There are many sayings about how we should live our lives. These include “Life is short, make the most of it,” ”Tomorrow is never promised,” and “There is no finish line.” A saying that may be most relevant to recovery is “Life is about the journey, not the destination.” Recovery is a process. It is about the long game rather than only the short one. This is why creating a recovery plan after treatment is so important.
The Importance of Long-Term Recovery Over Short-Term “Fixes”
Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we don’t believe in short-term “fixes” when it comes to recovery. Quick fixes simply don’t hold, and that means they can lead to either slipping back into emotional dismay or relapsing.
Now, this does not mean that we don’t believe in short-term gains. We believe in making progress and accomplishments every day. The difference is that we don’t stop there. Those short-term gains are a part of a long-term plan of recovery that endures treatment.
Setting up a Recovery Plan Before Leaving Treatment
When treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) is finished, it’s important to implement a recovery plan. Without a comprehensive plan, relapse is much more likely. Many people are not aware of how high relapse rates currently are. This includes relapses during treatment and after leaving treatment.
According to the peer-reviewed journal, Middle East Current Psychiatry, “Relapse in SUD is widespread; it refers to a failure in a person’s attempt to change substance use behaviors, such as returning to pre-treatment drinking levels or continuing to use substances after a period of sobriety.” The journal article also notes that “Relapse rates after treatment have been shown in other studies to be as high as 40–75% in the three weeks to six months following treatment.” This is why setting up a recovery plan while still in treatment is so vital.
Most likely, any effective recovery plan will include detailed instructions to follow after a client or student leaves the treatment center. It is best that this recovery plan for after treatment is created while in residence because there are doctors in close proximity who can help make any amendments to the plan based on progress or regression. However, the plan must also be manageable enough for the individual and their family to maintain it after leaving treatment.
Maintaining a Recovery Plan After Treatment
A post-treatment recovery plan is primarily about action. The plan has already been set, now it is just a matter of doing the work that is written on the page.
This work may include continuing therapy after treatment, which may be individual, group, family, or a combination of all three types of therapies. The plan should also include connecting with a recovery community and creating a sober network.
Perhaps the most common example of this is finding a 12-Step program, obtaining phone numbers, and making connections at recovery meetings. These connections can be invaluable after treatment because making a phone call can be the difference between a relapse and continued recovery. However, even with the best plans, sometimes things don’t go as smoothly as we would like.
What to Do if a Recovery Plan After Treatment Isn’t Working
It is important to remember that not all recovery plans after treatment are going to work as planned. That is okay. The key is to recognize that something isn’t working and make adjustments as needed until something starts clicking.
Perhaps a new therapist or a new type of therapy is the answer. Maybe becoming more active in a recovery community and doing service work is the answer. Whatever that answer may be, it is important to find it, because, without a solid plan, a relapse could throw a wrench into everything.
Incorporating a Relapse Prevention Plan Into a Recovery Plan After Treatment
Making sure that relapse prevention is part of a recovery plan after treatment is important for success. Relapse prevention has to do with being open and honest about any feelings regarding drinking or using. When these feelings arise, a relapse prevention plan can go into effect.
This may include getting in touch with a sponsor if we are part of a 12-Step community. Relapse prevention measures can also involve calling and scheduling an urgent meeting with a therapist. Alternatively, it may simply mean staying in a safe location with people who are going to ensure that nothing triggering enters the picture that may exacerbate the situation. Ultimately a relapse prevention plan can ensure that the overall recovery plan stays effective and on course.
Setting Long-Term Recovery Goals With Clearview Girls Academy
Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we like to say that we light the path of our students’ recovery. Now, that light does not stop just because a student leaves our recovery center.
Yes, we light their path. However, we also give them the tools to carry that light on their own as they continue down that path of their best destiny.
Recovery is not about a short-term “fix.” Instead, it is about the long-term journey. There are many things that parents can do to keep their daughters on the right path of recovery after they leave a treatment center. This includes establishing boundaries and sticking to them. This also includes keeping an open line of communication so that everyone in the family can feel safe in expressing the emotions they are feeling. If you feel like your daughter may be struggling with life-controlling issues, mental health, or both, we can help. For more information on setting up and maintaining a recovery plan after treatment, please reach out to Clearview Girls Academy today at (888) 796-5484.