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The process of addiction treatment does not come to an end after detoxification. Maintaining a drug-free life for long-term recovery is a commitment. Aftercare is part of continuing care planning. Below is everything you need to know about recovery aftercare programs for addiction treatment and why these rehabilitation programs are so important.

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What Is an Aftercare Program?

An aftercare program, commonly referred to today as a continuing care plan, is a structured and supportive plan designed to assist those who’ve completed a primary treatment program for drug or alcohol addiction or mental health issues. The program is intended to help you transition from the treatment setting back into your daily life, reducing the risk of relapse or other adverse outcomes.

Aftercare programs for substance abuse typically include supportive services and resources, such as individual or group counseling, relapse prevention, education and skill building, vocational training, life skills development, and ongoing medical or psychiatric care. These programs can be provided by the treatment facility or a community-based organization and may be offered on an outpatient or residential basis.An aftercare program’s objective is to offer people continuing support and guidance while they face the difficulties of recovery and strive to realize their desires to lead healthy, fulfilling lives. If you’re not sure whether you or a loved one has an addiction problem, you can get in touch for a drug and alcohol assessment at a Virtue Recovery Center near you.

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Do Aftercare Programs Help with Substance Abuse Recovery?

Yes, aftercare programs can be essential to substance abuse recovery and significantly improve your chances of maintaining long-term sobriety. Substance abuse is a chronic condition often requiring ongoing care and support, even after completing a primary treatment program. These programs provide the tools and resources needed to build on the progress you’ve made in treatment.

In addition, they can help you develop healthy coping strategies, strengthen your support systems, and address any ongoing mental health or medical issues, enabling you to work toward your recovery goals.

Research has shown that aftercare resources can improve outcomes for individuals in recovery. In addition, participating in an aftercare program can aid in relapse prevention and prevent hospitalization while increasing social support and engagement in the community.

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Do Aftercare Programs Help with Mental Illness Recovery?

Yes, aftercare services can be a significant source of mental health support for you or your loved one. If your mental illness is a chronic condition requiring ongoing care and support, aftercare programs and family support can help you continue to work towards your recovery goals and maintain your progress.

Aftercare programs can provide various supportive services, such as individual or group therapy, medication management, and vocational training. They can also offer ongoing education and support around mental health issues, helping you to develop healthy coping strategies, manage symptoms, and maintain your overall well-being.

Does Insurance Cover Aftercare Treatment Programs?

Whether or not insurance covers aftercare treatment programs depends on the specific policy and the treatment provider, among other variables. Generally, many insurance plans cover aftercare programs for addiction or mental health issues. However, the extent of coverage and benefits can vary widely. Call 866-461-3339 to verify insurance today.

Under the Affordable Care Act, most insurance plans must cover mental health and substance abuse treatment services, including aftercare programs.

Some aftercare programs may not accept insurance or may require out-of-pocket expenses. In these cases, you may be able to negotiate payment arrangements or seek financial assistance through scholarships or grants from the treatment provider, community, or government organizations.

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Why Is Aftercare Important in Recovery?

Aftercare is vital to recovery as it offers continuous care and tools as you face the difficulties of sobriety maintenance or managing your mental health condition(s). Recovery is a lengthy process, and aftercare supports reinforcing skills and strategies learned during primary treatment while helping you maintain your recovery objectives.

Here are some additional reasons why aftercare is essential to recovery:

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  Difference Between Substance Use and Abuse

How Much Does an Aftercare Treatment Program Cost?

While there are some free aftercare programs for addiction recovery, such as support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, many aftercare programs do have costs associated with them. The cost of aftercare programs can vary widely, depending on the specific program, the level of care needed, and other factors.

Some aftercare programs may be covered by insurance, while others require out-of-pocket expenses. Outpatient programs are typically less expensive than residential programs, as they do not require room and board. For example, sober living homes average out to $1,750 a month.

