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Young Woman Having Counseling SessionThe Importance of Aftercare in Addiction Treatment

The first step to getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” –Unknown

Your recovery journey has been long, but worth every brave step you took. You have owned your story, faced your fears, and are well on the path to living a full life free from your addiction. On an emotional high of achievement, it is tempting to feel that you are cured and your problems are over. You have conquered a lot, but it is not the end of the story. It is fair to say that the real work is now ahead of you as you transition back into your day-to-day life; wiser yes, but still in need of support.

That is why aftercare, especially during the first couple years of recovery, can be not only a powerful, but necessary, tool for your post-treatment life. Recovering addicts must re-shape much of their former lifestyle, building healthier life skills for living sober.

What is Aftercare?

Aftercare is simply the additional care and/or intervention that follows the residential portion of addiction treatment. There are several kinds of aftercare options available depending on the addiction program services you have experienced.

At Covenant Hills, we invite Alumni to continue their journey with us, transitioning into their day-to-day life with program support meetings. Aftercare sessions include:

  • Relapse Prevention Skills
  • Coping with Anger
  • Anxiety and Stress Management
  • Family Dynamics
  • Relational Skills Development

We offer additional half-day courses throughout the year that dive deeper with recovering addicts to support a deeper working relationship with the principles found in the 12-steps.

Examples of the Types of Aftercare Programs

The most well-known aftercare option is the 12-Step Program. Recovering addicts are encouraged to attend regular meetings for the rest of their life. People who are new to recovery are often advised to attend ninety meetings in ninety days as a way to transition with a solid foundation of support. The 12-Step Program offers consistent support that works very well for many people in recovery. Often, recovering addicts find the social element of this kind of group work very rewarding.

There are also support groups available like AA, offered in many cities and towns across the country. Counseling sessions are another aftercare option where the addict will be able to talk about problems as they arise and continue the work uncovered in treatment.

Why Aftercare is So Important

Staying motivated on the journey of recovery after leaving a treatment facility is the goal. Recovering addicts who pursue aftercare options are less likely to relapse and live out a healthier life. In treatment, a lot of knowledge, life skills, coping skills, and solid emotional support is given to help guide a person to break free from addiction. The hard work begins when one goes home. Facing problems and triggers within normal, everyday living is a challenge that can be made easier with support and reduce the risk of relapse.

Preventing relapse keeps you moving forward in life, not stuck on what may feel like the hamster wheel of addiction. Continued support can strengthen your ability to spot the triggers and warning signs to prevent relapse for good mental and emotional health.

Risk of Relapse

Can Relapse Happen to me?

Addiction need not be a life sentence. Relapse can happen, but it does not have to. According to the NIH, addiction may not be able to be fully cured, but like other chronic diseases, it can be managed successfully. [1]

Dedicated to Aftercare for Our Alumni

To learn more about the Covenant Hills Aftercare Program, call our nationwide drug and alcohol abuse help line at 1.888.758.9677 to talk with one of our experienced aftercare specialists.

We are available 24/7 and will always answer your call with a live person.


Covenant Hills Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programs, located in Orange County, California and San Antonio, Texas, provide treatment programs for young adults via intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization and residential care. For more information, call for a free evaluation at 888.758.9677.