When those we serve embark on their journey towards recovery, the beginning portion of this journey is often the most intensive. The progress many of us make during the initial weeks and months is one of the most rewarding aspects of the journey, as many of us “come alive” again, with basic joys like laughing, smiling, and fraternizing with friends returning to our lives. 

As important as this initial period of our journey is, the period that follows — often referred to as “continuing care” or “ongoing treatment” — is often what determines the quality and sustainability of our recovery. Study after study demonstrates that the longer the duration of the continuing care aspect of recovery, the higher the likelihood of long-term, sustained wellness. 

This stage of AAR’s recovery programming is ideal for those that have completed the more intensive phases, including our intensive outpatient (IOP) and outpatient (OP) programs, as well as those returning from an inpatient stay and/or those that are experiencing heightened cravings and/or have recently relapsed.

Why Continuing Care (Ongoing Treatment) Matters

If you’ve made the decision to embark on and follow through with one of AAR Healthcare’s treatment programs, you will likely begin feeling a strong sense of accomplishment and pride as you begin experiencing the benefits of living life free of the mental and physical anguish that accompany substance use disorders. Taking these initial steps demonstrates extreme bravery by facing your challenges head-on, and this act and commitment are truly commendable.

What happens, though, once you start feeling comfortable and that you are no longer in the grips of your addiction? For many of us, this is when we become most at risk, as our defenses and the intensity of our pain are now less than what they were when we first started with our recoveries.

Questions like the below ones are helpful to shine the light on our addictive processes and thoughts that may be just under the surface within our minds and bodies:

Do you still experience intermittent thoughts of using again and imagine how it might feel?

While reintegrating into a more “regular life,” do you find your stress levels building, and you don’t know exactly how to manage that?

Are you feeling increasingly depressed or anxious for days at a time?

Do you feel alone – like you are navigating this internal struggle that even those closest to you may not recognize or be aware of?

Are you isolating yourself from your loved ones?

The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.

Ayn Rand

If you can answer “yes” to any of the above, continuing care is likely a really smart choice for you. Given that each of our care plans is customized for each client, we will optimize the structure and nature of your specific continuing care plan to fit your exact needs and considerations.

What You Can Expect During Continuing Care

During ongoing treatment, the intensity and frequency of your programming will be reduced to allow for more “real world” integration of your new skills and approaches for managing your life and your holistic wellness. This time of your recovery is extra critical because, often, some of the issues that were deprioritized to focus on your substance use disorder now require attention. This dynamic can introduce new stressors in your life. 

During the continuing care phase of your recovery, you will keep receiving one-on-one attention from your counselor to help you address new thought patterns that may be emerging now that you are facing life more fully and without relying on substances to manage your moods and emotional states. This is also the time when we can support you in continuing to move your life forward professionally, financially, and in terms of your relationships with others and yourself. Additionally, for those on MAT protocols, this ongoing treatment phase allows us to continue to optimize your medication usage, including if/ when you are ready to lower (or eliminate) the MAT medications. No matter what stage of addiction recovery you are in, ongoing addiction treatment is often the best way to increase your chances not only for maintaining your sobriety but also ensuring you are living your best life!

How Continuing Care Makes Continued Recovery More Likely

It helps you to stay on track with each aspect of your recovery. These include medication management, further developing your life skills, and continuing to address the more deeply rooted issues that likely underpin your addiction(s).

You can tackle new life stresses as they occur within a positive, solution-oriented environment.

It fosters feelings of self-empowerment and self-trust; you are demonstrating to yourself (and others) that you are “all in” on your recovery.

It provides a non-judgmental support system to turn to whenever you are struggling or feel at risk. Being preventative is almost always much more effective than being reactive.

The AAR Healthcare team has decades of experience empowering and supporting clients who are determined to preserve their sobriety and enhance their holistic wellness– much of this work occurs during the continuing care stage of your recovery journey.

Find the Support You Need at AAR Healthcare

Investing in ongoing treatment is a process that allows you to improve your future and reclaim your life. Let AAR Healthcare provide for all of your needs. Learn more about our comprehensive ongoing addiction treatment programs by reaching out to us online or calling 844.967.1610 today.