Planning Aftercare From Drug Treatment

28 Days Later


Why planning an after-care program is just as important as in-patient treatment.

Many of us perceive treatment as essentially a 30-day in-patient program where an individual receives 1-on-1 intensive therapy to relieve them of their addictions. For many of us, 30 days is a major commitment, requiring an individual to put aside their obligations to their family, career and lifestyle in order to reconnect with themselves and reclaim a new sense of purpose and intention.

But for the majority who achieve sustained recovery, it requires at least 90 days or more of concentrated commitment in a safe environment to cultivate legitimate recovery. Do you remember the last time you mastered something new? It more than likely took you much longer than a month to become an expert. Nevertheless, the initial concept of spending 3 to 6 months or more in a program of recovery is typically, if not always, met with divergence. Especially as our commitments become greater, we become more reluctant to give up our time even for something as important as getting sober.

However, it is the initial weeks and months after leaving an in-patient rehab program where patients are the most susceptible to relapse. Triggering situations such as returning home or to a career can, with remarkable quickness, spiral a newly sober individual back into their same addictive patterns. And since no one is capable of conceptualizing how susceptible they are at this point, it’s imperative that an aftercare program is explained during treatment and initiated immediately afterward.

Some of the cornerstone elements of aftercare include accountability, comfortability and sustainability. Depending on each person’s own needs and resources, this can be achieved by scheduling out-patient services with a treatment facility or therapist, enrolling in a transitional living home or committing to an aggressive submersion into the recovery community, typically attending 90 meetings in 90 days and finding a sponsor and support system.

During this transitional phase, it is highly recommended that an individual be placed in a sober-living home where they can continue to receive regularly scheduled therapy while maneuvering into real-life situations. While this may initially seem uncomfortable, newly sober individuals typically feel safer and more connected with other individuals in recovery, which helps them to work past this difficult phase. Accountability is monitored as all members are encouraged to attend 12-step fellowship groups, meet with a therapist, secure work and contribute to community chores all while remaining sober. These temporary housing situations, located practically anywhere throughout the country, are comfortable, affordable and free from the outside stressors that may cause relapse.

There are plenty of options in terms of an aftercare programming, all of which are typically tailored to an individual’s personal needs. Professionals discover that they can return to work while living in a safe environment tucked away from home. People with limited resources can afford a semi-permanent housing situation and secure a stable job while growing alongside others in the program. Mothers can choose a facility that allows them to bring young children. And otherwise committed individuals can attend out-patient programming for months following treatment that fits with their schedule.

The truth is, time flies. Many of us, or our loved ones, have spent years in addiction waiting for the right time to get help. I have heard countless individuals explain how everything seemed to slow down once they achieved sobriety, allowing them to finally savor in the life they always wished for. In addition, they gained mental and emotional freedom to think, feel, love, dream, imagine and inspire while beforehand, their mental space was filled with stress, anxiety, regret, resentment, depression and most of all, fear. Mary Augustine once said, “We become happier, much happier, when we realize that life is an opportunity rather than an obligation.” Let you or your loved one experience the opportunity of life through a long-term commitment to recovery.


Six Reasons To Choose Rehab In South Florida

The Rehab Epicenter: 6 Reasons to Choose a Treatment Facility in South Florida

There are plenty of good reasons why there is a predominance of treatment centers for drug and alcohol addiction in South Florida. Of course, the weather makes the southernmost state an ideal destination to seek recovery. Perhaps in the beginning that may have been the case, but our top reason will show you why getting sober, and living sober, go hand in hand in the sunshine state.

1. The predominance of treatment facilities, which offer detox, inpatient and outpatient services in Florida far surpasses that of any other state. In Palm Beach County alone, the number of treatment facilities has risen 51% since 2007 (totaling apprx. 120). Having access to different facilities allows a client to transition to different levels of care, especially if their detox center does not offer an inpatient program, for example. In addition, insurance can be tricky depending on your coverage. Clients who are required to switch facilities due to insurance purposes have the opportunity to do so within a manageable geographic area.

