What You Should Know
When Planning for Aftercare

Learn more about the importance of effectively planning for aftercare during treatment at AM Behavioral Health.

Table of Contents

Planning for Aftercare: A Necessary Step in Continuing Recovery

Planning for aftercare can be difficult, especially when you don’t have the necessary tools and resources to cater to your specific needs, goals, and experiences. That’s why at AM Behavioral Health, we focus on helping you overcome existing barriers during your transition to aftercare programs.

It’s normal to have feelings of fear and isolation when transitioning from a recovery program to planning for aftercare. However, aftercare is crucial for support and guidance to avoid relapse.
A good aftercare plan encourages you to take part in roles and activities that build up the motivation you need to prevent potential relapse in the future. This way, you can stay healthy for years to come and have the support you need in case of potential risks for relapse.
Planning for Aftercare

The Importance of Aftercare for Relapse Prevention

According to a report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapse rates for substance use disorders (SUD) range from 40% to 60%. One of the major causes of experiencing relapse is the lack of effective coping skills.1
At AM Behavioral Health, we are committed to helping those who have completed their treatment program develop the necessary coping skills for sustainable recovery.

Understanding the Need for Planning for Aftercare

Post-treatment transition into independent living can be difficult, especially due to the possibility and stress of relapse. That’s why we prioritize an aftercare plan that helps our clients prepare for life after treatment.

How AM Behavioral Health Addresses the Gap in Care Continuity

We believe care shouldn’t end after the recovery program is over. For that reason, we commit to providing an environment that facilitates never-ending connection and support. In turn, that environment addresses feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Apart from providing a supportive environment, planning for aftercare ensures care continuity by teaching accountability and relapse prevention strategies.

Individualized Aftercare Plans for Client Needs

Recovery is an individualized journey, and that knowledge helps us apply unique aftercare approaches for each client. We decide on an aftercare plan based on set goals, unique needs, and other relevant considerations.
Our customized aftercare can help individuals:
  • Uncover the underlying possible causes of addiction relapse
  • Understand and acknowledge their triggers
  • Explore their family history of addiction
  • Point out unhealthy relationships
  • Discover unhealthy behavior patterns that encourage addiction

The Components of Comprehensive Planning for Aftercare

Our aftercare planning is a comprehensive process of:
  1. Assessment
  2. Goal-setting
  3. Active resource coordination
We also continuously work to evaluate the quality of the individual programs, giving us a chance to identify areas that may need improvement to reduce the risks of relapse.

Assessment of Individual Strengths, Needs, and Risk Factors

A good knowledge of a person’s strengths helps us tailor the relapse prevention or aftercare plan to suit those strengths. For instance, if a client is someone who always maintains a positive outlook despite challenges, we use that in structuring their plan.
We empower our clients to identify their points of strength and take an active role in their recovery journey. When assessing their strengths, we aim to build a sense of self-efficacy and confidence in their ability to overcome setbacks.

Collaborative Goal-Setting With Clients and Their Support Networks

Planning for aftercare is a collaborative process that involves the active participation of support networks. This network often includes family members, friends, and healthcare providers. Together, these parties work together to identify meaningful and achievable recovery goals.
At AM Behavioral Health, we suggest clients ask themselves the following questions:
  • What would you like to be different about your current situation?
  • What would you define as your greatest achievement?
  • What do you miss about your life before recovery?
  • What makes you feel better, even if it’s for short moments?

Coordination of Resources and Services to Support Sustained Recovery

Effectively planning for aftercare involves coordinating a range of services and resources, including:
  • Outpatient therapy
  • Vocational training
  • Housing assistance
  • Various community-based programs

Transitioning from Treatment to Aftercare Services

During the transition from treatment to aftercare, we like to prepare clients for all of the processes involved and the steps for successful recovery.

Preparation and Education for Post-treatment Phase

We understand that transitioning from treatment to aftercare can be a daunting process. To facilitate a successful transition, clients need a significant level of education about what to expect during post-treatment.
This may include:
  • Learning working relapse prevention strategies: We provide strategies that serve as a roadmap for navigating recovery challenges and staying on track with recovery goals.
  • Understanding coping skills: Techniques like deep breathing, positive self-talk, and mindfulness can help in managing difficult emotions like depression and anxiety. 
  • Looking out for available support services: Support services help address the gap during the transition from treatment to aftercare. These services could include peer mentoring programs, community events, and support groups.

Identifying and Addressing Barriers to Successful Transition

By identifying and addressing barriers to successful transition, clients are not caught unawares by certain potential risks to their recovery.
Some of the common barriers when planning for aftercare include:
  • Lack of social support or stigma: Lack of social support from family, friends, or community can trigger stressors that increase chances for relapse.
  • Environmental triggers: Since planning for aftercare is much more independent compared to the typical recovery program, exposure to familiar places, people, or routines linked to past behaviors can trigger urges.
  • Co-occurring disorders: We ensure that every client with a co-occurring disorder is equipped with all of the tools they need to maintain stability and well-being from both disorders.

Engaging Clients and Families in Planning for Aftercare

In many instances, planning for aftercare is more effective when families are involved in the process. Involving family in decision-making, problem-solving, and goal-setting can help people feel more invested in the recovery journey. It also helps them stay true to the recovery plan.
Loved ones can serve as a source of encouragement and, in most cases, they help people stay accountable during aftercare.

