Once an individual has successfully achieved the ability to resist alcohol and is no longer drinking, they have achieved something worthy of praise. However total abstinence from alcohol is achieved, the control of one’s own life is always a remarkable occurrence. Whether they have just been released from a treatment center, made it through the AA program, or have worked one on one with a counselor the process is always referred to as a battle.
That battle does not stop with initial sobriety. It never really stops. Not drinking one day does not guarantee not drinking another day. Aftercare programs are designed with this ongoing day to day struggle in mind.
Aftercare programs focus on building positive and uplifting social relationships, providing continuous motivation, preventing relapse, and maintaining sobriety. Everyone is different, and Aftercare programs account for those differences in the plans that they develop on the individual level. Most of these plans aim at improving:
● The education of the individual
● The strength of the individual’s family (often through therapy)
● The individual’s employment and housing
Alcoholics Anonymous is the most popular and often the easiest accessed form of aftercare. By working together with a core group of fellow addicts a terrific rapport is developed. This is one of the things that makes sobriety possible in the first place. After the individual has quit drinking they continue to attend AA meetings. The program and its various steps are gone over again and again as the group ebbs and flows in size.
More than the regular group meetings of AA, individual counseling may be required to help the sobriety of an individual persist. The purpose of all aftercare efforts is to surround the newly recovering addict with support and a structure that provides security and strength. Being able to speak freely and about your struggles is why individual counseling and the AA meeting work so well when done together.