How to Find Aftercare Treatment Center Near Me

With a number of accredited treatment centers located across several states, Virtue Recovery Center has been saving lives from addiction and substance abuse for years. Our aftercare treatment centers can provide the level of care you or your loved one needs during recovery. Call 866-461-3339 for a free assessment, or feel free to visit one of our brick-and-mortar locations below:

  • Astoria, Oregon: 263 W Exchange St, Astoria, OR 97103, United States
  • Chandler, Arizona: 111 S Hearthstone Way, Chandler, AZ 85226, United States
  • Houston, Texas: 9714 S Gessner Rd, Houston, TX 77071, United States
  • Killeen, Texas: 5200 S W S Young Dr, Killeen, TX 76542, United States
  • Las Vegas, Nevada: 8225 W Robindale Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89113
  • Sun City West, Arizona: 13951 W Meeker Blvd, Sun City West, AZ 85375, United States

Here are a few additional alternatives for nearby aftercare services:

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How Long is Rehabilitaion Treatment?

How Long are Drug and Alcohol Aftercare Programs?

The length of rehabilitation programs vary based on individual needs and the severity of the addiction. Below are some typical recovery treatment timeframes.

Short-term rehab programs

Short-term drug and alcohol rehab is a fast-paced, intensive treatment program for substance abuse, typically lasting up to 30 days, designed to provide immediate intervention and a foundation for ongoing recovery.

Learn more: Short-Term Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs Near Me

30-day rehab programs

A 30-day substance addiction rehab is an intensive, short-term treatment program for substance abuse, designed to provide immediate crisis intervention and a foundation for long-term recovery.

Learn more: 28-Day / 30-Day (1 Month) Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs Near Me

Long-term rehab programs

Long-term drug and alcohol addiction rehab is a comprehensive treatment program for substance abuse, typically lasting several months to a year, designed to provide sustained therapeutic support and life skills training for lasting recovery.

Learn more: Long-Term Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs Near Me

60-day rehab programs

A 60-day substance abuse rehab is an extended treatment program for substance abuse, providing comprehensive therapy and support to foster sustained recovery and prevent relapse.

Learn more: 60-Day (2-Month) Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Addiction Rehab Centers Near Me

90-day rehab programs

A 90-day alcohol and drug rehab is a long-term, intensive treatment program for substance abuse, designed to provide in-depth therapy and support to help individuals achieve lasting recovery.

Learn more: 90-Day (3-Month) Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs Near Me

Start your recovery right away.

Start your recovery right away. Contact Virtue Recovery Center at 866-828-7521 to find a treatment program near you.

Addiction Aftercare Program Process and Schedule

The addiction aftercare process provides ongoing support and guidance, assisting you with staying on track with your treatment goals and maintaining long-term sobriety. The specifics of an aftercare plan for substance abuse vary depending on your personalized aftercare needs and preferences. Still, the overall goal is to provide a comprehensive approach to recovery that addresses all aspects of your life.

Below is a general outline of what you can expect from an addiction aftercare program:

  • Pre-discharge planning: A pre-discharge plan is created to identify your aftercare requirements and objectives before completing a primary treatment program. This plan may consist of directing you to community resources and support groups and providing recommendations for ongoing treatment.
  • Ongoing counseling and therapy: Once a treatment program is completed, many people opt for continuing counseling and therapy on an outpatient basis. Depending on your specific needs and preferences, this may include individual, group, or family therapy.
  • Support groups: Participating in peer support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can provide you with valuable ongoing support and accountability. These groups are often incorporated into aftercare plans, and many attend them regularly.
  • Education and Skill Building: Aftercare programs may provide educational sessions covering topics like stress management, coping skills, relapse prevention, nutrition, and exercise. These sessions aim to equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary for sustaining sobriety.
  • Medication management: Aftercare planning may include administering medication to treat cravings or other signs of addiction or mental illness. It's critical to make sure you are taking your medications as directed and that any adverse effects or interactions are being watched for.
  • Lifestyle changes: To ensure proper aftercare, it's crucial to implement lifestyle changes like steering clear of triggers, cultivating healthy habits, and establishing a support system. This may entail collaborating with a case manager or counselor to pinpoint areas where modifications can be implemented and devising a plan to execute those changes.
  • Ongoing monitoring and relapse prevention: During the aftercare process, your progress is closely observed to ensure you meet your recovery goals. You’ll also work on creating and practicing strategies to prevent relapse, such as recognizing signs of a potential relapse, learning coping mechanisms, and having a plan in case a relapse does occur.
  • Family Support: Family counseling and support can be crucial to recovery. Programs may provide family education and assistance to assist relatives in understanding addiction and learning how to aid in the recovery process.
Some Statistics and Information About Aftercare

