For many people, the initial step in addiction treatment is to go through detoxification from alcohol or drugs. After completing detoxification from all substances, patients move on to inpatient therapy. Everything they do here is geared towards laying the groundwork for a successful recovery.
When a patient completes a course of treatment at a more intensive facility, they enter the aftercare phase. It’s a strategy to assist someone stay on track with their new life and avoid relapsing while they’re still in the early stages of recovery.
There would be a lot more relapses if people who finished therapy were just dumped back into their regular life without any kind of aftercare. Addiction to alcohol and drugs cannot be overcome by simply attending treatment for a few months. Addiction is a progressive brain illness with no known medical solution. Instead, individuals are given the resources they need to maintain their sobriety on a day-to-day basis as they undergo treatment. When someone leaves a treatment centre, they still need help, and aftercare is one way to get that help. With an aftercare strategy in place, patients won’t have to go through the adjustment in isolation.