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Long Term Aftercare for Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Long Term AftercareAccepting help represents a huge step in the journey of addiction recovery. Detox and residential levels of care typically last for 30-90 days. But the majority of work in recovery actually happens after those initial steps. Long term aftercare describes the subsequent outpatient phase of treatment. Outpatient care helps individuals transition from the safe, controlled environment of inpatient back to independent living. This transition happens in several phases which vary by length. Ideally, individuals go complete a PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program), move to IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program), then move into sober living. This succession gradually gives individuals more independence as they become more stable in sobriety.

Long Term Aftercare Starts with PHP

PHP includes many of the same features of strong detox and residential programs. They offer therapy and case management to ensure that the individual follows a suitable care plan. Addiction affects everyone’s life in different ways, so the individualized aspect of treatment helps to cover all of those bases. For example, many individuals seek to get their education back on track during the outpatient phase of treatment. PHP counselors assist with this process by helping people with the specific steps of applying, ordering transcripts, et cetera. They also handle any paperwork needed for FMLA leave or helping with resumes for job applications.

Other people may be primarily struggling with their marriage or other family relationships. In those cases, therapists and case managers assisting with family support goes a long way. Family members receive the invitation to participate in their loved one’s recovery via family therapy sessions or private consultations that my touch on issues such as enabling and codependency.

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IOP: Intensive Outpatient Treatment

After PHP, clients typically move to a lower level of outpatient care known as IOP. The difference between PHP and IOP varies by program. But typically the aspects changing are frequency of visits and length of outpatient sessions. It may also change the frequency of family visits and individual therapy depending on the program.

IOP typically focuses more on discharge planning and relapse prevention plans. These two essential components help set individuals up for success in the long term. Case managers work directly with individuals regarding details of relapse prevention plans. Case managers also guide individuals in how to find and work with a sponsor. AA and NA sponsors will help individuals work through the twelve steps and continue going to meetings after treatment has concluded.

Therapy in Long Term Aftercare

Case management represents just one aspect of treatment in outpatient care. Therapy also plays a big role in various forms. Some of the more common therapies include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Matrix Model therapy
  • WRAP therapy
  • Practical guidance such as mindfulness meditation

Each of these modalities provides a different scope of resources to establish a clean and sober life. Therapists in addiction treatment also highly recommend that individuals reside in sober living arrangements in early sobriety.

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Sober Living for Early Recovery

Sober living provides helpful boundaries and accountability in early recovery. During this time, people often struggle with the temptation of relapse. Residing in sober living offers a solid foundation for a relapse prevention plan. Sober living offers many benefits such as random urinalysis testing, daily breathalyzing, curfews, assigned chores among all housemates, and house group meetings. This structure creates a safe environment for getting back on your feet in an outpatient setting.

Ideally, individuals leaving inpatient care should transition through PHP and IOP while in sober living. They often benefit from remaining in sober living from 1-5 years after discharge from outpatient treatment. Although this amount of time varies on a case by case basis. Those with longer times residing in sober living tend to have greater success and lower relapse rates over the long term.

If you or someone you love needs outpatient treatment for substance use disorder, our addiction counselors are available 24/7 by phone: 855-997-4702