Some Statistics and Information About Aftercare

  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that the relapse rate for substance dependence is between 40 to 60%.[i]
  • Relapse does not mean treatment failed, though it can be dangerous, which is one of the main reasons continuing care is so important.
  • According to a 2016 Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, 12-step programs are more successful than other methods in treatment facilities.[ii]
  • Participants living with their peers or in a conflict-ridden household were likelier to relapse.[iii]
  • Those who participate in medication-assisted treatment for three years or longer experience fewer relapses than those who do so for less than three years.[iv]
  • One study indicated that one year after treatment, those who regularly attended 12-step meetings spent 80% of their days sober, while 19% did not drink at all.[v]
  • Over the past 20 years, studies have shown that guiding patients in addiction treatment through phases of continuous care as they recover helps maintain successful outcomes for long-term recovery.[vi]
  • Another study revealed that just 34% of those who did not attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) were clean after 16 years, compared to 67% of those who attended 27 weeks of AA.
  • Compared to the success rates of therapies for other chronic conditions, including asthma and hypertension, treatment decreases drug use by 40% - 60%.[vii]

Patients undergoing an aftercare program for more than 30 days had a success rate of 84.2%. In contrast, those treated for less than 30 days had a success rate of 54.7%, with no statistically significant difference in treatment results across addiction types.[viii]

Sources and Citations
  1. McKay, James. “Continuing Care Research: What We Have Learned and Where We Are Going.” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, vol. 36, no. 2, Elsevier BV, Mar. 2009, pp. 131–45.
  2. “Affordable Care Act (ACA) - Glossary.”, Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
  3. Stilkind, Joseph. “Average Cost of Drug Rehab [2023]: By Type, State and More.” NCDAS, 1 Jan. 2023,
  4. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. “A.A. Around The World.” Alcoholics Anonymous, Accessed 19 Apr. 2023.
  5. “Welcome to” Narcotics Anonymous, Accessed 24 Apr. 2023.
  6. SMART Recovery. “SMART Recovery.” SMART Recovery, 12 May 2023,
  7. “Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction: Treatment and Recovery.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, June 2020,
  8. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. “Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.”, Accessed 13 May 2023.
  9. Kabisa, Eric, et al. “Determinants and Prevalence of Relapse Among Patients With Substance Use Disorders: Case of Icyizere Psychotherapeutic Centre.” Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention and Policy, vol. 16, no. 1, BioMed Central, Feb. 2021,
  10. US Department of Health and Human Services. “EARLY INTERVENTION, TREATMENT, AND MANAGEMENT OF SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS.” Facing Addiction in America - NCBI Bookshelf, 1 Nov. 2016,
  11. Arkowitz, Hal, and Scott O. Lilienfeld. “Does Alcoholics Anonymous Work?” Scientific American Mind, vol. 22, no. 1, Springer Nature, Mar. 2011, pp. 64–65.
  12. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. “Continuing Care Research: What We Have Learned and Where We Are Going.” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, vol. 36, no. 2, Elsevier BV, Mar. 2009, pp. 131–45.
  13. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition).” National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Jan. 2018,
  14. Mohammad, Akikur, et al. “Addiction Treatment Aftercare Outcome Study.” Open Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 07, no. 01, Scientific Research Publishing, Jan. 2017, pp. 51–60.
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