Discharge Planning and Lifetime Aftercare
At AToN Center, we feel that discharge planning is one of the most important aspects of treatment. We begin discussing discharge planning within days of admission to AToN. Our residents are educated on all levels of care to assist them in their understanding of medical necessity. They are then given individualized discharge planning recommendations. Our residents are educated via groups and individual sessions about the importance of solid discharge planning and how it can increase their chances of success after discharge.
Some of our residents choose to attend sober livings after AToN Center – for those residents who choose this option, we assist them in identifying sober livings that meet their needs. If they are staying local to San Diego, AToN Center can provide transportation so our residents can see the environment first-hand and ask pertinent questions face-to-face.
Residents are also given individualized recommendations for Partial Hospitalization Programming (PHP) and/or Intensive Outpatient Programming (IOP) based on their unique clinical presentation. For our residents who do not live locally, we are familiar with options all over the country and can assist in providing recommendations and contact information for programs near their hometowns.
We have many positive relationships with case managers, sober coaches and other outpatient providers who are integral in supporting our residents upon discharge. If allowed by our residents, our Clinical Team will contact prior treatment providers to update them on the resident’s progress and facilitate continuity of care.
Residents are expected to have discharge appointments set up prior to their discharge date and also be familiar with what community meetings they will be attending. Residents who follow the discharge recommendations unequivocally have higher success rates upon discharge.
In addition to discharge planning, residents who complete AToN Center’s treatment program receive an AToN ceremony. During a ceremony, current residents and staff gather to honor the discharging resident at which point they are gifted an AToN compass with their name and the year engraved on it. Graduating residents have the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings on their experience at AToN. If local, our alumni also benefit from attending AToN Aftercare groups, on-site on Saturday mornings. For added support, residents can also be called on a weekly basis by a Chemical Dependency Counselor – this will continue for as long as residents choose.
Relapse Prevention at AToN Center
Relapse Prevention skill building is an integral aspect of treatment at AToN Center. It is estimated that between 40% and 60% of individuals who have sought addiction treatment experience a relapse post-treatment. For a resident, a relapse can feel like a devastating personal defeat. It can undermine the confidence developed on the emotional, physical and mental progress made during the course of treatment. Some experience multiple relapses which can diminish hope for successful recovery. That is why Relapse Prevention plays such an important role in AToN Center’s therapeutic philosophy.
A common misperception about relapse is that it is a sudden and uncontrollable event. AToN Center’s Clinical Team utilizes multiple techniques to assist residents in identifying relapse warning signs that can build over time and threaten recovery. Relapse warning signs may be present for weeks and sometimes months before the person in recovery reverts to their substance of choice. This time frame, from the first minor indicators of a relapse up to the actual recurrence, allows the resident to counter the urge and withstand it.
Our residents are trained in understanding the process of relapse and identifying problematic behavior – such as isolation, defensiveness and lack of self-care. By recognizing these early warning indicators, we enable our residents to be aware of their entry into relapse mode and seek help at the right time, before the relapse gains momentum. After conducting research on the most effective styles of coping, residents are assisted in practicing and mastering coping skills that are essential in preventing relapse.
Relapse Prevention groups are held twice weekly at AToN Center. Residents learn the difference between relapse warning signs, triggers and cravings. They learn how to identify their unique signs and triggers and how to apply corresponding coping skills for relapse prevention. Residents prepare for, attend and review their weekly exposure sessions with the AToN Clinical Team.
Residents who complete treatment at AToN Center are offered a weekly alumni support group on campus, as well as weekly phone calls by the Chemical Dependency counselors.