Planning for Aftercare: Building a Support Network

Building a supportive aftercare network helps people maintain stability and resilience during aftercare. It provides invaluable emotional and practical support through the recovery journey, ensuring that they never feel isolated.

Leveraging Community Resources and Support Groups

Community resources and support groups offer a clearer understanding of a person’s journey to recovery.
There’s a wide range of resources available, including:
  • Local mental health clinics: Community mental health centers operate on the front line to help provide solutions to mental health conditions on time.
  • Recovery meetings (Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous): Meetings like AA and NA give people a sense of belonging and an opportunity to stay connected with others who’ve had similar experiences.2
  • Online forums: These are similar to support groups, but they occur on the internet and tackle specific recovery challenges. These are a great way for individuals to receive more around-the-clock help, especially if they are peer-led groups.

Involving Family Members and Loved Ones in the Aftercare Journey

Family members and loved ones promote a sense of shared responsibility in maintaining well-being. However, family members need to practice healthy and clear communication with one another during aftercare.
Families and loved ones also need to learn to respect the client’s boundaries to avoid any triggers that may cause relapse.

Importance of Peer Support and Accountability in Aftercare

Peer support in aftercare provides people with the validation and empathy they need in their recovery journey. They offer them the opportunity to connect with others and share successes, setbacks, and strategies for coping during aftercare.

Addressing Relapse Prevention While Planning for Aftercare

Relapse prevention is a major part of effectively planning for aftercare. It helps highlight the different ways the person can maintain sobriety and stability. At AM Behavioral Health, our relapse prevention strategies empower clients to navigate the post-treatment life successfully.

Developing Coping Strategies and Resilience-Building Skills

Coping strategies and resilience-building tools empower people to manage stress and cope with triggers.
Some examples of these coping strategies and resilience-building skills are:
  • Relaxation exercises: These include taking deep and slow breaths, practicing progressive muscle relaxation, using guided imagery, and mindfulness meditation.3
  • Problem-solving skills: Building problem-solving skills will help people identify problems and generate the most suitable options for solving those problems. 
  • Assertive communication: This involves expressing oneself honestly and directly, standing for one’s rights and needs, and listening actively and empathetically to other views or perspectives.
Additionally, having a go-to person or resource, such as the AM Behavioral Health team or a sponsor, can alleviate some of the challenges attributed to post-treatment.

Implementing Personalized Relapse Prevention Plans

Once we understand a client’s unique needs and goals, we can develop a plan that includes a strategy for identifying warning signs of relapse and proactively addressing them.
Some of these strategies include:4
  • Understanding people, places, and situations that can trigger cravings or negative reactions. Clients can also keep a journal to track those triggers.
  • Staying aware of any change in thoughts, feelings, or behavior that indicates a change in one’s mental health and well-being.
  • Practicing self-care activities like healthy eating, exercise, and healthy sleeping.

Monitoring and Adjusting Aftercare Strategies

A person’s needs are always evolving. Because of this, we don’t employ a one-way route to aftercare, and our program is structured to adapt to those changes.
At AM Behavioral Health, we monitor and assess aftercare strategies regularly to facilitate timely adjustments when needed.

Cultural and Social Considerations in Planning for Aftercare

AM Behavioral Health respects diversity and we commit to ensuring that our treatment approaches don’t compromise a client’s beliefs.

Tailoring Aftercare Plans to Accommodate Diverse Social Contexts

We understand that cultural factors play a crucial role in shaping a person’s attitude toward mental health treatment. Different cultures or age groups may stigmatize mental health issues or substance use, while some may have traditional healing methods.

Our aftercare plan is built for sustainability. It accommodates various social contexts and considers the availability of social support.
Examples of the various social contexts that influence recovery include:
  • Family dynamics
  • Social economic status
  • Support networks 

Promoting Inclusivity and Cultural Competency in Aftercare Services

AM Behavioral Health is focused on creating a welcoming and respectful environment for everyone. We don’t judge or create any stereotypes based on backgrounds, cultures, identities, and experiences.
We promote inclusivity at AM Behavioral Health in the following ways:
  • Our team includes diverse professionals, including therapists, support staff, and counselors who represent a range of cultural backgrounds, languages, and identities.
  • We provide training and education for staff on cultural competence, awareness, and the importance of getting rid of biases.
  • After assessing a client’s aftercare needs, we tailor their treatment to accommodate their cultural background and social contexts.
Planning for Aftercare

Aftercare Planning and Support With AM Behavioral Health

Creating an efficient aftercare plan plays a critical role in supporting people as they transition from a structured care environment to independent living. Effectively planning for aftercare promotes continuity of care and reduces the risk of relapse, which supports long-term recovery.
By dedicating ample resources to planning for aftercare, AM Behavioral Health enhances the accessibility and effectiveness of our programs. It’s also a top priority for us to periodically review our plans, as this helps us stay up-to-date on the best treatment action.

What Do We Provide in Treatment?

We work alongside everyone who walks through our doors to ensure they get the care they need, even before aftercare planning starts. This includes offering detox, intensive outpatient treatment, and inpatient rehab.
We provide many evidence-based and holistic services as well, ensuring that you are taken care of every step of the way.

Take the First Step to Lasting Recovery

We believe in providing you with all of the necessary resources you need to sustain recovery and avoid relapse. Together, we can create the most suitable and individualized aftercare program to ensure you have all the help you need to thrive.
You don’t have to face this challenge alone. Reach out to us today to begin your journey to wellness.