A substance abuse aftercare program provides an opportunity to solidify the recovery foundation laid during a stay in residential treatment. Recovery is a process, not an event. More often than not the behaviors of drinking and using are just the tips of the iceberg. Below the behavioral surface is a hardened psychological system of negative beliefs, emotional instability, and unresolved issues.

In Continuing Care with Lift Off, the ample time of treatment provides the opportunity to work on these issues. The Lift Off clinical team’s treatment philosophy focuses on creating personalized clinical approaches. These work within the specific circumstances of each client’s individual belief systems and historical experiences.

Lift Off meets clients where they are currently. Having clients attempt to fit themselves into a treatment curriculum just doesn’t work. During Continuing Care, food and transportation are still provided by Lift Off but little by little personal responsibility is taught and practiced by our clientele.


The primary treatment objectives during Continuing Care address the continuing individual clinical needs of clients suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction or substance abuse. The addiction treatment services during a long-term treatment stay are specialized to provide a safe place for clients to work on identified co-occurring conditions or underlying issues diagnosed during primary care. Wherever possible, referring professionals coordinate treatment in clinical continuity.

Phase 2 treatment includes:

  • Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) detoxification
  • Medication Management
  • Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment
  • Individual and Group Therapy
  • Somatic Therapy
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Grief and Loss Therapy
  • Anxiety Therapy
  • Trauma Therapy
  • Depression Therapy
  • Eating Disorder Therapy
  • Drug and Alcohol Counseling
  • Anger and Stress Management
  • Relationship Counseling
  • Family therapy program
  • Aftercare Planning

Substance abuse aftercare is an intensive residential long-term treatment program. Even when residential treatment is complete and recovery from alcohol and drug abuse issues are initially established, untreated underlying factors contributing to the addictive process can lead clients towards relapse. Substance abuse aftercare provides a safe place to process these deeper issues.

Substance Abuse Aftercare is About the Individual
The Lift Off treatment philosophy notes that core issues can only effectively be treated once a period of abstinence has provided a platform from which new perspectives and outlooks on life are obtained. From this “higher ground” clinical support begins to assist clients in seeking resolution for these unresolved issues. The individualized approach during Residential Treatment creates personalized treatment planning that affords each client the opportunity to address the specific circumstances and historical experiences that have led to drug addiction and substance abuse issues. Continuing Care is primarily a clinical continuance of these identified issues so that clients can face reintegration into daily living without surprises.

Transitioning Out of Continuing Care
During Continuing Care the clinical team creates contingency plans for all the foreseen challenges on the road to recovery. In addition, strong aftercare planning offers placement for each client within a network of supportive clinical services for any unforeseen challenges on their ongoing journey into long-lasting recovery.

If clients choose they may participate in our intensive outpatient program or Aftercare Program where each individual receives transitional support that furthers the likelihood of their sustained success. In this level of care, the focus is on safe social reintegration, vocational training, educational pursuits and life skills training.

Providing real-time assistance navigating uncertain and often treacherous transitions addicts face in early recovery. Alcoholism, substance abuse, and drug addiction are treatable conditions. Individuals can live in “remission” from these conditions and go on to lead independent, fulfilling lives. However, one common misconception often held by people suffering from addiction is that treatment concludes upon successful completion of residential treatment or continuing care.

In truth enrolling in and completing a drug treatment program is just the first step on the road to recovery.


Most of the contributing factors that have played a role in each individual’s addictive process are waiting outside of the drug treatment center, untouched and largely unaffected by the individual’s personal progress that has taken place during treatment. These elements are waiting in silent accord, knowingly and unknowingly, to derail the newly sober individual from the pathway to recovery.

Many individuals want to “take on the world” once they complete a drug treatment program. New philosophies, new ideas and new goals all seem completely achievable. However, assembling resources to achieve these goals often takes patience and time. Tasks as simple as filling out job applications, enrolling for a fall semester in college, or greeting old friends at hang-out places can work collectively to discourage individuals in early recovery. This discouragement can build up as the reality of living in the real world settles in. Where before there was excitement for what was possible in recovery it now begins to feel like nothing is working out. Into this disheartening picture, a Saturday night arrives that carries loneliness and isolation with it. The week hasn’t worked out as planned. In fact, nothing is working out as planned…in this scenario relapse is imminent.


What we know about addiction is that it carries both physiological and psychological dependence. Drug treatment programs work medically to first establish a sober baseline and then clinically to impart coping mechanisms for dealing with the emotional crutch that addiction represents. To accomplish this, treatment centers provide new information about trigger identification and corresponding coping techniques so each individual can successfully navigate through an array of life’s experiences without relying on drugs and alcohol to “carry them through”. But the truth is that these new techniques take practice to successfully implement. Mistakes in the safety of an aftercare program can lead to corrective action. Mistakes in the world without support can lead to relapse.

Substance Abuse Aftercare with Lift Off is Comprehensive and Unique

With Lift Off each client is assigned a case manager and a primary therapist. The case manager designs a personalized treatment plan which is flexible but also defines specific treatment goals for each client as well as what measures can be implemented to achieve these objectives. During the day-to-day treatment, the assigned case manager works with clients on their recovery-oriented goals while the therapist works on identification and resolution of the underlying clinical issues that have contributed to the addictive process.

Upon entering Aftercare, a plan begins to be drafted, and this plan takes into consideration:

  • Legal issues
  • Social issues
  • Housing needs
  • Personal issues
  • Financial needs
  • 12-step proximity
  • Family relationships
  • Inter-relational issues
  • Physical and psychiatric needs
  • Vocational/Educational issues
  • Future accessibility to community resources
  • Indications of anticipated problems and suggested means for dealing with them

Input is gathered to form an aftercare plan with the Lift Off rehab center staff that has worked with the client. All the physicians, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, experiential therapists, licensed professionals, family therapists and substance abuse counselors contribute to creating a comprehensive, individual aftercare plan. Once drafted, the primary clinician reviews the plan with the client. Recommendations for the future are made and if the client is willing, they are placed in supportive services to address their unique continuing needs.

A Lifetime of Free Alumni Services for LIFT OFF Alumni

If clients are unwilling to take any of the substance abuse aftercare recommendations they may choose to participate in a lifetime of free alumni services available to all Lift Off alumni. Alumni services include:

  • Alumni meetings
  • Crisis lines
  • Online recovery chat rooms
  • Alumni activities

These free services help clients “return to home base” and serve to provide a sense of understanding and safety all throughout their recovery process.

A Lifetime of Support for Loved Ones
The Lift Off family program has bi-monthly groups available for loved ones of Lift Off alumni. The clinical team members facilitate these groups and they are free to family members for as long as they choose to participate.

If you or someone you know needs help with addiction or substance abuse issues call 714-783-5657 to begin the process today. Credentialed intake specialists will assist you in determining which level of care is needed to provide the most effective alcohol and drug rehab with Lift Off, or provide you with referrals to receive the help you need.