Much like the development of alcohol or drug addiction, recovery is a complex process with many independent yet interconnected parts. When an alcoholic or drug addict chooses to begin the recovery process, the first step is generally to determine the most appropriate, effective, or preferred type of treatment program and find the facility that meets one’s needs. The selection of a drug rehab and program is an incredibly personal process and will involve different considerations for each individual. For some, the location of treatment might be a central consideration while others might feel they would respond best to recovery programming that caters specifically to the needs of women or members of the LGBTQ community. However, finding the right facility and program isn’t the end of the personalization process.
As part of the intake process for virtually all inpatient—and even most outpatient—drug treatment centers, individuals work with a recovery counselor to develop personalized treatment plans, which is a planned treatment regimen that takes into account and plans for each stage of the recovery process, from detox to treatment to transitional living, aftercare, and beyond. The specific components of one’s treatment plan becomes tailored to an individual’s specific needs, ensuring that the recovery process address all aspects of one’s suffering in order to optimize the potential for success in lasting sobriety.
Most people are familiar with the actual treatment stage of recovery, which sees individuals receiving extensive psychotherapy and counseling, participating in group sessions, and learning crucial life skills that will allow those regaining their sobriety to achieve lasting recovery. However, concepts like aftercare, as well as transitional living options, are less familiar to those who have not personally been through the recovery process. As such, the following will define transitional living and aftercare, explaining how they’re related and why they commonly go hand-in-hand as an important part of many individuals’ recoveries.
What Exactly is Aftercare?
As mentioned above, an individual treatment plan functions essentially as one’s blueprint for recovery. When a recovery counselor works with an individual to create a treatment plan, he or she has to take into account some very important considerations, including the length of time the individual has spent in active addiction, whether he or she has had treatment experience that didn’t result in lasting sobriety, the substance or substances to which the individual is addicted, and even things like whether the individual lives in a home with other individuals who suffer from substance abuse problems. Each consideration of a treatment plan will determine things like type of treatment, length of time required to complete treatment, and what type of aftercare an individual requires to maximize his or her chance of achieving lasting sobriety.
Like its name suggests, aftercare is the continued care that an individual receives after completing an initial addiction treatment program. All individuals require some sort of aftercare treatments whether their treatment programs were inpatient or outpatient, but aftercare that contains some sort of transitional living facility is especially important for graduates of inpatient programs for reasons that will be outlined directly. In addition to transitional living and halfway house facilities, individuals who complete their treatment programs often consider things like ongoing counseling with a professional therapist and membership to a nearby twelve-step group as an integral part of aftercare, but most facilities also offer special aftercare meetings on an ongoing basis to the graduates of their programs. In short, aftercare is intended to be a vital strategy for sustaining long-term recovery after completing a treatment program; as such, it’s a versatile component of recovery that can include many different types of treatments, support groups, or meetings that an individual uses as a resource for preventing relapse.
Transitional Living Facilities
Also commonly referred to as halfway houses, transitional living facilities are group homes that are intended for individuals who have just completed a residential or inpatient addiction treatment program, but who are not yet ready to return home, reintegrate into the community, and assume total responsibility for remaining abstinent from alcohol and drugs. Individuals can move into a transitional living facility upon completing a treatment program and are required to pay rent—typically a reasonable weekly or monthly fee to cover utilities and other costs required to sustain the property—while also having to prove their ongoing sobriety through drug screens. Transitional living facilities can either be managed by professionals or run by residents in recovery, but in virtually all cases individuals who are in residency maintain the home, which includes chores and basic upkeep as a means of learning or relearning essential life and survival skills.
Moreover, most transitional living and halfway facilities require individuals to either be employed or looking for a job, attending regular counseling sessions and twelve-step groups, and oftentimes have an on-site career and financial counselors to help individuals learn to be more independent, responsible, and self-sufficient adults. Typically, transitional living facilities have a few rules about which they are very strict and which could qualify an individual for eviction if broken; this often includes the nightly curfew, passing routine drug screens, and maintaining participation in treatment and twelve-step groups. Although some facilities allow individuals to invite loved ones for family counseling sessions, not all transitional living facilities allow residents to have guests; those that do allow residents to have visitors have rules against guests staying overnight.
The Relationship Between Transitional Living & Aftercare
The ultimate goal of a transitional living facility is to give individuals more time after completing their treatment programs to regain their independence and learn responsibility. For a period of up to two years—or occasionally longer—individuals can reside in a transitional living facility as long as they remain employed and sober, during which time they learn the life skills that are vital to be a self-sufficient, stable adult in the community. The reason that transitional living and aftercare go hand-in-hand is because transitional living is a form of aftercare. Moreover, transitional living is considered one of the most effective forms of aftercare that has shown some of the highest rates of success at helping an individual to transition into the community while maintaining stable sobriety. Sober and transitional living environments are reassuring to individuals who may still be lacking confidence in their newfound sobriety and who can benefit from the safe, stable, drug-free environment that transitional living can offer, making it an essential part of aftercare that is instrumental in many individuals’ successes in recovery.
The Palm Beach Institute Can Help You Achieve a Healthier, Drug-Free Lifestyle
As mentioned, there are many ways to achieve lasting sobriety. However, transitional living facilities are an effective form of aftercare that offer stable, drug-free environments in which individuals in recovery can readjust to the lifestyle of sobriety while relearning a number of life skills that are essential to a long-lasting recovery. However, if you or someone you love is suffering from chemical dependency and would like to learn more about treatment options, the Palm Beach Institute can help. Call today for a consultation and assessment from one of our experienced recovery specialists. Our team has helped countless individuals make their ways back to lives of health, sobriety, and happiness.