Recovery in Aftercare

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noun of a patient after a stay in hospital or of a person on release from prison. or advice offered to a customer following the purchase of a product or service.

Hi it's Dermot again. If you read my last blog from 7th May, you will know that this is a follow up to that blog and part of a "Recovery from Addiction Series", If not read on:

Recovery in Aftercare


-What is the difference between abstinence & recovery?
-What is the difference between treatment & aftercare?
-What are recovery goals?
-How do facilitators help people set recovery goals in group?
-How do we know if they’re on track to achieve their goals?

What is the difference between abstinence & recovery?

-Abstinence is stopping & staying stopped.

-Abstinence only takes immense will power to maintain.

-When a person is in abstinence their focus is still on the drug of choice and they see themselves as being deprived which leads to the poor me’s & negative feelings & thoughts.

-“Dry Drunk” No quality of life at all.

-Recovery is future driven, were the person chooses to better their lives or current situation.

-Recovery creates hope in the individual, as they see that sobriety can offer them a life full of opportunities.

-Recovery is about changing for the better, by letting go of what is not working and embracing what is, and is empowering, where as abstinence only is very disempowering and leads to further dependence & eventual relapse.

-Encouraging courage to change in a person, and seeing that change occur is very rewarding for the person and even facilitator.

What is the difference between treatment & aftercare?

-Treatment focuses on breaking down denial

-“Seeing the wood from the trees”

-It helps the person to recognise & admit to having an addiction and address underlying issues and their past life in addiction and even before active addiction.

-It is goal driven.

-Treatment deals with the Past to present, breaking down the addiction.

-Aftercare needs to focus on the present to future to build recovery.

-People need to gain a sense of meaning and purpose of recovery & life and build resilience to deal with set backs & boundaries so as not to slip into complacency.

-Many people after residential treatment feel lost and alone, which leads to poor me’s & apathy.

-Any glimmer of light or hope is huge for someone new aftercare, especially those who want to change.

-Future focus will help them.

What are recovery goals?

-Everyone wants to improve their quality of life.

-To do this you need direction, or to know where you want to go or be.

-Goals are positive and elicit both positive feelings & thoughts, which in turn create more.

-People who set goals are more committed and motivated and are less likely to drop out of aftercare or relapse.

-Goals are best kept specific and achievable. E.g. going to 2 AA meetings per week on Saturday & Wednesday nights, meditate each morning before breakfast, go for an hours walk each evening. E.t.c.

How do facilitators help people set recovery goals in group?

-Ask questions, that make people think about goal setting.

-E.g. instead of asking “How was your week?”

-Ask “How would you like your week to have been” & “What can you do between today and next week to achieve this”, “How will you go about doing this”

-Empowering self reliance & motivation is the main goal of aftercare.

-Most people relapse, not due to unresolved issues from the past, but from not having any sense of purpose or direction to follow in life.

-They quickly become disheartened and feel that this recovery is not working for them or they are not seeing results fast enough “Instant gratification”, or are waiting for miracles to happen.

-Others become complacent and feel so good that they convince themselves that they don’t need any more help. “honey moon period”

How do we know if they’re on track to achieve their goals?

-Always check in on them to see how they got on during the week.

-If they achieved the goal they set how do they feel for doing so & can they do more?

-If they didn’t achieve it encourage them to try again. “Recovery is a process not an event.”

-If you notice a positive change in their mood and they are more enthusiastic and participate better. Encourage that.


-As facilitators we can only do our best, people will do what they want at the end.

-Never forget though, no matter what the person does, you & the group will have left their mark.

-A small change now can make a huge difference in the future.

My Next Blog is Recovery in Relapse & Relapse Prevention.

My Next Blog is Recovery in Aftercare
The articles in "Recovery from Addiction" Series, are the opinion of the author and if you would like to contribute to it, please leave a comment in the comment box below. If you want to subscribe, for free, to any further blogs of mine please leave your email in the blue box below.

Recovery is about growth and everyone does grow at a different pace. My advice to anyone in early recovery is to wait at least 2 years before making any major life changing decisions that might have emotional ramifications. An example: get a mortgage, get married, change career, emigrate. In light of this everyone has dreams and we all do want to better our lives in one way or another, so it is important in early recovery to start to put those dreams into reality by creating achievable goals which can be reached in time. I found in my early recovery, although I had dreams, I wasn’t aware of creating goals and my life unfolded by default. It turned out well for me, but had I had clear goals, I do feel that it would have been even better.

I do try to learn from my mistakes, and that is why they are little miracles in themselves that happen for a reason. I am a growth seeking being I will continue to seek change in myself. What motivates me is the Pain – Pleasure, which moves me away from my pain points (a lack of finances, time & peace of mind) to my pleasure points (freedom of finances, time & peace of mind). The way I have found to achieve this freedom and to move away from the “Groundhog Day” of life is through on line marketing. I have taken this step into the abyss, I’m not tech savvy at all, and with the support of SFM, I am working my way through it. The internet is here to stay and is the future for all of us, so don’t get left behind because it is gaining momentum. If you want to learn what I am learning and are in a point in your life where you want change, then I offer you, through my mentors, a no obligation FREE 7 day video series to watch.

How to make your first 10K online!