2. There is a large availability of transitional housing. Most clients are advised to transition into a halfway home after completing treatment in order to maintain their accountability within a group of their peers, who also urge them to continue visiting 12-step meetings and pursue a road to recovery. It can seem impossible to return home to old behaviors so having the accessibility and comforts of home within a transitional living situation can mean the difference between recovery and relapse.

3. The weather! Weather can impact a person’s mood and willingness to embrace more activities in early sobriety, vital in allowing them to form new interests and passions to overcome the urge to use. Many addicts find that they’ve lost the drive to do the things they once enjoyed as a result of the powerful obsession of addiction. In early recovery, having the ability to enjoy recreational activities all year round in a pleasant setting is a key benefit when looking for the right rehabilitation facility.

4. Availability of work. It is estimated that about 30% of all patients who enter into a rehab in South Florida end up staying permanently. One of the reasons why is the availability of work in the state, which ranges from professional career opportunities to seasonal and service work, ideal for candidates who need to slowly transition back into normal life.

5. Legal case management. Most facilities offer a specialized team who is able to manage a clients’ legal matters while they are in treatment. Many addicts and alcoholics have acquired substantial legal ramifications because of their use. The anxiety associated with handling overwhelming paperwork, appointments and finances due to a judgement or felony keeps many addicts away from addressing their legal matters altogether. The team of case managers ensures each client is set up to complete their requirements as outlined by their judgement so they can focus on recovery.

6. Availability of 12-step meetings and sober networking. Since Florida is home to so many rehabilitation centers, transitional housing and ultimately sober residents, it makes sense that there is a profound number of meetings available at all times of the day. In Palm Beach County alone, there are over 500 meetings happening every week hosting over 5,000 attendees. The New York Times dubbed Delray Beach, a surf town located in Palm Beach County, “The Country’s largest and most vibrant recovery community”. Other areas of the nation have a sparse population of meetings, making it difficult to maintain sobriety there. In Florida, the recovery community is so large there is a dedicated radio station as well as a number of festivals, expos, art exhibits and coffee shops that focus on people in recovery.

The Hope Center for Rehabilitation is located in Boynton Beach Florida, neighboring nearby Delray Beach. For more information about the services we offer, call one of our team members at 1.866.233.1869.

Sober Living: What Should I Expect?

After completing any extended-stay inpatient treatment program, a comprehensive aftercare program will be necessary to continued success in recovery and maintenance of prolonged and meaningful sobriety. Committing to several months at a halfway house may seem like the last thing you want to do after completing residential treatment, though if you are serious about your recovery it is, without question, the best option. You may have several ideas in mind regarding what exactly attending a halfway house might entail based on media portrayals or your experiences in sobriety so far. The reality is that you most likely have no idea what to expect, and every horror story you are imagining in your head is probably pretty far from the truth. Here is a list of several probable situations and circumstances that will help you to better prepare for the journey ahead. And don’t worry! No matter what, as long as you stick it through and put in the work it will be a good one.

What To Expect From Sober Living

  1. Expect a “zero tolerance” policy

A “zero tolerance” policy entails absolutely no use of mood or mind-altering substances of any kind. Stay away from everything and you’ll be fine. If you have to ask, just don’t do it.

  1. Expect inconvenient house meetings

You will be asked to prioritize weekly “house meetings” above literally everything else. Make sure your schedule is cleared on Sundays at 5 (or whatever) so you won’t have any issues. Meetings are mandatory. Make them.

  1. Expect missing (stolen) food

Your housemates will not feel badly about eating the last slice of bread, nor will they replace your peanut butter. Accept this and move on. Handle situations with grace and remember – it is just food. If things get too out of hand, buy a lock for $5 at Walmart.

  1. Expect chores, chores, and then some more chores

Be prepared to get down and dirty. The best way to go about completing your assigned chores is very simply to grin, bear it, and don’t miss any spots!

