As I work with families as an interventionist to get their loved ones into a process of recovery we focus first on the short term goal of getting them to enter treatment. We can’t lose sight of the fact that this is just the beginning of what will hopefully become a lifelong endeavor. With relapse rates in short term treatment centers at an alarmingly high rate, it is vital for all involved to remember that entering and completing a treatment program of any length is just the foundation of the recovery process. Of course, the longer a person can stay in a reputable drug treatment program, the greater the chances of long term sobriety. After the drug treatment process has been concluded, there will be an aftercare plan in place which should be closely followed.
A good drug treatment program will involve the client, family and the interventionist in building an accountability team able to ensure that the transition to the next step is successful. Aftercare plans commonly include placement in a sober living facility, continued attendance at 12 step meeting and step work with a sponsor. Sometimes continued work with a professional counselor or psychiatrist is advisable as well. I have heard people say that relapse is a part of recovery. I catagorically disagree with this statement. I understand that there are some who do relapse and it can be a valuable learning experience. I firmly believe that anyone who iss willing to do the work thouroughly can establish permanent sobriety. A drug treatment program can provide a good foundation for someone to build from. Lifelong sobriety requires daily discipline to spiritual and emotional practices. Vigilance and accountability are vital. Complacency is a early sign of the beginning of relapse. Let us all be vigilant in our accountability to recovery!