At Abbeycare, aftercare is looked upon as an imperative part of the journey through recovery.
After a detox from drugs or alcohol and a stay in rehab – relapse in the early days of abstaining from these substances is a daunting but real prospect.
Aftercare is the support system in place to deter relapse and facilitate the transfer from dependence on a substance to independence and a new way of living.
Rehab is finished, but now the even harder work begins, learning how to live in your own home without your crutch. No alcohol, no drugs just living.
Aftercare has many benefits and promotes long term sobriety; the days of dependence are over.
Post Rehab Aftercare
Aftercare is an essential part of recovery from alcohol or drugs.
It is a vital extension of care and is delivered upon leaving a treatment programme (rehab) and returning home.
Aftercare can be held within the building used for rehabilitation i.e. Gloucester or Scotland or in a nearer more suitable venue. Sessions are usually group based, last 1.5 hours and are delivered weekly.
NB The term recovery is subjective in nature and will mean different things to different people. Recovery – a cessation of a person’s problematic alcohol or drug use and a continuation onto a more productive, happy and stress-free lifestyle.
Promotive of long-term sobriety
Addiction is personal and every person encountering addiction problems will have had varying experiences.
However different the experience, conceding that a problem exists is the first step to achieving long term recovery.
Once acceptance is achieved ‘real’ recovery begins as acceptance is the gateway to sober living and understanding recovery is a ‘plural’ and not ‘singular’ experience.
Aftercare supports this new way of living by providing a safe platform to share life experiences in after leaving rehab.
Benefits of Aftercare
Aftercare is almost like an insurance plan for people leaving the rehab and is in place to make sure the transformative treatment they have received continues to unfold.
It is a deterrent to using alcohol and drugs and teaches how to utilise many coping strategies.
Aftercare is supportive, inclusive, empowering and promotive of long-term sobriety.
Participants in the Aftercare programme can make strong connections with others and build lasting and meaningful relationships.
In modern times ‘stress’ can be a huge motivator to relapse. One of the many benefits of Aftercare is a safe place to talk with like-minded people. Talking through stresses instead of acting on them has been shown to reduce relapse.
Another benefit to Aftercare is the supportive nature of the group, if relapse occurs,
a quick return to Aftercare may stop a long-term relapse from occurring.
Quick encouragement back into the group by ‘peers’ can be the catalyst required for change.
“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” Helen Keller
Aftercare Planning (preparation for leaving rehab)
During the time spent within Abbeycare a Case Manager who is a skilled professional will be allocated to residents.
The Case Manager assists in the preparation of a comprehensive and detailed plan which will be implemented upon leaving rehab.
This plan will involve attendance at Abbeycare’s Aftercare group, self-help meetings in the community, telephone consultations and coping strategies to prevent relapse.
If requested a more specific and tailored approach can be accessed and therapeutic work can be undertaken on a one to one basis with skilled counsellors.
The Aftercare Plan:
- Ensures long term recovery
- Is personalised
- Promotes social reintegration (connection)
Attending Aftercare at Abbeycare
Aftercare at Abbeycare, the right choice for long term sobriety from alcohol or drug use. Aftercare facilitates the move away from chaotic drug or alcohol use into a happy, productive, socially interactive (new) way of living.
Aftercare is an essential part of Abbeycare’s three phase programme:
After completion of the rehab programme at Abbeycare, the transition to normal living can feel anything but normal. Life may appear different as the chosen substance is removed.
Many have described the world as a different place when they return home from rehab.
Alcohol and drugs have also been described as coping mechanisms for life.
Those negative coping mechanisms need to be replaced by positive, productive ones. Such as attendance at Abbeycare’s Aftercare group and self-help meetings in your local community.
As a holistic approach is encouraged, physical exercise and investing in your mental health would also be advantageous.
Replacing dependence on substances with positive, productive activities will decrease the incidence of relapse.
The Aftercare Recovery Plan accesses what is known as a ‘whole person approach.’
Five of the main areas considered are:
- social connection
- mental health & wellbeing
- physical health
- relationships with others
- work life
1. Increased social connection – Aftercare delivers upon the need for increased social connection for those seeking a recovery-based lifestyle.
It has been shown that groups of like-minded people can support each other to achieve common goals.
2. Improved mental health & well-being – Abbeycare encourages supportive and inclusive approaches when considering mental health & wellbeing.
A therapeutic programme is delivered by all the group facilitators within Abbeycare and Case Managers consider the continuation of this approach when completing an Aftercare Plan.
NB Therapeutic approaches can be used for treating a condition such as alcoholism.
3. Regular Physical Exercise – In rehab i.e. Gloucester or Scotland access to health suites and swimming pools with sauna’s and steam rooms facilitate both an improvement in wellbeing and physical health.
Physical exercise realises endorphins, those chemicals in your brain, once released, induce feelings of happiness.
Light exercise counteracts the damage of an addictive lifestyle to the body and mind.
4. Quality family time – Time spent with loved ones under the influence of alcohol or drugs may lead to tension and disputes. The removal of an addictive substance has been shown to improve connections with family members, friends, siblings, children and work colleagues.
Abbeycare is the vessel used for detoxification and rehabilitation purposes. Aftercare is the vessel used for ‘normal living’ and facilitates the return to a happier and settled home life.
Family support groups are delivered within Abbeycare during the ‘rehab phase’ these groups help loved ones understand how their family members feel and what they need to do after leaving rehab.