  1. Expect attitude from the higher ups

If your house managers are easy to get along with, you really lucked out. Don’t expect to be buddy-buddy with the men or women in charge – expect a little attitude and a lot of compliancy on your end. Again… grin and bear it. Keep in mind that being yelled at by a 21-year-old about leaving a mug on the dresser is only temporary.

  1. Expect regular drug testing

You will be drug tested on a very regular basis. So don’t do drugs, and stay hydrated.

  1. Expect to go to a meeting every day

You will most likely be asked to attend a 12-step meeting every day, and to have a sheet signed by the chairperson. Avoid having your friends forge signatures, despite how convenient that may seem. You will ultimately only be cheating yourself.

  1. Expect a crappy job

You won’t land a brilliant job on Wall Street while living in a halfway house. In fact, your days may be filled with serving chimichangas to obese Americans or spinning signs advertising super deals on used mattresses. But hey, you have to start somewhere. Again, this job is only temporary, and as you save up money for future endeavors you will learn more about where your passions truly lie and what you want to do with your future.

Overall, expect that if you dedicate yourself to further self-discovery and stay uninvolved in the drama, you will reap amazing benefits from your stay at sober living.

The Importance of Sober Living

Without the slow and assisted transition from an inpatient treatment center into a halfway house, it is significantly more difficult for a newly sober individual to maintain sobriety. The rate of relapse amongst addicts and alcoholics who graduate from a residential program and return back to their initial environments (without extended stay at a sober living facility) is far higher than it is amongst those who complete a comprehensive aftercare program after completing treatment. Without a solid support system, which is essentially included when one moves into a sober living house, feelings of loneliness and isolation are likely to consume the addict and lead to eventual relapse. In many cases, sober living houses will provide transportation to and from outside meetings, which works to instill a daily routine conducive to recovery that many clients will continue with long after they transition out of halfway. In fact, many positive habits are instilled, such as cleanliness, living with and getting along with others, and maintaining a daily routine complete with responsibilities and commitments. Structure is a crucial component of sobriety.

Why Sober Living?

Sober living homes are intended to occupy the space between being released from inpatient treatment and returning home – a vital link back into the community as a fully functioning member of society. Standard sober living residences will require each client get a job within a given amount of time, attend 12-step meetings on a daily or near-daily basis, and acquire a sponsor sometime within the first two-weeks. This kind of accountability is essential in early sobriety, especially when the newfound freedom is a bit of a shock to the system after several months of inpatient. Aside from the obvious accountability and reduction of the risk of relapse, why would one choose to commit to an extended stay at a sober living facility?

  • Overwhelming obligations at home.

Returning home after residential addiction treatment means returning to the hectic lifestyle you lived before – bills, work, maybe children to attend to. The stressors of everyday living are often too much for one in early sobriety. There is nothing wrong with prolonging your return home until you are you sure you are mentally prepared.

  • Instant friends/sober supports.

The men or women you live with will inevitably become sources of strength for you on your journey into sobriety. Of course, you are not liable to become best friends with everyone you encounter – but sharing your space with people you don’t particularly favor will inevitably make you more tolerant.

  • Extra “you” time.

It is important to remember that your well-being and your recovery are more important than anything else – your family, your career, your finances. Everything you put before your recovery you will lose.

  • Continuation of therapy/support groups.

In many instances, a personal therapist will be paired with each individual client in an inpatient setting, and it is highly advised that therapy is continued after the client graduates from the residential treatment program. Committing to an extended stay in a sober living house allows each individual to continue with a comprehensive and effective aftercare program.

Why Sober Living Is Crucial To Recovery

Recovery is a process that continues long after an individual graduates from an inpatient treatment program – recovery is a process, in fact, that lasts a lifetime. Early sobriety revolves around an individual learning to re acclimatize to society without the use of drugs or alcohol, a process that often takes somewhere near a year depending on how severe their past substance abuse was. After completing detox and graduating from a treatment program at a drug rehab, it is highly suggested that a patient transfer directly to a sober living facility in order to maintain sobriety while growing more accustomed to a higher level of freedom.

