The follow up treatment is based on components which include individual counseling, family therapy and support meetings. All these therapeutic tools are adjusted in accordance with the patient’s needs and helps them remain committed to their recovery. The basic purpose of the programs is to make the process of readjusting into everyday life easier for the patients. It involves helping them apply skills that they have learned in the controlled environment of the rehab, in their real lives. This includes measures which could assist them improve their relationships, regulate their emotions, manage stress, deal with temptations, identify triggers for cravings, manage post-acute withdrawals and ultimately prevent relapse. The problems that arise while they put these tools from theory into practice can be easily addressed and dealt with during follow up treatment.
Another important aim of follow up care is to enhance the support system of the patients so that consistent encouragement is made available to them. The process of recovery can be made more effective if a healthy support system is established who share an active interest in the patient’s recovery from addiction. Strengthening their support network provides them additional assistance which keeps them aligned with the goals of recovery.Through the support provided in the follow up sessions, patients can learn how to bridge the communication gap that is bound to have developed between them and their families.As they readjust into their family lives, they are trained on how to communicate their needs more openly with their families and ask for assistance whenever needed. They can learn to establish a more loving and open relationship with their families that can benefit everyone involved in the process.
Group counseling is another component of follow up treatment that allows patients to remain connected with their recovering peers and benefit from all the encouragement and hope that they have to offer. Such a forum allows recovering patients to seek the understanding, support and advice necessary for maintaining lifelong recovery. By sharing the challenges and successes that they have faced while readjusting to life outside the rehab, patients can also strengthen the commitment of other participants.
A person goes through a profound learning experience during their stay at the rehab as they learn new skills, adopt a healthy lifestyle and define new goals for himself. The changes in lifestyle and general outlook that indoor therapy brings along with it, can only prove beneficial if they are sustained over a long period of time. The follow-up treatment program helps patients persist with such positive changes that have become part of their routines, overcome the dangers of experiencing a relapse and maintain long-term recovery.
By Arman Ahmed, Clinical Psychologist