5. Focussed in the workplace – If in employment, a return to work after detoxing and rehabilitating may seem overwhelming.
Abbeycare’s Aftercare Planning will take this into consideration and involve coping strategies such as: easy to access phone numbers and techniques to reduce anxiety.
After work, if possible, attendance at an Aftercare meeting or self-help group has been shown to decrease stress levels. Both places promote confidentiality and listening to others discuss how they overcame problems can be helpful. As can talking.
The Aftercare Plan is specifically tailored to meet lifestyle demands and will consider individual workplaces.
Aftercare during COVID -19
Aftercare is presently delivered through virtual meetings and the Case Managers have increased telephone support.
This approach can and will be re-initiated if required. Abbeycare will continue to offer support throughout this fluctuating period of social quarantine.
Models of Recovery used by Aftercare
Aftercare is delivered in a group setting with an average of 15 people in attendance the sessions are facilitated by a highly professional and experienced group facilitator with specialist experience in recovery-based group work.
Various models utilised in the sessions include:
Motivational Interviewing – Rollnick et al (2008) look upon mistakes as being the best teachers and the answers can be found within i.e. the process of Motivational Interviewing is all about going inwards to find your own answers.
This technique is used by Aftercare Facilitators to shine a light on the negative aspects of drinking. Motivating a person to stay sober or drug free.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – CBT is a technique used by professionals to address the link between negative thinking and behaviour patterns.
Learned behaviour involves drinking alcohol due to negative thinking patterns i.e. life will be impossible to live without the use of alcohol.
12 Step Philosophy – The 12 Step Programme follows an abstinence approach to the use of harmful substances. This approach can halt relapse and can be used as a reminder that drugs and alcohol can-not be controlled.
Peer Led – The participants in the Aftercare group range from one day out of treatment to many years and this approach allows for a visual representation of recovery.
Members feel hopeful for their own revitalisation and are inspired to continue their cessation of alcohol or drugs after listening to how their peers overcame hurdles in life.
Day 01 – 30 Post Rehab
- Sleep pattern and appetite improves
- Increased resilience
- Connected to a mutual network
Day 30 – 60
- Improved outlook on life
- Decreased thoughts of using alcohol and drugs
- Established patterns of community recovery
Day 60 – 90
- Ready to take on new challenges
- Improved relationships with loved ones
- Focussed on maintaining long term sobriety
- Accessing community support i.e. 12 Step Programme
Day 90 – 180
- Physical and mental health improved
- Coping strategies in place to reduce risk of relapse
- Strong links with support networks established
- Enjoying recovery
Day 180 -360
- Complete transformation of self
- Engulfed with feelings of positivity and self-worth
- Positive affirmations from loved ones
- Thoughts of using alcohol or drugs removed
Frequently asked questions about Aftercare
- How long do I need to attend for?
Participants within the Aftercare group at Abbeycare can attend for as long or as short as they wish however regular and lengthy attendance decreases the incidence of relapse.
Looking at the length of time problematic alcohol or drug use occurred can be a good indicator for recovery. Therefore 20 years of alcohol abuse will take longer than 28 Days to repair.
- How much does it cost?
Abbeycare’s Aftercare group work sessions are free however if a person wishes 121 counselling a fee will be arranged with the Abbeycare team.
It is important to note at this point all self-help groups in the community such as SMART Recovery, AA Alcoholics Anonymous, CA Cocaine Anonymous, GA Gamblers Anonymous and NA Narcotics Anonymous are free to attend.
A donation cup is passed around the meeting room and participants are able to make a small donation (if they wish).
- What happens if I relapse?
If alcohol or drugs use begins, the Case Manager should be contacted by telephone as soon as possible.
When sober, recommencement of attendance at the Aftercare group can begin and support to work through relapse triggers will be given. This policy allows the group to become a safe place for people seeking recovery.
Aftercare participants are encouraged to talk about their thoughts of using alcohol or drugs (as soon as they arise) in a group setting or with their Case Manager. Talking through thoughts of using will stop relapse from occurring.
- Can I bring a family member or friend with me?
Every participant in the Aftercare group has been through the programme within Abbeycare. The common theme is identification and empathy for one another. Those further into their recovery encourage newcomers in the group.
If a family member or friend attended, group members, may not feel as confident to share about how they feel. Therefore, we encourage attendance at the Family Support Groups in Abbeycare for your loved ones.
- I’m really busy with work and family! What will happen if I decide not to attend Aftercare?
Juggling work, family and recovery life may seem like an impossible task. The Case Manager will help in balancing these schedules, in the Aftercare Plan.
A common quote used by people in recovery is ‘Nobody told you it would be easy, but everybody told you it would be worth it.’
Aftercare if followed as part of the three-phase programme within Abbeycare promotes long term recovery from problematic substance use such as alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription medications.
Attendance of an Aftercare programme will stop future relapse from occurring and cease the negative cycle involved in the ongoing abuse of drugs or alcohol.
Addiction is a progressive and negative disease that affects the mind, body and spirit. Alcoholism is a trap.
Therefore, recovery needs to progressive and positive in its attempt to eliminate the desire to use substances harmful to health. Recovery involves freedom.
If you visualise yourself free from alcohol and drugs living a happy and productive life?
And wish to learn more about our Addiction Treatment or Aftercare Programme call our free 24/7 Helpline on 01603 513 091 or fill out the form below to speak to a trained addiction counsellor.