The most important factor in maintaining sobriety after completing a treatment program is the type of living situation one will be entering immediately after the program has been completed. Of course, moving into a sober environment with a strict drug and alcohol-free policy is more conducive to prolonged sobriety – especially because many addicts and alcoholics come from dysfunctional, chaotic households in which substance abuse is common and condoned. Most sober living houses emphasize a daily routine that reteaches the newly sober individual how to live efficiently and successfully, while working a job and maintaining other staples of everyday life. By moving into a sober residence after completing treatment, an individual intensifies their chances of prolonged recovery immensely.

The majority of houses greatly emphasize a social model of recovery, strongly recommending and often requiring integration into a 12-step organization (either Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or another variation). Clients are usually required to find a sponsor within the first couple of weeks, and communicate with their sponsor on a daily basis. This is important because it forces accountability, and also helps clients form a relationship with another human being in sobriety – something that will undoubtedly be unfamiliar and require some practice. 12-step meetings also instantaneously provide an extensive support system for newly sober individuals, and sober supports are one of the most crucial elements of maintaining early sobriety.

Additionally, sober living houses require clients to participate in daily activities that they may have neglected while using, such as household chores, cooking, and holding down a regular job. Clients will also be drug tested regularly to ensure the house remains safe for all of the residents. The transition out of drug rehab can be filled with obstacles and setbacks. It is essential that the newly sober addict of alcoholic have immediate support available. The house manager often acts as this support, usually on the premises close to 24 hours. The house manager will also be sure clients are home by curfew – again, instilling accountability and also making sure no relapse-prone behaviors are taking place late at night. For these reasons amongst many others, sober living is extremely crucial to maintained sobriety, and acts as a pertinent step of the overall journey into recovery.

How To Prepare For Drug Rehab

Going to a  drug rehab for the first time can be somewhat of a scary experience – you will be away from home, your family, your friends, and most frightening of all, you will leave behind your drug of choice. Life without drugs or alcohol may seem impossible, but if you spend enough time away you will quickly realize that what you spent all of your days doting on was inevitably only going to prevent you from having a life beyond your wildest dreams. Mental preparation is tough – the unfamiliar is always somewhat unsettling. Just trust that millions before you have successfully done what you are about to do, and that admitting yourself or someone you love to a drug rehab will always do more good than harm.

Aside from mental preparation, you must physically prepare – and packing your belongings is potentially the most important element of physical preparation. Here are some helpful pointers regarding what and what not to bring with you to  drug rehab.

  • Pack enough comfortable clothing for a week.

Only pack enough for a week – there will be a laundry set-up on the premises, and you will most likely only be given a small bureau in which to store your clothing. T-shirts and sweatpants are lifesavers, considering you will be sitting in therapy courses for the majority of your days in treatment. You will most likely have allotted time for exercise, so be sure to pack sneakers and gym clothes!

  • Toiletries – just the basics.

Shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and a razor… anything else is at risk of being thrown away. Perfume isn’t necessary – and because most fragrances contain alcohol, they will not be allowed. Use discretion when packing personal hygienic products, and remember – less is more!

  • Be sure to bring your insurance papers, and any other important documents you may need.

Insurance cards and ID cards are required for admission, so be sure you pack all of you necessary paperwork in a safe place. You may also bring credit cards and other forms of currency; though expect these to be held in a safe until you have completed treatment.

Preparing For Treatment Can Be Stress-Free!

When preparing for treatment, be sure to stick to the essentials. You will not need a sexy black dress or your DVD collection. Back some comfy clothes, the proper paperwork, and maybe a book for the plane ride. The most important thing you can bring to drug rehab is willingness, and the expectancy to begin living a beautiful life free from drugs and alcohol if you truly commit to the journey of recovery.