If you have recently undergone inpatient drug rehab, then you probably have a lot of questions. What will life be like now that my heroin treatment is over? Will returning home mean returning to bad habits? How can I make sure that I stay sober?
If you are struggling with any of these questions, then don’t worry; we’re here to help.
This article contains information about various heroin treatment options that can help you stay on track in the first few weeks, and months, of recovery.
Why is Aftercare Important for Heroin Treatment?
Aftercare takes place after detox and treatment. It can come in many forms, all of which are effective. However, the combination of methods that will help you stay sober depends entirely on your personal preferences.
In other words, aftercare, like rehab, is only truly effective if it is tailored to a patient’s recovery needs.
Different Aftercare Options
For those who have access to health insurance benefits, you can explore a variety of aftercare options offered through any rehab facility that accepts your plan.
If you don’t have access to health insurance benefits, that’s okay too. Many aftercare options are available for free to those that need them.
As long as you have the willingness to stay away from heroin, resources will always be available.
Outpatient treatment is a level of care that generally comes after inpatient care but before aftercare. However, some people in recovery view outpatient care as the stepping stone to aftercare and, eventually, long-term sobriety.
Unlike the other forms of addiction care, which focus solely on you, outpatient programs usually focus on group therapy. You, along with others in recovery, will work together in a group setting to share experiences, offer support, and receive insight from a professional counselor.
Sharing the struggles that you may be facing isn’t always something you may feel comfortable doing with people who are not in recovery— even if they are friends or family. After all, people who haven’t experienced drug addiction may not fully understand the difficulties of early sobriety.
Working with a group can help you in many ways. During your group sessions, you’ll work on processing your new world. This can include dealing with your past, making amends, and working the 12 steps.
Plus, counselors who lead group therapy sessions have experience helping patients through early recovery. Your counselor will help steer you and the group towards constructive interaction and provide available resources to those who may need additional help.
Narcotics Anonymous Meetings
Narcotics Anonymous is a free program available to anyone who wants to participate. Traditionally, there are two types of meetings: ‘open meetings’ and ‘closed meetings.’
Open meetings are available to anyone who wishes to attend. Even active heroin users are welcome to participate. According to NA.org:
An open meeting is an NA meeting that may be attended by anyone (e.g., judges, probation officers, professionals, family members) interested in how we have found recovery from the disease of addiction. Verbal participation, however, is limited to NA members only.WORLD SERVICE BOARD OF TRUSTEES BULLETIN #15
Closed meetings, however, are open to anyone who is serious about getting or staying sober. The website specifies that:
A closed meeting in Narcotics Anonymous is for those individuals who identify themselves as addicts or for those who are uncertain and think they might have a drug problem. A closed Narcotics Anonymous meeting provides a freedom that is necessary for more personal and intimate sharing by Narcotics Anonymous members. It does so by providing an atmosphere in which addicts can feel more certain that those attending will be able to identify with them, and share their own experience, strength, and hope.WORLD SERVICE BOARD OF TRUSTEES BULLETIN #15
Narcotics Anonymous Meetings are free and available across the U.S. If you’ve never been to a meeting before, then be prepared to learn just how many groups are active in your area.
Sponsorships are a large part of both of the aftercare options listed above. In fact, working with a sponsor is one of the best ways to ensure that you stay sober during the early stages of your recovery.
A sponsor is someone who is also in recovery that has completed the 12 steps. Working the steps with someone who has already conquered them will not only ensure your sobriety but also help you reestablish relationships and move forward in your new, sober life.
Selecting the Right Program for You
There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding which aftercare program to do during your recovery. For instance, the traveling distance to the program from home may sway your opinion of which program to choose.
If you attended an inpatient heroin rehab facility within reasonable commuting distance from your home, then it may make sense to do an outpatient or aftercare program at the same facility.
Choosing the same location where you first received treatment has a lot of benefits. You’ll be working with people you are familiar with, and you will be close to home.
Plus, if you enjoyed working with the counselors that helped you during your inpatient stay, returning for outpatient care and then aftercare would be a great opportunity to stay connected.
Alternatively, if you received inpatient treatment at a facility that is too far for you to commute to on a regular basis (e.g., if you attended inpatient rehab at an out-of-state facility), then be sure to look into local options.
You can always ask your rehab counselor to help you select the best aftercare option in your current location.
Any Additional Questions?
Now that you’ve learned about the various heroin treatment options available to you, it’s time to move forward. Giving up heroin use is no easy feat, but it is leaps and bounds better than the alternative.