For individuals in recovery, aftercare is an essential facet of relapse prevention. Relapse is a return to use after a period of sobriety. It’s a common part of the recovery journey, but it doesn’t have to be inevitable. Our aftercare program provides those who have completed treatment with support and structure to stay connected in recovery. Through an emphasis on building healthy coping skills and identifying triggers for relapse, our aftercare program helps clients make the transition from treatment back into everyday life.
Understanding Addiction and Relapse
Addiction is a complex condition that affects the brain’s reward center. Whether substances are used to cope with difficult emotions or to experience euphoria, the body and mind become dependent on them over time. Cognitively, drugs and alcohol release dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure. Eventually, the brain acclimates to the constant high levels of dopamine. If you lower your dose or end substance abuse, it’s much harder for your mind to produce these necessary, pleasure-inducing transmitters.
For a period after drug and alcohol use ends, the brain becomes starved of dopamine. The cravings that come with this can be extremely difficult to manage. Using drugs or alcohol again may seem like the only solution to end feelings of withdrawal and cravings, but this isn’t the case. Relapse prevention programs, like our aftercare program, can help clients learn to manage difficult feelings without reverting back to substance abuse.
The Importance of Aftercare Programs for Relapse Prevention
Those who’ve successfully graduated from addiction rehab must work diligently to overcome triggers and temptation. Triggers are any form of stimuli that motivate a person to engage in addictive behavior. Common triggers include:
- Stressful situations
- People, places, or objects that remind one of past substance use
- Feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness
It’s important to learn how to address these triggers in a healthy manner. Our addiction treatment programs have been designed to help clients learn coping skills that will assist them in maintaining long-term sobriety. During group and individual counseling, they may gain a better understanding of themselves and what tempts them to use. They’ll then apply this information to establish ways to prevent addictive behavior.
Following their journey of self-discovery that occurs during primary treatment, clients may benefit from additional support in maintaining and solidifying recovery. Fortunately, aftercare focuses heavily on relapse prevention. As time moves forward and lifestyles change, clients may discover new triggers and temptations. Aftercare allows them to continue exploring these and uncover additional tools for remaining sober.
What to Expect from Our Aftercare Program
Free aftercare for life—that’s the New Bridge Foundation® promise. We believe in providing long-term support for our clients even after they’ve exited treatment. Staying connected to our aftercare program leaves clients feeling more supported and better equipped to manage their recovery.
We’ve designed our aftercare program to provide clients with ongoing education, support, and accountability. As they continue on their journey of personal growth, we work closely with them to identify potential relapse triggers and develop strategies for prevention.
Most importantly, New Bridge Foundation® offers free aftercare for life. As clients grow and progress in their lives outside of rehab, they’ll always have the support they need to continue to maintain sobriety.
Call New Bridge Foundation® Today for Addiction Treatment and Aftercare
Our non-profit treatment center is nestled in the hills of Berkeley, California. In the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, clients have easy access to convenient public transportation. With over 50 years of experience, we have been named one of America’s “Best Addiction Treatment Centers” for the past four years, per a survey conducted by Newsweek Magazine.