Kwababa generally focuses on top quality establishments offering accommodation to our clients and subscribers visiting the Kwazulu Natal region. Recently however, I learned first hand from a Cape Town family member, the difficulties in finding adequate and safe accomodation experienced by those who are trying to recover from addiction. I probably would remain oblivious to these facts had it not been for my recent discussion. A close family relative of mine is in recovery after suffering from alcohol and drug addiction for many years. After leaving the sanctity of the treatment centre where he had been staying for 3 months, he now found himself somewhat cautious of re-entering society. Finding safe and comfortable accommodation was a priority for him. After some searching he eventually managed to locate an establishment ideal for sober living Cape Town that was perfect for him.
The recovery from an addiction and the treatment does not stop, aftercare options should be a continual process. Recovery takes place from the initial 4-6 week treatment programme and goes beyond this to last a lifetime. The steps taken after going to treatment are extremely important as this will be the difference in staying clean and sober or relapsing.
The main idea of the aftercare programme is to help prevent a relapse from happening. The actual aftercare treatment can vary and depends on the individual. Everybody who suffers from an addiction needs the extra support in every day circumstances; an aftercare programme can provide this.
The aftercare benefits include:
• The aftercare programme is there to provide support, guidance and counselling. Helping in recovery to prevent any relapses that might occur.
• Provides a support system of individuals who are going through the same problems. Each of these individuals can hold each other accountable and can share their experiences with each other.
• Going to aftercare can give a sense of belonging in a community.
• Those that have been through recovery longer can offer advice and support to those who are in the earlier stages of recovery.
• Many of the aftercare recovery institutions are available all day to those in need. There is also a new way of connection and support using online methods.
Creating the correct aftercare plan needs to be tailored to each person, taking into account where they live, their community and each individuals personal needs. The right plan in place will ensure a successful recovery.
The basic steps that each aftercare programme has:
• A person must be involved in on-going therapy sessions.
• Learn to identify what triggers the need to return to taking drugs or alcohol. The person can then learn how to cope with these issues more successfully.
• Following an aftercare programme can also help the person to cope with stress and handle any cravings that may occur.
• Sometimes there is a relapse, but creating a plan for such occurrences can reduce the risk of a more serious and total relapse.
Aftercare plans can include:
• Weekly group meetings with a therapist. Offering a safe place to share experiences and also to hear others struggling with similar problems. These therapy sessions can help people with addictions realize that they are not alone.
• Individual therapy treatment is also important to focus on specific needs and problems
• Assisted living: Some people who have finished their initial treatment programme might not have a home or job to return to. Some may even feel unprepared to return to the outside world. There are some places available where the person recovering can stay, a home-like environment where there is supervision provided. There are usually therapists or doctors available immediately and support is there at a moment’s notice. Affordable accommodation, providing workshops, important life skills and help in gaining employment are important for a successful transition back into society. Having spent 3 months already in drug rehabilitation centres in Cape Town, my relative was already participating in an aftercare programme.
• It is also important to have a sponsor and to regularly have meetings together.
• Outpatient treatment: This is a centre that provides assistance to those who work or attend school. This option is more for those whose condition has been assessed and are considered stable enough.
• There are also meetings and groups for loved ones and family members. The meetings can offer a safe place to get together and share experiences and to also offer the necessary support.
Addiction recovery is a lifelong commitment and aftercare programmes are very important. The programme offers a way for each individual to achieve sobriety and maintain a clean and healthy lifestyle. The road to recovery is long and requires a lot of hard work, but each day of success is a step closer to a more happy and healthy life.