Continuing Care Following Addiction Treatment
Behavioral Addiction Treatment
Behavioral addiction treatment can be complicated because no illicit substance is involved. Instead, behavioral addiction is defined as any repetitive behavior that the person repeats over and over again without considering any negative consequences. Common forms of behavioral addiction include addictions to gambling, the Internet, shopping, and sex.
Addiction treatment should not end when a patient successfully completes a drug rehabilitation program. Addiction, whether it is substance or behavioral addiction, can be a lifelong condition, and without using proper aftercare options, relapse can occur and the patient might resume his or her addictive behavior. On the other hand, a rehabilitated addict should not be subject to any sort of social stigma because of his or her past behavior. Therefore, aftercare options for individuals who have successfully overcome their acute addiction problems need to be carried out in a discreet manner, and it should not make them feel that their activities or ambitions need to be restricted in order to prevent them from returning to an acute addiction phase.
Usually, individual or group counseling, on a regular basis, is the best form of continuing care for addiction treatment. If you or a loved one has successfully overcome addiction to drugs, alcohol, or any other substance or destructive behavior, we can help you find the right support system. Please call us at 1-888-439-3435 Who Answers? or fill out our contact form for free information about the various options for continuing support care after completion of an acute rehabilitation program.
Once a patient has returned to his or her normal life after completing an inpatient or outpatient addiction recovery program, several options are available for maintenance care. These include:
- Support groups
- Individual counseling
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
Support groups bring together individuals from all walks of life who are suffering or have suffered from substance or behavioral addiction. Groups are available for recovering alcoholics and substance abusers, as well as for those who have become addicted to gambling, debt, Internet games or related sites, and other compulsive behaviors. These groups can be very beneficial to those who have recovered from acute addiction or dependency, as they will be seen as leaders and role models by those who are still suffering. This leadership role will in turn motivate the recovered addict to stay on the right track and be in contact with people who share the same problem.
Individual counseling helps a recovered addict deal with underlying issues that may lead to addiction. Personal or social insecurity, family issues, relationship issues, past trauma, and other psychological factors that lead to addiction are often best dealt with through private sessions with a highly trained psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker with experience in treating addiction disorders. Counseling can begin with an intensive, regular schedule right after a patient gets out a rehabilitation center or completes an outpatient therapy. It can then be tapered down to less frequent sessions once the patient and the therapist agree that any pressing issues have been properly addressed.
Group therapy brings together people of similar backgrounds who have dealt with similar addiction problems. Unlike support groups, which are run and led by peers, group therapy sessions are led by trained counselors. This type of continuing care can replace individual counseling once the need for intense counseling has passed and can augment the effectiveness of support groups.
Family therapy is specifically designed for treatment of addictions that may have resulted due to issues within a family. It is led by a trained counselor, and its aim is to discuss relationship issues within the family that could have led to addiction. It also serves to help the addict by allowing his or her family members to discuss the impact addiction had on their relationship with him or her.
Other Aftercare Options
Other forms of continuing care for people who have recovered from an acute phase of an addiction problem include spiritual or religious counseling. Guidance can also help people find new interests, such as sports or hobbies, which provide a constructive alternative to dealing with emotional or psychological stimuli that could otherwise lead to resumption of addictive behavior.