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Aftercare: The foundation for lifelong recovery

Aftercare or recovery management, increases a person’s chances for lifelong recovery.

When someone completes treatment for a substance use or mental health disorder, they may face challenges to success while learning to navigate familiar situations with a new outlook on life. To help clients achieve lasting recovery, Rosecrance provides connections and supports that can assist the rest of their lives.

These services, known as aftercare or recovery management, increase a person’s chances for lifelong recovery. The National Institutes of Health has observed that people actively engaged in such programs are less likely to require treatment for relapses, and are more inclined to return for care if they need it. After two years, people involved in aftercare are 13 percent less likely to need treatment than those not in recovery management.

Relationships are at the center of Rosecrance’s aftercare programming. While in treatment, clients find support from a network of peers in recovery and staff who can be resources for life. Discharge planners remove barriers to success by linking them to support groups, ongoing counseling, and other beneficial resources so the client leaves treatment knowing the next steps.

“This is a ‘we’ program,” said Paul Gilmet, director of access at Rosecrance Lakeview. “It’s important that people are not on their own. When a client encounters a tough time afterward, we make sure there is something or someone they can lean into to maintain that support and apply coping skills they learned.”

Because there are multiple roads to recovery, Rosecrance offers a full continuum of aftercare options. For those in residential treatment, sober living or intensive outpatient (IOP) therapy are available. For those who start with IOP, ongoing individual or group counseling sessions are options. In addition, many Rosecrance facilities also host 12-Step meetings that are open to community members in recovery.

Rosecrance also boasts a strong alumni community that spans the United States. This network provides friends, mentors, sober activities, and experiential therapy groups available in-person and online. Virtual yoga, meditation and mindfulness, art, and other classes kept people connected during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, and those continue to thrive. In addition, alumni routinely gather for hiking, kayaking, and other events that build community.

“Treatment introduces clients to many ways to care for the wellbeing of their mind, body, and spirit. We carry that through into a life of recovery,” said Director of Alumni Services Colleen Fry. “We want them to know that we’re not going anywhere and we desire to stay engaged in their lives. That is why our aftercare is successful.”

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