Addiction Recovery: Top 5 Reasons Why You Need An Aftercare Plan


They say there are no graduation for an addict. There will be no pull-stop to stay clean and sober. We have to be careful throughout our life coz relapse can happen even after 20 years living life without addiction. I have a friend who goes to that phase who eventually died of AIDS even after staying clean and sober for 18 years. During that times, he pick-up his lost life and made a fortune. He got married to a lovely girl, then all of a sudden he started using again. The saying, one is too many, a thousand is never enough held true in his case.

Whatever posts I published are not only for my faithful readers but are also for me. By reading the posts, I'm actually reminding and advising myself not to fall down again. I'm also grateful for my recovery friends listed in My Sacred Links for reminding me too. Here are two articles about aftercare plan. Enjoy reading.......

Addiction Recovery: Top 5 Reasons Why You Need An Aftercare Plan.

If you have a desire to recover from the disease of addiction, you must take certain steps to increase your chances of long-term recovery. Residential treatment is a great place to start you on your road to recovery. Program lengths may vary from 30 days to several months. If you have just returned home from a treatment centre, it is imperative that you have an after care plan and follow it 100%. Below are the top 5 reasons why you must follow your after care plan:

1. You are 100% responsible for your own recovery -- Nobody else can do it for you!
You have the ultimate responsibility of staying clean and sober. Since it is your responsibility, the best way to ensure long-term success is to have an after care plan. An after care plan is a series of tasks you must complete each day to increase your chances of long term sobriety. Some examples of aftercare tasks include going to meetings, calling your sponsor and performing exercise regularly.

2. New behaviors, attitudes and skills require practice
The skills, knowledge and attitudes learned at your residential treatment program are still somewhat new to you. If have learned how to share your feeling with others and ask for help, it is important for you to keep on practicing these skills. Do you know of any professional athletes who do not practice skills in between games and in the off season? Keep practicing the skills, attitudes and knowledge you acquired at the treatment centre and make that part of your after care plan.

3. Old behaviors will quickly return unless you have new behaviors to replace them
Have you been visiting the local bar or liquor store after work on a regular basis for the past 30 years? If so, it is an excellent idea to plan another healthy activity to take its place. Try walking in the park, going to the gym or visiting a friend in recovery instead. Old habits do not die easily or quickly. Draw up a list of the rituals you had when you were actively addicted. Replace the unhealthy old behaviors with healthier new behaviors. Be creative, have fun and ask for help from your recovery friends.

4. You are setting a good example for your peers and for society
It is an absolute gift to be able to recover from the life threatening illness of addiction. If your peers see you working hard on your recovery program, they can use that as an example to work hard on their recovery programs. If the people in your community see you as an active healthy person, it demonstrates that there is plenty of hope for those still suffering! If you want to set a good example for your peers and for society, you must follow a regimented and thoughtful aftercare plan.

5. Your disease will always be waiting for you
The only possible chance you have of remaining clean and sober is through consistent practice of healthy habits. Don’t be tempted to check out your former bar to see how the old gang is doing. Do you really think that anybody who walks into a brothel in the red light district is remotely interested in learning how to dance? Do most people who go to the bar sip on a soft drink all night? Remember that your disease is always waiting for you. Don’t let the door open even a crack.

Although there are countless other reasons that can be added, those are my top 5 reasons why you need an aftercare plan. If you honestly follow your after care plan to the best of your ability, your chances of recovery will increase dramatically. It has often been said that “the worst day in sobriety is still much better than the best day of addiction.”


Addiction Recovery: Ten Simple Steps to a Strong Aftercare Plan

In the last article, I discussed why it is imperative to have an aftercare plan to help you recover from addiction. So, what needs to be included in your aftercare plan?
My friend Donny has graciously given me permission to reprint his aftercare plan. He has over seven years of sobriety to his credit and still follows this plan to this very date.

1. I will attend 3 AA meetings each week.
How many 12 step meetings do you think you require? If you are unsure, ask your sponsor. In early sobriety, it is often necessary to attend meetings on a daily basis.

2. I will call my sponsor once a week.
Remember your sponsor is your mentor. He has experienced the agony, obstacles and unexpected twists and turns in his own recovery. Call him often and tell him honestly how you are feeling and the problems you are facing. The chances are very likely that he has experienced the same thing and can offer help.

3. I will attend the aftercare program from my treatment centre each Tuesday.
If your treatment centre does not offer any such program, seek out a 12 step study group or equivalent.

4. I will make 3 phone calls a week to recovery people.
It is extremely important to keep in contact with your recovery peers. You are helping each other keep clean and sober. You need to keep reminding each other to keep on working your program. You are going to have plenty of bad days, but always remember that you don’t have to suffer alone! Pick up the phone even if it weighs a thousand pounds!

5. I will eat 3 meals a day
Daily nutrition is part of your overall recovery program. Unless you are properly nourished, it is impossible to think or act properly. At the very least, make sure that you eat 3 meals a day.

6. I will read my meditation book on a daily basis.
You have to feed your mind and your spirit as well as your body. A great way to feed your mind and spirit is by reading a short passage from one of the many inspirational daily meditation books that are available. It is a great way to start your day.

7. I will make my bed daily to remind myself that I am in recovery
Pick a simple daily task such as making your bed to remind yourself that you are in recovery. Simple daily reminders are essential and will help strengthen your recovery program.

8. I will exercise 3-4 times per week.
Recovery from addiction involves the mind, body and spirit. Physical fitness plays a huge role in the recovery from addiction but it is often minimized and deemed as unimportant. Regular exercise releases “endorphins” the body’s natural feel good biochemical compounds. Make sure that you exercise regularly and that it is in balance with rest of your recovery program.

9. I will spend 20 minutes a day quietly in meditation.
Life can often become overwhelming and stressful. An effective way to help calm your stressed body is by sitting quietly or meditating for 20 – 30 minutes daily. There are numerous ways to meditate. “Google” meditation and find a way that works for you.

10. I will read my aftercare plan daily each morning to make sure I am following it.

Be accountable to following your aftercare plan. The easiest way is by making a check list and examining it daily.

If you sincerely desire long-term sobriety, it is crucial that you follow through with your aftercare plan.

Live a life of freedom and love.

Do it now!

Dr. Larry Smith Chiropractor and Author of:

Embrace the Journey of Recovery: From Tragedy to Triumph!

Are You Recovering From Alcohol or Drug Addiction?

“If your answer is yes, then this book is for you!”

Embrace the Journey of Recovery will passionately reignite your spirit and teach you how to confront, conquer and powerfully triumph over addiction, cancer or any other life threatening illness! Is addiction a genuine life threatening illness like cancer? If so, then why is it concealed behind a wall of shame and denial?

Discover the answer and experience the remarkable story of two courageous yet ordinary individuals and their astonishing recoveries from heartbreaking tragedy. Find out how a cancer survivor and an alcoholic mutually support each other and passionately embrace the journey of recovery.

Their message is simple. They transformed their lives and you can too!

To find out more about this exciting new book click here:

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1 Comment thus far...

Shadow said...

it's great to read your posts. reminders are soooo important. p.s. where's your 6 weird things????

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