Family Support in An Aftercare Program

Family Support in An Aftercare Program

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If detox and inpatient rehab are responsible for paving the way to stable recovery, social support networks, along with aftercare, are what drives the final stages of recovery.

Likely, if you are in or considering rehab and aftercare it probably took some convincing. Often times, the urging of friends and family are a major factor in a person’s decision to enter treatment. Studies show that continued support keeps a person motivated to stay in treatment, but what role do they play after leaving inpatient care?1

Today we will be discussing the role that family plays in an aftercare program in as well as discussing the purpose and best practices of aftercare programs.

Importance Of Aftercare

For those who have been struggling with addiction for several years, rehabilitation can be liberating. Addiction treatment can provide people with access to medications to get clean as well as a secure environment to prevent them for relapsing. But after they leave inpatient care, things can get complicated.

Upon completing a detox or inpatient program the risk of falling back into the same patterns of use is very real. To counteract this, your inpatient treatment program will work to connect you with an aftercare program and transition you into a less intensive form of care.

Overcoming a severe case substance abuse especially as a dual diagnosis requires that treatment be available at various stages of recovery. Aftercare programs play an important part in that continuum of care. Here are some of the benefits of aftercare programs.

  • Planning for aftercare begins while a person is still in residential treatment, allowing for a seamless transition.
  • Programs are flexible with your schedule and allow you to stay at home while receiving group counseling, individual therapy, treatment plans and more.
  • Clients of aftercare programs have access to community resources like vocational training, career counseling, volunteer opportunities, sponsorship, help with applying to social programs and more.
  • Aftercare makes it possible for people to regularly connect with peers in recovery and build lifetime social support networks.
  • A study conducted by the CDC and the National Institute on Drug abuse found that 75% of people with an addiction recover. Aftercare programs are a major component of that success.2

Steps To Be Followed During Aftercare

  • Sober Living Housing
  • Intensive Outpatient or Partial Hospitalization Programs
  • Traditional Outpatient Programs
  • Support Groups and Alumni Programs

Role Of Family During Recovery

As previously mentioned, family can play an important role during early recovery by convincing a person to enter treatment and providing emotional support as their loved ones make this difficult transition. Here are some of the ways family members can be present in aftercare.

Participating In Family Therapy 

Years of substance abuse can take a toll on relationships leaving lasting wounds that remain even after the person gets treatment and is in stable recovery.

The sooner issues in the family are resolved the better. Rather than a solo journey, recovery from addiction requires the support of family and friends. This of course is easier said than done. Issues like abuse, trauma, and social stigma can make expressing feelings and coming to a point of closure difficult for both parties. If this is a struggle you are facing, you may require mediation from an expert.

Family therapy is a term that describes a subset of approaches geared toward helping families communicate and heal. These sessions are conducted with a therapist who will either mediate sessions one on one or as a group.

Within the context of substance abuse, this can mean parents or a spouse learning to empathize with their loved one’s illness while teaching them how to provide support in a healthy way. On the flip side it can be a way for family members to communicate their concerns and set boundaries.

Working Through Relationship Issues That Are Driving Abuse

Sometimes substance abuse issues can stem from a person’s relationship with their family. Maybe there is a lack of emotional intimacy, past trauma or guilt that is fueling drug use or maybe other members of the family have substance abuse issues.

To prevent this, it is important to work on these issues, establish boundaries and affirm support for the person in recovery.3

Providing Shelter or Financial Assistance

Following inpatient rehab, it can’t be difficult to procure employment, find housing or fund further treatment. Family members helping with the financial costs of recovery make it possible for their loved ones to principally focus on getting better.

Helping Your Family Member Stay Sober

Sobriety is a life-long journey which requires the continued support of friends and family. Helping your loved one remain sober can take many forms.

  • A parent drug testing their child
  • A family member calling to check in regularly
  • Being available to remove the loved one from a potential relapse situation
  • Not keeping drugs and alcohol in the home
  • Setting clear rules prohibiting drug use
  • Educating yourself about mental health and addiction
  • Listening to your loved one’s concerns free of judgement or stigma

How Long Are Aftercare Programs

Residential treatment, intensive outpatient programs (IOP’s) and traditional outpatient programs for drug and alcohol addiction vary but for most people, they tend to last anywhere from 30 to 90 days depending on the person’s needs and budget.

Life after recovery

Recovery is a mindset that doesn’t end after leaving an inpatient rehab center. Those who overcome addiction are better off staying sober than risking a return to the destructive habits that necessitated treatment in the first place.

Depending on where you might find yourself in life, you may want to re-enter a program, or simply join a support group to help keep things in perspective. With enough hard work and dedication, it is fully possible to lead a happy and successful life free from the burden of addiction.


We discussed the purpose and best practices of aftercare programs for those leaving inpatient rehab. Aftercare is broad in scope and can include anything from sober living or outpatient programs lasting months long to ongoing involvement in AA, NA or 12-Step groups. It may also involve psychotherapy.

Additionally, the efficacy of treatment can be enhanced by a healthy social support network and family support in aftercare. While some programs offer family therapy to their clients there are many ways for family members to support their loved ones in substance abuse aftercare and beyond.

Contact Us Today

Are you looking for treatment that comes with an aftercare guarantee? Golden Road Recovery is an inpatient drug and alcohol rehab center in Los Angeles, California offering effective treatment in an amazing location. To learn more about how we can help, call us today at (877) 372-0536.


Dobkin, P. L., De, C. M., Paraherakis, A., & Gill, K. (2002). The role of functional social support in treatment retention and outcomes among outpatient adult substance abusers. Addiction (Abingdon, England)97(3), 347–356. 

Mann, B. (2022, January 15). There is life after addiction. most people recover. NPR. Retrieved September 5, 2022

Steve Greenman, M. A. (2022, April 6). The role of family in addiction recovery. Psych Central. Retrieved September 6, 2022

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License Number: 191000AP
Effective Date: 06/01/2021
Expiration Date: 05/31/2025

License Number: 191000AP
Effective Date: 06/01/2021
Expiration Date: 05/31/2025

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