The Importance of an Aftercare Plan

Recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol can be a tough process without a professional support system. The importance of an aftercare plan can be seen in those who have maintained long term recovery. After completing their full continuum of care, from detox and residential treatment to an outpatient program, the importance of an aftercare plan comes into play. Relapse is said to begin weeks or even months before physically picking up drugs or alcohol. Having that continued support and someone to talk to when things seem to be difficult can help you to stay clean and sober in the long run, and prevent relapse.

What is an Aftercare Plan?

Traditionally, when someone thinks of drug and alcohol treatment, the mind tends to go to an inpatient setting of detox and residential treatment where you are staying on site with round-the-clock access to medical and professional therapeutic staff. When that ends, there is another step available to you. Understanding the importance of an aftercare plan is crucial to deciding to continue working on your recovery once inpatient and outpatient treatment is completed. There are different steps to an aftercare plan, and these plans can be personalized to help cater to your specific needs. This can include things like ongoing therapy, or 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

What is the Importance of an Aftercare Plan?

The importance of aftercare plans is evident in the lives of people who have maintained long term sobriety, and begun to live a successful and healthy life. If you ask anyone in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction how they did it, a lot of them will say that they sought continuing professional help including some sort of talk therapy and received support from friends in recovery. Understanding how important it is to have a successful aftercare program helps in the decision to set one in place to help prevent relapse once treatment ends.

Examples of What Aftercare Plans Contain

No two aftercare plans are the same. Having something that is tailored to your needs and wants is part of the importance of aftercare plans. Your recovery is going to look different than the person next to you, and having your own personalized plan will be vital to having a successful plan once treatment ends. There are many different things you can do for your recovery to help prevent relapse. Here are some components that can help to make your aftercare plan more successful.  

Stable Relationships

Having stable, positive supports in your corner can be highly beneficial. When things begin to go awry and you feel overwhelmed, or emotionally unstable, having people in your corner who are often in recovery themselves, can help you to make positive choices, rather than running and picking up drugs and alcohol to cope with whatever negative feelings you may be experiencing. 

Accountability and Self Responsibility

Holding yourself accountable and being responsible for your recovery is part of the importance of an aftercare plan. While having support is vital, being able to self soothe through the uncomfortable feelings that can arise is also crucial to recovery. There won’t always be someone available when things get rough. 


Having financial independence, and learning to live without being taken care of by family can be helpful. When you begin to take care of yourself, and are no longer being financially supported or enabled to some degree by family and friends, it builds a sense of security and independence. 

Participation in 12 Step Programs

Maintaining relationships with people in recovery, and working a recovery program is an important part of an aftercare plan. Getting at the nitty gritty of addiction while having strong support is among the most important parts of relapse prevention.

Why Does Relapse Happen?

As previously stated, relapse can begin prior to any physical act of using drugs and alcohol. Some of these signs of relapse include:

  • Isolation
  • Lacking attendance in support groups
  • Avoiding friends in recovery
  • Doubting the recovery process

There are also many things that people say lead to their relapse. Things like a lack of self-care and thinking “I got this” tend to be reasons for relapse. While relapse happens, it is not something that needs to happen for anyone seeking recovery.

Know the Importance of an Aftercare Program in Knoxville, TN

Aftercare planning is a vital component to being able to maintain recovery for those in early recovery. If you or a loved one are in need of an aftercare treatment plan, we at Discovery Place can help. We offer continuing care for those who are seeking treatment while maintaining their normal routine. We have a team of professionals standing by to help you as you begin the process of aftercare planning. Contact us today and we can help to guide you through the process!

Share post :