Recovery from addiction does not cease when the period of treatment ends. Aftercare treatment is a continuum which follows right after an inpatient or outpatient treatment. It is very essential to observe the post-treatment time interval of the patient, because this period is very sensitive and giant strides can be made during this period of recovery.

On a conventional basis, aftercare involves reduced frequent contact with the counselor or therapist than the previous stages of treatment. Hence, it is a reality situation where the addict needs to display self-sufficiency, willpower and diligence in ensuring his or her sobriety.

In most cases, the change to self-sufficiency from acute treatment, will be closely observed at different time intervals in a week. Sometimes, there will be nice incentives for the patient to evade trigger situations and fight off the urges to go back to the addictive acts or substances again.

The thorough aftercare plan involves proper monitoring and it also helps to detect if there is a possible relapse, and it paves way for a re-assessment which would birth a personalized treatment plan, which ensures the safety and health of the patient.

People who finish all the phases in a rehab program are not cured, what occurred is just the completion of the early stages of their recovery. There is no cure for addiction particularly for substance addiction, and the goal of any rehab program is to equip clients with tools to aid them undergo abstinence and recovery in the long-term.

When an individual leaves the rehab program, there are challenges and temptations which they will face, that can induce a possible relapse. Aftercare programs are structured to equip individuals with assistance, skills and instructions which will improve their chances of experiencing recovery success in the long-term.

Aftercare treatment is an integral part of an active recovery program, as it reduces the possibilities of an individual experiencing relapse. With an aftercare program, the individual becomes stronger and he has a better shot at living a sober life.


Relapse takes place when an individual return to substance abuse sequel to a period of total abstinence. This is the most regular setback which addicts experience when recovering from addiction. As a matter of fact, there are lots of persons who experience relapse more than once in their lifetime.

Becoming sober is a gradual process, as it involves lots of time, commitment and practice. When relapse sets in, it does not imply that the treatment process has failed, it only means that the individual is still susceptible to various triggers and cravings.

Addiction is a disorder of the brain which makes people to indulge in obsessive and compulsive drug use, while still being aware of the fact that there are dire social, physical and legal consequences. People who recover from this disease could return to alcohol or drug use. There are lots of contributing factors to relapse, however, recovery in the long term is possible for those who are committed to living sober and healthy lives.

One of the major factors which causes relapse, is Triggers. This refers to feelings, thoughts, sensations, relationships and situations which makes a person use drugs or drink after abstaining from it for a long while. For instance, walking past a bar could trigger cravings in a previous alcohol addict.

Other factors which lead to relapse are listed below:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Physical pain
  • Dishonesty
  • Self-pity
  • Unemployment
  • Stress


As mentioned above, recovery is a gradual process which cannot be rushed because of the peculiarity of the case. Hence, after addiction treatment, the individual might still be required to stay within the facility for a while. Even after being released from the facility, there should be a scheduled program wherein he would have to check back from time to time, so that his progress can be evaluated.

In addition, family and friends are also required to look out for their loved ones who are out of recovery, they should talk to the therapist to list certain factors which could induce triggers, and take it out of the way of their recovering family member.