The Importance of Aftercare in Addiction Treatment

Many think that recovery begins and ends with the treatment in the rehab facility. Although graduation from a treatment program brings the beginning of a prospective new life, establishing and following a structured aftercare plan is one of the most important measures needed to be taken to sustain a successful recovery. That’s why reputable addiction treatment centers provide discharge planning with individualized aftercare programming to help their clients not only in their transition to their new life but also succeed in maintaining their recovery progress.

Aftercare is a stage of healing where lessons learned in addiction treatment come together. Establishing and following the aftercare plan is necessary because addiction is not an acute medical condition that can be treated in a matter of weeks or even months; it’s a chronic disease that requires long-term management. [1]

A study found that recovering individuals who have and follow an aftercare program after rehab were more likely to remain clean and stay sober in the 90 days after treatment, than those without one. The same study suggests that sixty-four percent of the participants in the continuing care group took advantage of activities that supported abstinence. Nine months after graduating from rehab, almost 70 percent of the continuing care group was still abstinent. By comparison, only 19 percent of those not in aftercare was still sober. [2]

There are many benefits to keeping up with an aftercare plan in the weeks and months that follow rehab. Below are a few:

Help recovering individuals find the desire to stay sober

Through peer support programs such as 12-Step meetings, group counseling sessions and alumni meetings, individuals in recovery with similar circumstances do support each other and feel safe. The creation of strong support systems helps with long-term sobriety.

Aftercare programs provide valuable services that help prevent relapse. Along with individual therapy, support groups and family education, by following an aftercare plan the recovering individuals don’t have the feeling of being alone and on their own when coping with emotional stress, social temptation and cravings.

The more you know about addiction treatment and the importance of keeping up with an aftercare plan, the better prepared you’ll be to smoothly transition into recovery or help a loved one to do so.

If you or someone you love have questions about drug and alcohol rehab programs, please call Florida Center for Recovery at (800) 851-3291 for a free confidential consultation. You may also visit our addiction treatment programs’ page for a better insight into our diverse comprehensive therapies. Florida Center for Recovery provides aftercare planning tailored to the needs of each individual. We specialize in helping Dual Diagnosis patients lead healthy, satisfying lives in sobriety. From detox services through discharge planning, we offer support throughout the recovery process. If you or someone you love is ready to begin a new life, we’re here to help.


[1] Addiction is a Chronic Disease.

[2] Managing Addiction As A Chronic Condition. Dennis, Michael.