Patients Who Engage in Addiction Aftercare Programs More Likely To Remain Sober
A new study published in the Open Journal of Psychiatry concluded that patients who were more willing to participate in activities related to their aftercare recovery were also most likely to be successful in sustaining sobriety.
In the study, researchers examined a year-long aftercare treatment plan that began after patients were discharged from an addiction treatment center. During this time, calls were made monthly to the former patients by the center staff. These patients were asked about treatment efficacy, if they had continued to avoid substance use, and to what extent they were adhering to their aftercare plan.
A complete recovery program necessitates collaboration between the addiction center staff and interactions with patients who have been discharged from the plan. The ultimate goal is a seamless transfer from rehab to a sober and independent lifestyle. Moreover, these programs are more likely to be successful when clients engage in planning their aftercare treatment schedule.
To participate, clients were required to answer the phone and respond to questions honestly. However, researchers found that some did not consistently answer the phone.
To account for this, researchers split the participants into two categories. One, clients who answered every time and appeared to answer honestly and without hesitation that they had not been using substances. These clients were considered successful, while all other clients were considered less than successful.
Researchers posited that certain behaviors held value for predicting whether a client would successfully complete recovery, and sought to identify those who were at a heightened risk for relapse. They found that clients who did not answer the phone for scheduled interviews on three or more occasions were most likely to experience a relapse.
Therefore, they also concluded that aftercare treatment (including follow-up calls) may assist in identifying clients who face the highest risk of relapse.
Ultimately, the study found that clients who continued to engage in aftercare activities had an advantage regarding recovery maintenance. Those who did not participate, on the other hand, were more vulnerable to relapse and would require additional support.