Addiction specialists and healthcare providers often refer to the recovery process as a journey. This journey is invariably made in stages. The initial stage of substance addiction recovery is often the most intense part of the process. It typically involves medical detox and intensive inpatient therapy. While some individuals do choose to leave rehab and return to their lives, others are learning that there are immense benefits to gradually transitioning back to one’s life. By engaging in outpatient therapy or transitioning from inpatient therapy to a structured sober living community, individuals can enhance their recovery journey and greatly reduce their risk of relapse.

Continuum of Care

Going from intensive addiction treatment to none is an abrupt change that isn’t likely to enhance the recovery experience. Intensive inpatient treatment is highly structured. Patients spend a considerable part of each day focusing on their recovery. By transitioning to outpatient therapy or sober living, individuals will spend less time in therapy, but still be have the support of therapists as they work to make necessary changes in their lives. Too often, people leave rehab and return straight back to their old lifestyles. In these situations, relapse is very nearly a given.

Create New Peer Groups

During inpatient treatment, patients spend some time in group therapy, but may be more intensely focused on their individual sessions with therapists. By transitioning to a sober living community, these individuals can spend more time with people who are striving to manage their addictions too. They can share experiences and support one another in a more real-world context than what is typically experienced within the safe rehab setting. Creating a new peer support group can help prevent people from returning to unhealthy social circles that detract from the recovery process.

Connected to Resources

When someone leaves rehab and returns straight back to their former life, they might feel abruptly cut off from the resources and help that had in the inpatient setting. By transitioning to structured sober living, these individuals still enjoy access to helpful resources that support the recovery journey. These resources might include a sponsor, mentor, or counselor. Their presence during the initial months after rehab can help individuals keep relapse at bay.

Recovery often occurs in stages and takes time. It makes sense for people to transition from intensive support to less intensive support before transitioning back to everyday life. If you have questions about aftercare solutions, be sure to discuss them with your addiction treatment center.