Is Drug Rehab Aftercare for Me?

drug aftercare

Yes. Aftercare is for everyone. Let’s get that out of the way.

That said, blanket generalizations aren’t necessarily helpful and while yes, broadly speaking, drug rehab aftercare is very likely for you, let’s dig into it a bit more.

The chief reason it’s so easy to be so confident about the efficacy of aftercare is that recovery is a lasting, lifelong process. It’s something that’s a continual work in progress and therefore without a real “finish line”. It doesn’t just end one day and given that, aftercare is a helpful part of the process for anyone.

In many ways, treatment and detox are the very, very beginning of recovery. They focus on the near-term goals of getting the toxins out and working through what led you to substances in the first place through counseling, therapy, etc. The process that gets you sober and lays the groundwork for a life of sobriety.

Aftercare, on the contrary, takes the long view and is about preserving and maintaining the sobriety that you’ve worked so hard for. It’s a powerful relapse prevention tool as well. You’re in a particularly vulnerable state when transitioning from rehab back into the realities of the real world and aftercare gives you a space to deal with and healthily work through that.

At the end of the day, drugs and alcohol hold a powerful grip on us and any tools at your disposal that work against that should be strongly considered.

What Are Aftercare Substance Abuse Programs?

The world of aftercare is broad and chock full of options to support your long-term recovery.

For starters, check to see if your rehab facility offers alumni programs or its own aftercare programs.

At Principles Recovery Center we offer both because the empowering and confidence-building nature of them is readily apparent. Alumni programs keep you connected with us, or whichever rehab you went through, and those connections to counselors, staff and, most importantly, other alumni create a meaningful sober network.

Sober living homes are another option you may be familiar with and those are pretty much just what they sound like; a place to live that’s free of substances and with set rules to abide by. They make for an excellent transition from the rigors of inpatient rehab to living on your own which can initially prove overwhelming for some. Particularly if they’re going back to environments that are inherently toxic themselves, with lots of triggers, etc.

Perhaps the most well of the aftercare substance abuse programs is the 12-step program. The Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous’ of the world. These have proven to be crucial lifelines for folks in maintaining sobriety for decades now and can be found the world over. In addition to the 12-steps themselves, a lot of the value in these lies in the regular group meetings where people can talk through their challenges and create bonds. The mentorship you find is huge and as you spend more and more time in the program you can eventually mentor newly sober people yourself. Something that has a profoundly positive impact on you too.

Outpatient care is an alternative to consider as well and yet another that we offer at Principles. It’s more or less a stripped-back version of inpatient care where counseling and group work play the biggest role but you can come and go as you please rather than committing to a long stay. It’s inherently far less prohibitive and allows you to stick with your work, family and other commitments. 

Who Should Do A Drug Rehab Aftercare Program? 

Doing aftercare is a person-specific choice but with so many options available, finding one that works and benefits you is an easy task. The idea is really to make sobriety as easy and enjoyable as possible, aftercare works towards those ends and provides ample opportunity to make recovery a lasting success. Get in touch with Principles Recovery Center and we’ll not only walk you through our in-house aftercare options but also get you well-versed on the landscape of South Florida aftercare programs like 12-step, sober living homes and the like.

Dual-Diagnosis: Treating Mental Illness and Addiction

mental illness and addiction

Unfortunately, addiction and mental illness aren’t mutually exclusive things for a lot of people. While neither occurs in a vacuum and external forces influence everything in our lives, with respect to addiction and mental illness, it doesn’t automatically follow that one produces the other.

In fact, for a person dealing with both, like the chicken and the egg, it can sometimes be tough to determine which came first.

In simple terms, dual-diagnosis just means that someone is dealing with addiction and a co-occurring mental illness.

The stats from the National Institute on Drug Abuse bear out that 7.7 million adults have co-occurring mental and substance use disorder. Moreover, of the 20.3 million adults that had substance abuse disorders in 2017, 37.9% had mental illnesses as well. On the flip side, of the 42.1 million adults struggling with mental illnesses, 18.2% had substance abuse disorders too.

They don’t go fully hand in hand, but the overlap is stark and the risk factors for substance abuse and mental illness have quite a bit of overlap.

While one doesn’t always cause the other, they absolutely do fuel and exacerbate each other.

And it makes sense why.

If you’re suffering from a mental illness, any mental illness, and aren’t getting the proper treatment it’s possible that in order to alleviate that mental anguish you’ll resort to self-medicating. The more substances you take, the more your brain chemistry changes and the more you need to take to avoid dealing with the unbearable weight of living that mental illness has caused.

The coping mechanism becomes the culprit.

Conversely, because addiction is a chronic brain disease, as your brain changes due to prolonged use and abuse of drugs and alcohol, mental disorders can develop.

It stands to reason that just about any mental disorder can happen in conjunction with substance abuse but there are a handful that are more common:

  • Anxiety/Panic Disorders
  • Bipolar/Mood Disorders 
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Sex Addiction
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder

Who Should Go to A Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Center in Florida?

The natural byproduct of struggling with both addiction and mental illness is that it increases the risk for things like suicide, violence and a host of other outcomes exponentially.

Because of this relationship, tackling both together in an integrated form of treatment is the only way to meaningfully break the cycle.

The treatment isn’t widely dissimilar from standard rehab. The general structure of detox, inpatient care and aftercare are kept but the emphasis on mental illness is stronger. The psychiatric and clinical staff, as well as counselors and therapists, are more attuned to helping people work through those mental issues. After detox, you’ll be evaluated by that team of experts to confirm/make a diagnosis of a co-occurring illness. 

Dual-diagnosis treatment can also often take longer due to the fact that working through two highly complex problems concurrently simply requires more time.

Given that, not all facilities are equipped for it but our dual-diagnosis residential treatment center in Florida is up to the task.

Benefits of Treating Mental Illness and Addiction Together

Of the many benefits that come with treating these two together, the first is relief. Relief that you’ve uncovered a reason for your suffering and relief that you’ve finally found an answer to it. At Principles Recovery Center in South Florida, we offer that relief in the form of our dual-diagnosis treatment center. Working through both issues at the same time sets you up with a strong foundation on which you can build the rest of your life confidently.