How Aftercare Works

Completing drug rehabilitation is a tremendous accomplishment.[1] Every person that makes it through a treatment program should be proud. Putting the lessons learned during rehab into practice takes considerable effort and commitment. That’s why aftercare programs are so important. Aftercare programs help individuals who completed drug rehab continue to live drug-free lives without the structure of an addiction treatment program. Aftercare for addiction treatment follow-up is usually one of three basic types: sober living homes, follow-up counseling and 12-Step programs.

Sober Living Homes

When an individual completes drug rehabilitation, he must transition back into the general flow of daily life. This is not always easy. For many, returning home means coming back to old temptations, lost jobs, or failed relationships. It’s a lot to take in all at once. Sober living homes provide a place for the recovering addict to regain his footing as he addresses these issues. Sober living residences are places to:

  • Rebuild personal responsibility. Chores and other household duties are shared at a sober living home. For recovering addicts who have thought about nothing but themselves and their addiction for years, this is an important stepping stone to becoming a functioning, productive member of a family, company or social group.
  • Stabilize the family unit. Many sober living homes for women allow single mothers to reside on site with their families. For children this provides a chance to rediscover the regimen and normality that was stripped away by a parent’s drug addiction.
  • Rebuild financial stability. Most sober living homes are highly affordable, which gives the individual a chance to get back to work and start saving for her own residence.

Follow-Up Counseling

Counseling sessionJust like a car needs an occasional tune-up to keep running at peak efficiency, once drug rehabilitation is complete, follow-up counseling helps ensure the person in recovery that she is making use of the skills learned while in treatment. This may require her to return to the treatment facility for individual sessions with his counselor from rehab. It also may involve meeting a new therapist who was recommended by the program. There are also aftercare group sessions, where the individual meets with a counselor and other recovering addicts who have recently completed rehab.

Counseling after rehab is vital to treatment success. Addiction recovery is an ongoing process, so any support structures or continuing education provide great benefits.

12-Step Programs

12-step programs, such as Narcotics Anonymous, help recovering addicts find support from others on the recovery journey. NA emphasizes the importance of “taking recovery one day at a time” and understanding there are some things in life that the individual is powerless to change. What brings about real recovery is a constant focus on the things that can be changed, such as one’s own behavior and the way he treats others.

Finding Help for Addiction

When an individual completes the drug rehabilitation program at Michael’s House, she will be pointed in the direction of quality aftercare programs.[2] These programs increase the likelihood of treatment success and decrease the chances of relapse. Contact Michael’s House in Palm Springs, California at 1-877-469-0675 for more information.


[1] National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction,” July 2016. Accessed May 8, 2017. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction

[2] Dual Diagnosis.org. “Aftercare for Drug and Alcohol Rehab.” Accessed May 8, 2017. http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/aftercare-for-drug-and-alcohol-rehab/

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