aftercare plan

What is Aftercare for Addiction Recovery

Once treatment ends, recovery begins which brings its own unique challenges. Sobriety is more than avoiding triggers and cravings. It helps to have an aftercare plan focused on developing a positive outlook, setting goals and being focused on achieving goals in sobriety.

Secret to Success

The secret to successful recovery requires a certain recipe, including:

  • Vigilance to emotional state in recovery
  • Honesty about need for help
  • Creating new community of sober, healthy people
  • Attend self-help support groups
  • Serve other people in the community

An aftercare plan should be focused on seeking emotional balance and developing support for ongoing mental and physical health challenges. Recovery is a lifelong process filled with ups and downs so it is important to remain grounded with a solid plan.

Risk of Relapse

Some people who understand the risk of relapse in recovery have awareness of when things are not going well. People who are more likely to relapse tend to have poor personal insight or commitment to a recovery lifestyle. Some of the challenges faced by people at risk of relapse include:

  • Lack of key personal insights and self-awareness
  • Externally focused
  • Lack stability in own life but try to manage recovery of others

It is important to be connected to others in recovery going through a similar situation. People with long term sobriety and individuals who have less time in sobriety can provide insights that may be overlooked. Asking for help in recovery is more healthy than keeping quiet and deciding help is not needed. Being vigilant requires focused intentionality around getting support throughout recovery, not just when things feel difficult.

Recognize Risky Behaviors

Relapse occurrences happen in a sequence of events known as ‘relapse behaviors’ which progresses to the point where it makes more sense to drink or use drugs than to stay sober. Some of the behaviors a person might exhibit include:

  • Cutting corners
  • Dishonesty
  • Defiance
  • Grandiosity

A person needs to be able to recognize when an attitude of recovery is slipping. The slipping in the beginning is subtle and begins with losing positive motivation. The best way to combat relapse is to have an aftercare plan.


Recovery is about following advice, suggestions and recommendations from professionals who are more aware of the dangers of addiction while also being familiar with helping others stay sober. Success in recovery is only possible when a person follows through on the aftercare plan. If an aftercare plan does not suit a person’s needs in recovery, try another one with the help of a professional who understands addiction. Do not discontinue the plan until another one is in place. The goal is to stay sober and clean in spite of distractions, cravings and triggers which will happen time to time. Finding a way to remain clean and sober is the most significant and important thing a person can do to remain in recovery.


Aftercare plans are a key part of a recovery plan. The Villa supports individuals in developing a strategy which promotes positive, healthy recovery principles. If you or a loved one struggle with addiction, call us to find out how we can help you.