In plant medicine, the term “aftercare” refers to the continuation of treatment after sessions have been completed. There are many types of aftercare that can help people strengthen their sobriety skills and help integrate them back into being a functional member of society. People in recovery will need to find what types of aftercare work best for them. Most will derive the maximum benefit by trying two or more types of aftercare.
Effective Types of Aftercare
1. Sober Living Residences
Following an ibogaine session, some people may not feel fully confident about their ability to remain sober once they return to their home. Others may not have a job to return to, and may need to learn new practical skills to help them find suitable employment. Entering a sober living residence is one of the types of aftercare that may be a very helpful option for those who would benefit from structured support while returning to regular life.
Sober living residences provide a drug- and alcohol-free environment to live in while residents reintegrate into society. Most sober living homes expect residents to find some type of work. Alternatively, residents are encouraged to return to school or college or to take part in vocational training. Sober living residences are one of the most effective types of aftercare, offering support and a sober environment while residents transition to independent living.
Cons: combining two or more people in recovery can be disastrous, as one may trigger the other to use.
2. 12-Step Programs
The 12 Step program was initially introduced by Alcoholics Anonymous, and it is still the methodology used by AA, NA and other groups to help people stay sober. The 12 Step program is one of the most widely known aftercare programs worldwide. Not everyone can afford high quality aftercare programs, but, 12 step programs are free and many swear by them claiming that it was their program that saved their lives.
Cons: 12 step programs teach a person that they will always be an addict. certain sayings such as “I am powerless over our addiction” and having to introduce yourself as an addict “hello, my name is John and i’m an addict” is not something a person in recovery should have embedded into their brains. Plant medicine contradicts these teachings by allowing one to realize how powerful they actually are. if you keep telling yourself that you’re sick, you will always be sick.
3. Counseling and Therapy
It is rare that an individual in recovery from the illness of addiction will not experience cravings and urges to relapse. Addiction is similar to other chronic illness in that relapse is relatively common. Relapse rates for addiction are between 40 and 60 percent, which is comparable to relapse rates for people with chronic illnesses like asthma or hypertension.
Following rehab, people in recovery are encouraged to engage with counselors or therapists to help them deal with urges that may arise. Many of those in addiction recovery find it helps to continue to attend counseling and therapy sessions immediately after their ibogaine session. Counselors can be utilized to help develop new coping skills and help set short-term and long-term goals.
Cons: counselors and therapists are educated through study, many do not possess the life experience that is required in-order to relate to their patients.
4. Family Therapy
People with addiction will find it easier to control their ailment if they have the support and understanding of their families. They will also find it helpful if they can come to terms with the effects their ailment has on other members of the family. Family therapy is an ideal setting for people with addiction and their families to address the effects addiction had on the family. It can help people identify positive ways to undo the damage that may have occurred in family relationships. This helps to reduce or eliminate some forms of stress.
5. Social and Physical Activities
Physical exercise causes the body to release chemicals that stimulate the parts of the brain that cause us to feel pleasure. Those in recovery should find that physical activity reduces the intensity and the frequency of urges to use drugs or alcohol. Joining clubs or societies that provide physical exercise in a social environment is very beneficial.
There are many more types of activities that can help people avoid relapse. Art and music therapy, equine therapy and biofeedback are just some examples. The more types of aftercare that people try, the more likely they are to find what suits them best.
6. Life Coaches
Life coaches for the most part offer everything counselors and therapists offer, but many life coaches are inspiring and have the needed life experience which allows them to relate to their clients. Finding a life coach that motivates you to grow in life can be the push that defines your sobriety. Many life coaches offer plant medicine integration work and have copious amounts of knowledge when it comes to sacred teaching plants, such as ibogaine, ayahuasca, etc…
Cons: insurance normally doesn’t cover life coaching.