct attempts to bring the treatment to the patient, either through aggressive outreach attempts or the use of low burden service delivery systems such as the telephone, seem to have a clear advantage over more traditional approaches.
- Perhaps more important is recognizing that even with effective interventions, wide variation in patient response is still the rule rather than the exception. (There is no “one size fits all”)
Factors of Importance
Of all the factors given above, they are all important for making a strong case. Continuing care models supplement or replace normal clinical-based approaches that are common now. The main parts of the new models are aggressive in attempting to stay in contact with the patient. Especially for long periods. This is to monitor their treatment response and make changes to the treatment in response to the patient’s progress or lack thereof.
These changes could be things such as service delivery options. This is because they are a lower burden and more convenient for the patient going through recovery. For therapy, they can do phone calls, video chat, in-person, etc.- whatever is convenient for the patient. The therapist will also provide some incentives to patients and counselors to promote participation in continuing care.
Relapse Prevention Plan
Having a plan for after treatment is very important because you can relapse. Addiction is a chronic relapsing disease. Even if you do everything right, you could still relapse. However, that does not mean you failed.
It is okay if you relapse, but it greatly increases your chances of not relapsing if you do everything right. Having a plan for after or for continuing care will aid you in staying clean.
Keys to Relapse Prevention
Now, having a relapse prevention plan is also important. You must understand that relapse happens slowly, though. It starts weeks or even months before you may take the drug or drink. This is because there are early warning signs.
There are stages of relapse and types of different relapses. The entire goal of your treatment program is to help you to notice the signs and triggers. Once you can notice them, you will also be taught coping skills to help you prevent them early in the process. The earlier you catch it, the greater the success will be.
Common Early Relapse Signs
- Withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, nausea, or feeling physically weak.
- Post-acute withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, irritability, mood swings, and sleeping poorly.
- Poor self-care, like not eating or sleeping well and not managing your stress properly.
- People, if you are still seeing people that use drugs.
- Places, going to places where you used, or that remind you of the drug.
- Objects that remind you of using or were part of your use.
- Uncomfortable emotions, this is called H.A.L.T., Which means hungry, angry, lonely, and tired.
- Relationships and sex, you may feel more stress than normal if something goes wrong in these areas.
- Isolation, staying by yourself is not the best option. Being alone gives you too much time to be with your thoughts.
- Pride and overconfidence, this is if you say, “I don’t have a problem.” Or if you begin to think that it is behind you completely.
Stages of Relapse
As you look through the early signs listed above, notice they are all emotional, mental, or physical symptoms. This is because there are three stages of relapse. Emotional, mental, and physical. The first stage is emotional. This is where you are not thinking about using. You may think about the last time you had relapsed and tell yourself you don’t want to repeat that. However, your emotions and behavior are setting you up for relapse further down the road. This is because you are not consciously thinking about using. This is similar to a denial stage. A common denominator in this stage of relapse is poor self-care. Self-care is important because it includes emotional, psychological, and physical care. You have to take care of yourself in recovery.
Mental relapse is like there is a war going on inside your mind. A part of you wants to use, and the other part doesn’t. You are fighting yourself in a yes or no argument. As you go further and further into mental relapse (like Alice going down a rabbit hole), your resistance will start to diminish as your need for the drug increases. In therapy, these relapses are considered high-risk situations. Hopefully, you have been taught how to handle this situation if it arises.
Finally, there is a physical relapse. This is the stage you get to when you are actually using again. Typically this is a relapse of opportunity, meaning it happens when you feel you have a window. And you feel as though you won’t get caught at that time. In rehab, you will rehearse scenarios like this to help you develop healthy exit strategies.
Your treatment or therapy will help you to prevent a relapse. It would help if you remembered what you were taught to break old habits. This helps you to retrain your brain to make new, healthier ways of thinking. Recovery is based on your coping skills, not your willpower. The coping skills will be taught to you while you are in treatment.
It is important to recognize that recovery is sometimes hard work, but addiction is even harder work. How you deal with setbacks is a major part of your recovery. Having a plan and being extra prepared and cautious is very important. So yes, make a plan during your addiction recovery. It is a long and hard road, but you can do it.
If you need help, or have more questions and concerns. Please contact us, we are always available.