Detoxification from drugs and alcohol, and then formal treatment, both in a residential inpatient and then outpatient setting, provides a great start to a clean and sober life. The work that is done during formal treatment lays the foundation for a new start and new outlook that starts your road to recovery. From there though, sustaining the work that you have done, and continuing to make decisions that keep you clean and sober takes work. Developing life skills through recovery is vital in continuing to live life to its fullest.
Extended Care Recovery
Extended care generally refers to programs that are offered when residential inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment programs have ended. To bridge the gap between continuous monitored and accountability, and the exposure to the life you knew before getting clean and sober, there are programs that provide structure but offer more self-accountability.
Extended care, or continuing care, programs offer meetings a few nights each week. Depending upon the structure, you may have requirements for Twelve Step participation as well. To have even more structure, you can participate in a formal extended care recovery, like the one offered through out the country. For ninety days, you live at the recovery center’s and live by their rules. Each week clients are tested for drugs and alcohol at random.
With two individual and two group therapy sessions each week plus a daily process group, the real-time emotional processing work that you became accustomed to in residential and outpatient treatment continues. The daily process group and group therapy sessions allow you to bounce ideas off of your peers, and to express your struggle with staying sober each day with a group of men who understand exactly what you are going through. Your individual therapy sessions provide the time to dig deeper into what you can do each day to stay sober, based on your individual background and set of needs.
Twelve Step Programs Can Help
Twelve Step meetings are a component of extended care recovery program as well. Developing life skills through recovery with a consistent fellowship of supportive sober peers is beneficial. Learning how to form real, meaningful relationships with others aids your ability to reach out when you have the urge to drink or use. Each client is expected to find a sponsor and to form an extended sober family with those he meets at meetings and at other sober events in the community.
Recovery school is also a beneficial part of some extended care recovery program. Weekly recovery life skills assessments, with measurable performance standards, provide each program resident with a gauge on his recovery progress. Weekly extensive activity programs, including athletics, vocational skills, outdoor recreation, music, and more, allow clients to have fun, test their abilities, push themselves to new limits, and explore their creativity. During what is still considered early recovery, it is important to develop life skills that enhance self-esteem, self-worth, and self-reliance.
Clients And Residents
Clients and residents of extended care recovery program can also participate in educational classes that are transferrable for college credit. While making sure they stay clean and sober, a young man in the program can also further his education.
Participation in community outreach is required often times. Giving back helps instill a sense of purpose that the clients may not have felt before.
Toward the end of the ninety day program, the family members of each client are often invited to the facilities to be involved in an intensive workshop focused on addressing the emotional, educational, and developmental needs of their family member during each step of recovery, and to ensure their understanding of the effects the client’s addiction has had on everyone involved. Developing life skills through an extended care program offers a prior addict or alcoholic a much better chance at a sustainable life in recovery from drugs and alcohol.
Rebecca Berg is the business development associate for Shadow Mountain Recovery , an addiciton treatment center for young men with locations in Taos, New Mexico and Denver, Colorado.