Aftercare shouldn’t be an afterthought. It’s a vital component of long-lasting recovery. It helps people in recovery transition out of the safety and security of full-time care and gain firm footing as they start their independent journey through sober life.
Studies show that continuing with regular aftercare — whether it’s a specialty program, support group meetings or mental health counseling — significantly improves long-term patient outcomes and lowers risk of relapse. But when patients leave treatment to return home or move away, it can be difficult for providers to ensure that everyone follows through with their recommended aftercare plan.
At Recovery Ways, we’re rethinking aftercare to ensure that our clients have access to effective programming no matter where they go when they leave our walls. Our Virtual Aftercare Program takes advantage of our technological age to deliver aftercare directly to our clients and allow them to easily stay in touch. With this cutting-edge new program, we can improve aftercare consistency and in turn improve our patients’ long-term outcomes.
What is Aftercare?
Aftercare programs exist to help you succeed beyond recovery treatment. After struggling with addiction, navigating everyday life can feel foreign and confusing. Aftercare can alleviate some of the stresses that come with the transition out of treatment, and can offer you a safe space to talk about the unique challenges of addiction recovery. Whether you need a place to talk about your day from a recovery perspective, a place where you can talk freely about your past or a place to get and share advice about work or school, an aftercare program can provide the environment you want.
When you graduate from a treatment program at Recovery Ways, our team works with you to find an aftercare program that makes sense for your needs. In some cases, we recommend continuing treatment with a partial day or intensive outpatient program. For others, we may help you find a regular mental health counselor to visit for individual therapy sessions. But we also offer own group model aftercare programs for clients who want to stay in touch. Our aftercare focuses on the following factors:
With these priorities in mind, our aftercare programs can keep our clients on track, continue to teach them best recovery practices and give them a reliable, welcoming place to go when they need support. And, we can improve our quality of care as we learn about the challenges and successes that our clients experience in their lives post-treatment.
Have you completed treatment and want a fun sober community?
If you have completed addiction treatment at Recovery Ways and want to grow your sober network, you can join our Alumni Program. Join others who have completed treatment and are living great lives in recovery.
Why Our Outcomes Matter
In much of the recovery industry, patient outcomes — the successes of their recovery treatment — are measured informally. Typically, a representative from a recovery center will reach out to program alumni by phone or email. Alumni are asked questions about their recovery, such as whether they have relapsed since leaving treatment, if they have re-entered a treatment program or if they are continuing to see a therapist or attend group meetings. Centers use alumni responses to form statistics about their outcomes. But there are clear pitfalls here — first, not every alumni picks up the phone or responds to an email. Second, self-reported statistics are unreliable, particularly since alumni may not want to admit that they’ve relapsed or stopped attending meetings.
But when alumni return home or move away after treatment, it’s understandably difficult to keep accurate tabs. Most recovery centers don’t have structures in place to offer aftercare to every client, and can’t ensure that they remain accountable for their sobriety. At Recovery Ways, we are working to change this with Virtual Aftercare. With video conferencing technology, we can keep our clients connected with us and with one another no matter where they go.
Virtual Aftercare at Recovery Ways
Our Virtual Aftercare Program is changing the way we engage our alumni in aftercare. This innovative program is a six-month, remotely accessible group-based aftercare program that utilizes Zoom video conferencing technology. We make face-to-face contact with our alumni rather than relying on calls and emails, and we create virtual support groups so alumni can keep in touch with their peers from Recovery Ways — all at no extra cost to our clients.
Each group is composed of approximately 15 clients from the same graduating group — clients who completed treatment at Recovery Ways together will be invited to the same group. Since the experience of going through treatment forms a strong emotional bond, it’s incredibly helpful for our clients to stay in touch with each other through Virtual Aftercare. Not only can participants feel at ease right away, but the support gleaned from a group of familiar people is more personalized and more productive and improves a sense of accountability.
Groups sign in to our video conferencing software at their set time and day(s) of the week (clients are encouraged to participate at least once per week). The sessions are peer-led; in the first three months, sessions are overseen by certified peer specialists, and in the last three months by an alumni coordinator. The regular, face-to-face contact allows us to establish strong bonds with our alumni, encouraging them to come to us if they ever need extra support or help no matter where their life may have taken them after treatment.
In summary, our Virtual Aftercare Program includes:
- Six months of group meetings
- Minimum once per week commitment
- No extra cost
- Ease of access to virtual meetings
- Peer-led group talk sessions
- Continued contact with peers from treatment
Virtual Aftercare is available for Recovery Ways clients who graduate from any of our offered levels of care, including residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment and partial day treatment. If our Virtual Aftercare Program is right for you, we will ensure that you have everything you need to get started when you leave our programs. Your group sessions will begin within two weeks after graduation.
Contact Recovery Ways
Recovery Ways provides personal, forward-thinking addiction treatment for men, women and young adults. Our facilities are located in Salt Lake City, Utah — though we welcome clients from across the country and beyond. If you or your loved one is seeking the kind of care that will set them up for long-term success, Recovery Ways might be right for you. Contact us today to find out more about our programs, levels of care and admissions process. We can be reached by phone at 1-888-986-7848 or by email at email@example.com.
For more information please email Matt Mcbrier, Alumni Director firstname.lastname@example.org