The Importance of Aftercare in Maintaining Sobriety

As 2023 continues, many former substance abuse victims will try to stand by their goal of maintaining sobriety in the New Year.  Aftercare is an essential component of the recovery process for individuals who have completed substance abuse treatment. It’s a continuation of the support and guidance provided during treatment and is crucial for maintaining sobriety and avoiding relapse.  The journey to recovery from substance abuse can be challenging. Not everyone readily has the tools to maintain sobriety long-term.  A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2006 found that about 40-60% of individuals with alcohol dependence were able to maintain abstinence for at least one year following treatment.  Aftercare provides individuals with the ongoing support they need to navigate the challenges of daily life in sobriety.  It helps ensure that the skills and coping mechanisms learned during treatment are put into practice in the real world.

Support Groups

One of the key components of aftercare is participation in support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery.  These groups provide a safe and supportive environment where individuals can share their experiences, offer support to others, and receive guidance and encouragement.  Aftercare often includes individual therapy or counseling. This can be especially beneficial in addressing underlying mental health issues that contributed to substance abuse in the first place.  JADE Wellness offers Aftercare Groups on a bi-weekly and monthly basis for those who have successfully completed the JADE Program or have sustained sobriety after treatment.

Aftercare Planning

Another important aspect of aftercare is the development of a comprehensive aftercare plan.  Aftercare planning is vital to maintaining a goal of permanence over a long period of time.  According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, individuals who set abstinence goals and made a plan for achieving them were more likely to maintain sobriety than those who did not.  This plan should include strategies for dealing with high-risk situations and triggers. It should also include a plan for maintaining physical and emotional well-being, including medication or other methods to keep withdrawal symptoms and cravings at bay.  It should also include a list of resources and support networks that can be called upon in times of need.

Remember that recovery is a lifelong journey and that aftercare is an essential part of maintaining sobriety. It is a way to stay connected to the support and guidance that was provided during treatment, and it is a way to continue to work on the underlying issues that led to substance abuse in the first place.  Aftercare provides individuals with the ongoing support, guidance, and resources they need to navigate the challenges of daily life.

JADE Wellness Can Help

For many, addiction and abuse can quickly spiral out of control and result in grave consequences.  If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to any substance, JADE Wellness is here to help you.  JADE Wellness Center is Pittsburgh’s first comprehensive medication-assisted treatment center, also offering individual and group therapy sessions.  Call us at 412-380-0100 or visit the JADE Wellness Center website to begin your path to recovery.