During the first year of recovery, there may be times when you are flooded with support. You may even feel like your number one fan – a champion of yourself, your accomplishments, and your capabilities. There may be other, more difficult days in which you feel lonely and your biggest critic. To keep a healthy balance between dueling emotions, individuals are encouraged to seek out aftercare. Offering support through unfamiliar terrain, continued care programs help promote growth and build resilience in recovery. With a variety of paths to explore when it comes to aftercare, you can choose which options are best for you, a loved one, or a client.
Whether aftercare is sought immediately after treatment or in response to a challenging time, recovery coaches are trained professionals that meet individuals exactly where they’re at in their journey, says Cini Shaw, Executive Director of The Lighthouse Recovery 365.
Using an individualized approach, coaches can establish short and long-term goals, explore multiple pathways to a self-directed recovery, facilitate daily check-ins, and maintain judgment-free support. Many recovery coaches have personally experienced addiction and recovery, making them better equipped to provide empathetic, authentic support. An advocate for each individual’s accomplishments, a Recovery Coach can also help build a strong Recovery Circle, consisting of friends and family, support groups, and other professionals.
Outpatient Follow-Up Programs
Catering to an individual’s desired and necessary level of treatment, there are varied outpatient care levels. According to Hazelden Betty Ford, these can include intensive outpatient treatment programs (IOPs) and continuing care groups. IOPs are generally offered at various times throughout the day and generally begin with four sessions per week.
Continuing care groups generally meet at least once a week for up to two hours. Meetings can consist of one-on-one virtual discussions and regroups with a primary therapist that focuses on psychological and behavioral treatments, tactics, and healthy coping mechanisms.
Sober Living Homes
Depending on each individual’s unique situation, transitioning into a sober living home after rehabilitation may be the most suitable next step. Sober living environments can vary between an on-campus setting, in which addiction treatment and guidance is provided, or an independent setting such as an apartment or condo.
With at least a 90-day stay generally recommended by experts, sober living communities provide individuals with structure, support, guidance, and connection with like-minded peers. Another important aspect of sober living homes is that professionals and mentors can help individuals establish and balance responsibilities, pursue their careers and passions, and manage stress. While COVID-19 circumstances have affected recovery residences, there are still communities accepting new residents under safety protocols, according to the National Alliance for Recovery Residences.
Connecting with individuals that have endured similar situations can make the sobriety journey less solitary and much more motivating. With a variety of support groups offered across the country, individuals are no longer limited to a few options but can test out a few to find the one that best resonates with them. Examples include:
- SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training): SMART Recovery’s mission is to “empower people to achieve independence from addiction problems with a science-based 4-Point Program.” The program focuses on self-reliance and living balanced, positive, and healthy lives.
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): “Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.”
- Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS): Placing sobriety as an individual’s first priority, SOS takes a cognitive approach of acknowledgment, acceptance, and prioritization of sobriety.
- LifeRing: LifeRing places emphasis on how the “Positive, practical present-day can turn anger and despair into hope and resolve.”
- The Phoenix: The Phoenix’s approach to recovery is to foster healing through fitness and community. Their mission is to “Build a sober active community that fuels resilience and harnesses the transformational power of connection so that together we rise, recover, and live.”
One of the common threads between the various forms of aftercare treatment is accountability. With Soberlink alcohol monitoring, individuals can document sobriety and share progress with their Recovery Circle.
Designed as a tool to help form healthy habits during the first year of recovery, Soberlink supports accountability for sobriety through a comprehensive alcohol monitoring system. Combining a professional-grade breathalyzer with wireless connectivity, the device includes facial recognition, tamper detection, and real-time results and reports sent to an individual’s support network. A unique tool to help rebuild trust, Soberlink allows individuals to repair relationships that may have been harmed by addiction. “After using [Soberlink] for the last eight months, I have been able to build back the trust of those I love. It has also been a great tool for work because I can prove to my employer that I am clean,” one client says. In addition to building trust with others, Soberlink also allows individuals to build confidence in themselves and take pride in their journey. “Every compliant test is like a giant pat on the back and gust of wind to push me forward,” another client shares.
Designed with ease-of-use and flexibility in mind, Soberlink is an accountability tool that can be utilized on its own or combined with each of the above aftercare options as an additional layer of support. Used by hundreds of treatment programs across the nation for those in early and late-stage recovery, Soberlink helps individuals remain committed to sobriety by providing tangible evidence of their growth and accomplishments to share with loved ones.
About the Author
Soberlink supports accountability for sobriety through a comprehensive alcohol monitoring system. Combining a breathalyzer with wireless connectivity, the portable design and technology includes facial recognition, tamper detection and real-time reporting. Soberlink proves sobriety with reliability to foster trust and peace of mind.