After you complete an inpatient treatment program for substance use disorder, what happens next? People with mild SUDs may return to their lives without the need for intensive follow-up care, but other people may not feel like they are fully prepared to simply start taking full control of their lives with no support.
It’s wonderful that you want to continue drug rehab after completing an inpatient program; you are committed to building the skills and strength you need to maintain sobriety after treatment, and acknowledging the need for outside care shows self-awareness and courage.
Seeking outpatient care post-treatment is a good way to stay on track and prevent relapse.
How Outpatient Helps After Inpatient Rehab
You most likely talked about the importance of aftercare in your impatient program; addiction aftercare can come in a variety of forms including individual therapy, support groups and 12-step outpatient programs.
The truth is that completing rehab is scary for a lot of people; they may not yet have a job or know where to begin rebuilding their lives. Many rehabs offer career and education services that can make the transition easier, but outpatient therapy can be an excellent goal for people who want to stay focused on treatment as they begin making gradual steps toward regaining independence and living life sober.
Support groups may be run through your inpatient rehab, or they could be hosted by a non-profit organization like Alcoholics Anonymous. Many people continue to attend support groups for years after completing their initial treatment. Support groups offer the opportunity to make friends and start building a sober social circle that can make it easier to feel like you still have a life after rehab.
Many support groups and outpatient programs run off the traditional 12-step model of addiction treatment. You may have already experienced this model through your inpatient program as it is used by 95 percent of all U.S. rehabs. The 12-step program is not for everyone, but it may be the only form of treatment you have access to.
Support groups can help you get to know people and connect on your own terms; even if you don’t agree with or like every aspect of the 12-step program, finding a sober, structured community can be a valuable asset during your recovery.
Substance use disorder is chronic, and relapse is considered a part of the recovery process. Relapse prevention is a specialized type of therapy that helps people learn how to identify triggers and manage their urges. There are a wide range of triggers that can tempt someone to reuse; mental triggers like depression and anxiety are common, but there are also feelings like loneliness and sadness that may tempt someone to turn back to their former drugs of choice for relief.
Relapse prevention is typically a part of an intensive outpatient program (IOP). Intensive outpatient treatment has been shown to be just as effective as inpatient treatment, and it can be a good way for people to continue their program after they complete their initial residential stay.
Some people go through detox and decide to attend an IOP instead of inpatient treatment because of the flexibility; although they still take up six to eight hours each day, IOPs give you the freedom to return home every evening and implement what you’re learning through treatment into your daily life.
The Role of Ongoing Treatment
Aftercare is different for everyone; the severity of your substance use disorder along with your mental health status and personal need for greater support will ultimately influence what level of follow-up care is best for you.
You can continue your treatment in an outpatient program, and your inpatient rehab may even be able to connect you with an outpatient program before you complete your initial treatment.
Be open about your plans and needs in rehab; it’s okay if you don’t feel ready to maintain sobriety on your own immediately following treatment. Continuing therapy through an outpatient program and/or individual therapy will help you stay on track and meet your goals one by one.
Contact us today at 844-639-8371 to learn more about life after rehab, including outpatient programs and relapse prevention. No matter where you are on your recovery journey, we’re here to help you take the next step.