Following Residential Day Treatment (RDT) or Intensive Outpatient Treatment, it is important to participate in an ongoing Aftercare Program. Aftercare is an important part of a complete life-care program that covers all aspects of living a healthy, fruitful sober life. A good Aftercare program prepares those who have completed alcohol or drug addiction treatment to enter the period of early recovery. It helps maintain and build on the gains made during their treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. The Aftercare program starts immediately following addiction treatment and is critical to help prevent relapse and to achieve optimal outcomes.
In addition to a comprehensive Aftercare program, New Hope Recovery Center recommends incorporating certain life-care activities into early recovery.
- Participate in an Aftercare program
- Attend regular 12-Step meetings
- Have regular contact with a sponsor
- Depending on your needs, incorporate these other therapies:
- individual therapy
- family therapy
- couple therapy
- pastoral counseling
- group counseling
- Develop and practice healthy habits
Healthy Habits. Practicing healthy habits not only eliminates bad habits, it establishes and maintains the self-discipline that is important in recovery. Healthy habits will increase your energy and productivity. Here are some healthy habits to incorporate into your life:
- Eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and foods high in fiber
- Cut back on sugar and sweets
- Eliminate soda
- Stay away from energy drinks
- Drink plenty of water
- Cut back or eliminate nicotine and caffeine
- Engage in regular physical activities such as yoga, weight training, walking, bike riding and running (consult your doctor before starting such activities)
- Make sleep and rest a priority by getting the proper amount of sleep, not too little nor too much
- Practice Mindfulness, Gratitude and Meditation
Gratitude. Keeping an optimistic view of life with the practice of gratitude will allow one to be more content. Maintaining self-discipline and delaying instant gratification not only decreases the impulsive nature of addictive behaviors, it aids in feeling gratitude. Practicing gratitude is a key component for overall emotional health and helps us focus on all the positive wonderful things in our lives, versus seeing only what is lacking, disappointing or unpleasant. Our brains are naturally programmed to look toward the negative, so consciously choose gratitude to override this natural tendency.
12-Step Benefits. Developing and applying a 12-Step recovery program creates a sense of belonging, which many addicts have lost through isolation, alienation, resentments, and inability to connect. Following a 12-Step program not only provides a sense of belonging, it creates harmony and balanced in life.
Meditation. Meditation can benefit anyone in any stage of their recovery, but it is especially helpful in early recovery to help deal with post acute withdrawal symptoms. Meditation’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits include a greater sense of awareness, peace of mind, and a deepened connectedness to a higher power, nature and others. It can also create a greater sense of purpose and provide more creative ways to resolve or come to terms with past issues, which tend to be buried.
New Hope Recovery Center Aftercare and Life-care. New Hope Recovery Center’s Aftercare program includes weekly meetings with other recovering addictions, on-going involvement with New Hope Recovery Center counselors for at least 6 months following IOP or Residential Treatment.
After completing our Aftercare program, clients are invited to take part in a weekly panel group where the alumni member lends support to those who are currently involved in treatment. This gives the alumni member the opportunity to engage in service work with a vivid reminder where they were in their own earlier recovery. For those in treatment who may have difficulty reaching out to others, this allows them to identify and relate to their peers, ask probing questions about early recovery and its challenges.
In addition to these supports, NHRC provides on-going phone and email support for clients who have successfully completed any level of treatment. This adds to the connectedness and accountability, which is so vital to the early recovery process and provides a healthy sense of belonging, fellowship and a new sober support network.
If you or a loved one is interested in participating in an Aftercare program following treatment, please contact New Hope Recovery Center at 773-883-3916 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by: New Hope Recovery Center
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