The Importance of Aftercare in Sustaining Long Term Recovery

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Knowing the importance of aftercare in addiction recovery can help someone who is learning to live life without drugs and alcohol. Aftercare can make a world of difference in the lives of those who are seeking recovery. Having the right tools and support can help someone to maintain long-term recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, and allow them to build a life they can be proud of.

What is Aftercare?

Traditional ways of thinking portray drug rehab as an inpatient detox and residential. In this type of setting, a person is staying on campus 24/7 with access to medical and professional staff to help them along as they begin their journey. Once this stage is done, what does one do? There is another step available once traditional inpatient has ended. It is crucial to understand the importance of aftercare in terms of addiction recovery. Aftercare plans should be personalized to address an individual’s needs, including ongoing therapy, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), or other recovery-based fellowships. 

The Importance of Aftercare

The importance of aftercare can be evident in the lives of those who have achieved long-term recovery through going to a rehab program and continuing their recovery with an aftercare plan. The goal of aftercare is to provide long-term support so that when life happens and things get stressful, people have positive coping skills and the ability to maintain recovery despite all of it. A benefit of aftercare is having continued support once the traditional treatment process has ended. It also provides a routine for someone who is struggling with addiction. The importance of aftercare can be routine because when someone who is looking to recover from addiction to drugs and alcohol is left with too much time, it often leads to making life-altering decisions. Having a solid and healthy routine can help someone prevent relapse.

Aftercare plans will vary from person to person, as they should be customized for the needs of the specific individual. Some components that could be implemented into a plan can be a part of others’ plans as well. Understanding what aftercare can consist of can help a person to understand the importance of aftercare.

Stable Relationships

A part of struggling with drugs and alcohol is the loss of relationships. Everything is so chaotic, and loved ones seem to tire of watching their friend or family member continue to self-destruct. Relationships tend to be broken. A benefit of aftercare is growing healthy and stable relationships. 

Accountability and Responsibility

Aftercare can also create accountability and responsibility in those who choose to continue their growth after traditional treatment ends. Continuing with aftercare can help a person learn responsibility and accountability by having them continue in a routine.


Part of the importance of aftercare is gaining independence. For so long, a person addicted to drugs and alcohol has depended on others. Whether it be for a ride, money, or food. Being able to care for and provide for oneself is crucial to gaining confidence and independence in recovery.

Support From Peers

Support is crucial for recovery. The importance of aftercare includes getting this much-needed support from others in recovery. This can be achieved through 12-step fellowships like AA and NA. Building healthy and meaningful relationships in recovery can help a person grow in self-esteem.

Why Relapse Happens

Relapse can begin prior to ever picking up a drink or a drug. There are behaviors that can be exhibited that are indicative of relapse. Many factors play into a person actually picking up a substance after entering into recovery for a period of time. These factors can include isolation, lack of support, and doubting the process of healing. Mental health can play a role in relapse as well. Knowing the importance of aftercare can give these things less ammunition to contribute to relapse. Having a solid and personalized aftercare plan can help with relapse prevention. Being able to identify when there are triggers for relapse and knowing how to combat these triggers can help to ensure safety and long-lasting recovery.

Recovery With The Healing Center

Once rehab is over, there are still struggles a person seeking recovery will face on a daily basis. Without the proper and necessary skills, an individual will likely return to using drugs and alcohol as a means of coping. This is why aftercare is so important for those in early recovery. Having support and proper care as life in recovery begins outside of a rehab setting is crucial to success. At The Healing Center, we know the importance of aftercare and strive to provide a supporting and healing environment as a person begins to gain a life in recovery. Contact our admissions team today and begin your healing process and maintain recovery long-term.