Addiction treatment is a first step, not the end of your journey. Treatment puts you in a safe, supportive environment and allows you the opportunity to focus on yourself and your recovery 100%. This is where you will begin to learn how to live life without substances. You will learn new habits, develop new coping tools and begin working on your self-esteem and confidence. Treatment programs can last anywhere from 30 to 90 days, sometimes longer. A lot of progress can be made in that time, but for most people, the abrupt shift from a protected treatment environment to the challenges of “the real world” can be enough to send you into a downward spiral, and sometimes, relapse. Shortly after treatment ends is when many women relapse. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most common is isolation and lack of support. When you are in treatment you are surrounded by people who are invested in your sobriety. They are there to help you, 24 hours a day. Once you leave treatment, you leave behind this network, and without it, the stresses of daily life may leave you feeling overwhelmed, alone and unable to battle cravings and old habits. This is why aftercare is so important. What Is Aftercare? Many treatment centers offer aftercare services to those who complete their programs. These groups often last several weeks or months. They generally consist of weekly meetings or groups, as well as other resources and services. Groups may be topical, focusing on relevant issues that women leaving treatment are likely to face. They help keep you connected to your recovery and offer a valuable source of support as you reintegrate into life after treatment. How Can it Benefit You? Social Support Addiction is lonely, but sobriety can be lonely too if you don’t have a connection with others. Sometimes women get out of treatment, eager to get back to their lives, only to feel alone and depressed. Perhaps they have gone back to their jobs or their children and realize that many of their old friends and activities are no longer a part of their new life. This is a sticky situation because you may find yourself seeking out your old friends and this can be a ticket to relapse. The better solution is to continue staying connected to those women who are doing what you are doing — staying sober. Aftercare allows you to stay in touch with other recovering women and nurture your own support group. Real-World Tools And Support In treatment, the focus is kept on staying sober. You may be told to not worry about things like money, finding an apartment, getting your kids back or dealing with your family. It’s important to put your worries aside in treatment and focus on you. But, when you get out of treatment, your life is waiting for you. There may be financial wreckage to clean up. You may need to find a job or a place to live, and you may be navigating issues with child custody or relationship reconciliation. These are real issues and it’s hard to deal with them alone. Extended programs after inpatient treatment offer you an opportunity to deal with the challenges in your life, and to get feedback from others. They also offer a great sounding board, and an opportunity to hear solutions and to get reassurance that you are not alone. It Helps To Have A Plan These services actually start before you leave treatment. Planning for what you will do after treatment is important. Leaving treatment without a plan isn’t a good idea, and your counselors will help you put a plan in place that will help you make the best possible start. Attending groups are helpful because they are topic-based, and will cover many of the issues that you will likely face when you graduate your program. It is a safety net that will help you stay sober and create meaningful connections with other women who are in recovery. Getting Help For Addiction If you need help overcoming addiction, treatment is an effective option. If you are a woman looking for treatment, Wayside House can help you. A woman’s treatment center offers a safe, supportive environment and our programs are developed specifically to address the unique needs of women. Our therapies and treatments are normally found only in the more expensive treatment centers, but Wayside House is affordable. For more information, contact us at 800-655-0817.