So you’re in the final stretch of the treatment process, wrapping up your methadone treatment and getting ready to step into the aftercare phase. Then you find yourself wondering why aftercare is even that important; didn’t you just do several weeks (or months) of rehab? You feel good, maybe a little nervous about your newfound sober lifestyle, but you’re ready to embark on this journey. But first, you have to go through aftercare.
It’s a reasonable curiosity. By this time, many people are itching to begin rebuilding their lives. Some want to fly through aftercare so they can jump right back into life, while others don’t yet feel ready to do so and are embracing this last step of the treatment process.
Wherever you are on the spectrum, we’re going to help you understand why aftercare is such an important phase of the recovery process, as well as what aftercare following methadone treatment can look like.
Methadone is a type of medication that’s most commonly used to treat severe pain and manage the symptoms of those struggling with opioid dependence. Able to be administered as a pill, oral solution or powder (to be dissolved in a drink), methadone works by altering how the brain and nervous system respond to the effects of opioids. It binds to the receptors in the brain responsible for the rush of euphoria following opioid consumption and reduces these effects.
By doing so, methadone is able to reduce a person’s cravings for the drug as well as the withdrawal symptoms that come from not frequently indulging in the drug. Methadone treatment isn’t the end of the road, though. Your recovery aftercare is just as important as the rest of the recovery process.
Recovery aftercare is simultaneously the final phase of treatment and also symbolically marks the end of treatment. It refers to the ongoing support you receive after completing the initial phases of addiction treatment (most commonly, detoxification, rehab and outpatient programs).
Aftercare is designed to help transition you as smoothly as possible from the intensive, high-accountability environment of a rehabilitative facility to fully independent living. Depending on your recovery process, your medical provider may recommend you continue outpatient counseling, support groups or other treatments.
Even if you’re no longer required to engage in these treatments anymore, many people find it beneficial to continue doing so during their initial transition to fully independent living as they adjust to being solely responsible for their health and lifestyle.
The Importance of Aftercare in Recovery
Aftercare is important because recovery doesn’t end when the treatment program does. Recovery is a long process, and the risk of relapse is most prevalent in the first year of sobriety. Continuing to draw strength, inspiration and resources from your professional support system during this time can be invaluable to your long-term sobriety, mental health and overall well-being.
Additionally, due to the fact that addiction commonly develops because of multiple influential factors in a person’s life, the initial phases of recovery often reveal unhealed traumas that the individual may or may not have been present during treatment. While much of this will be addressed in recovery, aftercare is often when these traumas are able to be more directly treated. Many individuals struggling with addiction are also experiencing additional disorders such as anxiety or depression, conditions that may require additional or extended recovery efforts.
These are just a few of the reasons why recovery aftercare is such an essential phase of the recovery process. Jumping into your new life can be exciting (and it should be!), but many individuals find themselves overwhelmed with all of the new changes they have to adjust to.
That’s why we’re here.
Learn More about Recovery Today
Reaching out for help can feel intimidating if you don’t know what you need, but that’s why we’re here. Let us help you figure out the next best steps for your recovery.
Here at October Road, we offer a variety of programs and treatments. We offer partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, methadone treatment and more.
Whether you’re ready to enroll in a recovery program or you’re still trying to figure out what you need to do to get back on your feet, we’re here to help.
Send us a message or call us directly today to get started.