What Is Recovery Management?

Making it through rehab is just the beginning of the journey to recovery.

Recovery management services are essential for the newly clean addict or alcoholic.

They can make all the difference in preventing future relapse and keeping your life on track as you begin the next stage of your journey.

If you’ve been wondering what to make of recovery management you’re in the right place. Read on and we’ll cover the ins-and-outs of this essential part of your treatment plan.

What is Recovery Management?

Usually, by the time someone has entered treatment they’ve burned many bridges across their time in active addiction. Recovery management services seek to help bridge the gap back to normal life. They help with this by empowering the individual to continue doing the things they need to do on their own.

What is Recovery Management?

In cases where formal treatment was needed before moving to less intense methods. The goal of recovery management is simple: help the addict gain the desire and ability to stay clean in the long run after leaving formal treatment.

One study found that 60.5% of people who did not seek aftercare following treatment suffered from addiction relapse. The same study found that 43% of the individuals who did partake in aftercare suffered from a relapse.

While aftercare does not guarantee the prevention of relapse, it can certainly help to lower the probability of it.

You can’t live in rehab forever, so it’s important to make sure that an individual is supported during the early days of recovery.

The current research consensus is that aftercare treatment should continue for at least three months and possibly up to a year after discharge from an inpatient facility.

Essentially, recovery management is a continuation of the rehabilitation process which improves outcomes for patients.

If you choose to look at addiction treatment as a system, you’d have the following:

  1. Initial Assessment
  2. Formal Treatment
  3. Aftercare/Recovery Management

Depending on someone’s depth of addiction the second phase varies. It may consist of anything from outpatient therapy to residential rehabilitation.

Things are usually stepped down until the patient has reached a minimum level of care before being released. In the case of addicts who choose to go through aftercare, there are some big differences.

Making the Patient Part of the Process

One of the keys to effective recovery management is to bring in the patient as part of the team.

Quite often the early, intensive phases of treatment become rote for the addict. They’re contained within a certain area, having to follow certain rules, and may even have the courts breathing down their necks.

Making the Patient Part of the Process

And that’s great for the initial days of recovery when every moment can be a struggle.

However, quite often when a patient no longer has anyone looking out for them they’ll relapse.

Recovery management is about empowerment for the patient. It helps them to feel like they’re part of a team instead of simply being led along as time goes on.

Taking a role as an active participant in their own recovery gives the patient a sense of ownership over the whole process. Transitioning in this fashion helps to ease the patient back into normal life. That’s often something which they haven’t experienced in years or decades.

What Happens in Aftercare?

Recovery management programs vary from place to place.

In general, you can expect to have meetings with a counselor on a regular basis. Some programs will also have infrequent(weekly or biweekly) group sessions available as well.

The goals of aftercare are relatively straightforward.

The patient will learn to identify the factors which put them at risk of relapse that wasn’t previously identified, get established with the local recovery community, and help the client stick to their plan.

While the patient is a much more active part of their recovery here it’s often necessary for some guidance.

In the end, the patient ultimately decides on their goals such as length of sobriety and support group attendance. The professionals in the recovery team help to hold them accountable in the earliest days of recovery.

Making Treatment Stick

Addicts and their loved ones are often helpless in the face of a constant cycle of acute treatment and relapse.

The goal of a recovery management program is to help the patient to stand on their own two feet once their time is over. Accountability and routine are key factors in helping an addict attain long-term sobriety. Aftercare ensures they’re present after the intense early stages of treatment.

The longer timespan, compared to short-term treatment, also means that a patient isn’t simply “forgotten” once they leave the facility. Instead, they’ll still have a working relationship with the professionals who can help them.


In essence: it helps to make the things learned in the treatment “stick.”

Few addicts these days are under the illusion that they leave treatment fixed.

Once a controlled environment is gone it’s easy to fall back into old behavior patterns and forget about all that’s been learned. People, places, and things are some of the biggest obstacles that a recovery newbie has to face. Often they’ve been removed entirely while in treatment.

In many cases, patients are returned to their primary care physician. There’s even a growing body of literature addressing substance abuse specifically made for primary care doctors since aftercare is limited in many locations.

Aftercare isn’t just an option… it’s the logical end to the treatment process. Without continued care, things look bleak for even the best-intentioned recovering addict.

Continued Treatment, Continued Sobriety

Recovery management often seems like a dull option to those who want to get back to their lives post-treatment. That said, it’s an essential part of the recovery process.

Short-term treatments, whether residential or outpatient, should be followed up with a comprehensive aftercare program. It’s the best way to help the patient stay clean after they leave a controlled environment.

If you or a loved one is in need of a program that goes from assessment to recovery management then contact us today and we’ll see what we can do to help.


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