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The Importance of Aftercare following Cocaine Rehab

Anyone who’s successfully completed cocaine rehab well knows the hard work and determination required to see it through. Whether completing a detox, inpatient or residential treatment program, each stage of recovery requires an all-out effort.

Cocaine addictions in particular can leave lasting effects in a person’s life, most of which have to do with the psychological impact long-term cocaine use can have. For these reasons, ongoing aftercare treatment becomes an essential part of the cocaine rehab process.

News reports about celebrities who’ve relapsed after remaining drug-free for years offer a clear-cut example of how important aftercare can be once a person completes cocaine rehab treatment. Cocaine rehab enables addicts to stay engaged in the recovery process while at the same time developing much needed relapse prevention skills for day-to-day living.

Cocaine’s Addictive Aftereffects

Overcoming the body’s physical dependency on cocaine is barely half the battle when it comes to breaking the drug’s hold over a person’s life. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an addiction to cocaine takes root when a person becomes psychologically dependent on the drug’s effects.

During the course of using cocaine, the drug taps into the brain’s learning or reward system where a person’s motivations are formed. Psychological dependency stems from cocaine’s effects on the brain’s reward system. People who have a psychological dependency actually believe they need the drug to cope with daily life.

Cocaine’s effects on this system alter a person’s overall beliefs, motivations and patterns of thinking to the point where everything begins and ends with cocaine. Without ongoing aftercare treatment, any efforts made while in cocaine rehab can quickly go up in smoke when life’s pressures trigger cocaine’s aftereffects within the brain’s reward system.

Relapse Prevention Training

cocaine recovery

Aftercare helps in relapse prevention.

The overall goal of cocaine rehab works to keep recovering addicts from relapsing. The risk of relapse runs high for people in recovery, so cocaine rehab aftercare treatment places a heavy emphasis on relapse prevention training.

According to Alcohol Research & Health, relapse prevention training provides a person with the following tools and techniques –

  • Stress management tools
  • Identifying cues that trigger the urge to use, such as certain people, places and activities
  • Developing other interests and hobbies that are enjoyable and/or relaxing
  • Asking for help when the urge to use becomes overwhelming
  • Cultivating friendships with like-minded people

Without the guidance and support offered by cocaine rehab aftercare programs, a person is left to face difficult times on his or her own. The likelihood of relapse increases exponentially under these circumstances.

Aftercare Treatment Options

As no two people experience addiction in the same way, cocaine rehab programs provide the types of treatment that best meet a person’s individual treatment needs. Likewise, cocaine rehab aftercare treatment should correspond with a person’s individual treatment needs.

Aftercare treatment options can vary in terms of treatment type and treatment duration. Aftercare services may include –

  • Medication therapies
  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Sober living housing environments
  • Family/relationship counseling
  • 12-Step support group meetings

Any treatment program worth its salt will include aftercare planning as part of its program offerings. Ultimately, following through on an aftercare plan becomes just as important as completing the actual drug treatment program.