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The Importance of Aftercare in Addiction Treatment: Candles on the Cake of Recovery

Imagine a birthday cake in front of you, but instead of celebrating your age, you’re commemorating your journey in recovery. 

As you gaze at that beautiful cake – a cake you deserve and are anxious to cut into – what do you think completes it? Many might think it’s the icing that completes it – and they’re right, icing is deliciously important. 

However, there’s one more crucial ingredient that often slips our minds: the candles. Those candles hold immense significance. They are what you ‘blow out’ to get your wish. 

Now, let’s relate this to aftercare. Think of aftercare as the candles on the top of your recovery cake. You’ve gathered the ingredients, baked the cake, and spread the icing. Now, it’s the final touch that brings it all together, ensuring your dreams have the chance to come true.

That’s what we believe at Positive Recovery Centers, and here, aftercare takes center stage. 

It’s not just important here – it’s so crucial that we’ve included it in all of our treatment plans. If you start your journey here with us, we’re going to ensure that you get to blow out those candles with a full year of aftercare. 

What is Aftercare in Addiction Treatment?

Our program delves into the facets of Positive Recovery that you’ve already encountered during treatment, giving you the chance to truly master them – but it’s also so much more.

So, why is it so important? According to Dr. Jason Z. Powers, Chief Medical Officer, Positive Recovery Centers, aftercare is important for treating addiction as a chronic disease. 

“Aftercare helps extend treatment, and longevity is key in managing any chronic disease,

Dr. Jason Z. Powers

Primarily, aftercare functions as a crucial bridge between intensive addiction treatment and the reintegration into daily life. Our aftercare groups are well attended, utilized as a resource in the community and are lead by a licensed counselor.

Throughout our year-long aftercare program, clients are equipped with continuous guidance, Positive Recovery techniques, like the Positive Emotions Engagement Relationships Meaning Accomplishment Model (PERMA), coping strategies, and essential resources to navigate the intricate challenges that may emerge post-treatment.

By extending the continuum of care, aftercare empowers individuals with practical tools and emotional reinforcement. This better equips them to manage triggers, cravings, and potential setbacks, and therefore significantly mitigates the risk of relapse. In aftercare individuals also continue with medication and therapy. 

According to Rebecca Buzek, LPC-S, Executive Director, Garden Oaks, “Common elements of aftercare include medication compliance, maintaining physical health, individual/family therapy, support groups, mentor/sponsor, using a relapse/mitigation plan to cope with high-risk situations or relapse, and utilizing a social network for support.” 

Furthermore, Positive Recovery Centers recognizes that the complexity of addiction is much bigger than simply stopping substance use. 

Recovery is a journey of self-discovery that  fosters healthier coping mechanisms, heightened self-awareness, and enhanced emotional resilience, culminating in a steadfast foundation for true, enduring recovery.

Structured Living Aftercare

According to Buzek when these elements are paired with a structured sober living

community, some individuals will get even more out of it. Though, every individual’s aftercare plan looks different. 

“It is difficult to go from a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to a home environment. In treatment you have 24/7 structure, supervision, safe environment, and social support where everyone around you is going through the exact same thing,” she says. 

In a home-living environment, individuals have to self-impose structure. This, of course, can be very difficult in early sobriety. While family and friends may be supportive, much of the time they can’t relate to your experiences. 

Family therapy helps, but doesn’t always cure these dynamics completely. Sometimes families think they’re helping and they become hypervigilant, causing even more conflict and anxiety. In this case, a sober living facility may be part of the aftercare plan. 

“This can be a very difficult adjustment and that’s why sober living is often the

recommended next step to help the transition back into everyday life,” says Buzek. 

10 Factors to Consider when it comes to Aftercare 

Dr Powers has identified 10 factors that frequently deter people from considering aftercare. Some individuals believe that completing a detox program or initial inpatient treatment signifies complete recovery, yet this is a misconception. 

Again, the significance of aftercare stems from addiction being a chronic condition that demands ongoing attention.Therefore, putting an end to care right after detox, inpatient, or outpatient is too soon. 

To dispel these misunderstandings individuals need to be shown the advantages of aftercare. Plus, the backing of loved ones, healthcare experts, and peer communities also helps in motivating aftercare attendance.

Support group meeting. People sharing problems during rehab therapy, panorama

The 10 Factors of Aftercare

1. Stigma and Shame deter individuals from seeking treatment initially and they also act as barriers to their ongoing engagement and participation in treatment and aftercare.

2. Overconfidence leads some into neglecting aftercare, though it is crucial for maintaining


3. A lack of Understanding of Triggers can result in relapse and may also cause individuals to underestimate the necessity of aftercare

4. Financial Barriers prevent people from accessing aftercare services. However, with Positive Recovery Centers, one year of aftercare is included in the program. This is a special component of Positive Recovery Centers. 

5. Time Commitment is always an issue because aftercare may conflict with work, family, or other responsibilities.

6. Lack of Support System is detrimental because there could be people that aren’t supportive of their aftercare. This cycles back to overconfidence and the feelings of stigma and shame.

8. Underestimating Relapse Risk is always a problem because people believe they can control their cravings or triggers without additional help. 

9. Disbelief in Effectiveness is a misconception that keeps individuals from participating. It is the same misconception that makes people feel that they can “handle it on their own.” 

10. Denial and Minimization can prevent individuals from seeking aftercare for the same reason as disbelief in effectiveness.Light the Candles 

In conclusion, above we used the analogy of candles on the cake to signify the purpose of aftercare – and this is absolutely fitting! 

Aftercare is an essential part of recovery and it should never be overlooked. 

At Positive Recovery Centers we are so convinced of its efficiency that we include it in every treatment plan we have – and it’s included for you to attend at no additional cost. 

Don’t forget this important component of care because, just like with birthday cake candles, your wishes, hopes, and dreams have a better chance of coming through when you follow through with aftercare. 

Addiction Treatment Services in Texas

If you or a loved one are in need of addiction treatment, look no further than Positive Recovery Centers. PRC is committed to providing comprehensive care that addresses your addiction and mental health needs. Across Texas, several conveniently located treatment centers offer various services, from Medical Detox to Long Term treatment in Texas. Please visit or call us at (877) 697-1383 to speak with a team member today! Together, let’s break the cycle of addiction and create a future filled with hope, healing, and resilience. You are not alone in your journey.