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Connect365: A Bold, Innovative Approach to Aftercare Programs

By The Fix staff 06/20/18
Comprehensive, full-scale aftercare programs like Connect365 are the key to long-lasting sobriety, as they bring people and interactive technology together in meaningful, rewarding ways.
Two women standing together, smiling at each other, in front of a small group in a circle.
Sierra Tucson takes the time to forge strong relationships with their residents in order to help sustain sobriety through the demands of everyday living.

When it comes to seeking treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. There is no magic bullet or shortcut to combating an addiction. Treatment programs require highly personal, unique approaches that are every bit as personal and unique as the person going through treatment. For most people, the decision to seek treatment can be difficult and frightening. If you’re considering treatment, you undoubtedly have as many questions as you have concerns. Not every treatment program offers the same range of techniques, methods and plans, either. When considering a treatment program, it’s incredibly important to ask yourself what you’re looking for. If it’s an intensive, comprehensive and structured experience that treats all the aspects of your addiction—mental, physical and emotional—a program like Sierra Tucson could very well be the answer that you’re looking for. Still, no matter what treatment program you choose, the majority of recovery work actually begins after you leave treatment.

When detoxification is over or you’ve come to the end of a rehabilitation program, your work is just beginning. It’s one thing to learn how to live inside a safe, controlled environment, but it’s another thing altogether to learn how to live in the real world. That’s why aftercare plans are vital to your success in finding long-term recovery. “Aftercare” is any treatment method or work that happens after your initial rehab program. No matter what form your aftercare plan takes, the goal is the same: maintain recovery, avoid relapsing and achieve a fulfilling life that you originally might not have thought was possible. Many treatment centers provide the basic outline and the general tools you’ll need, but they don’t take the time to follow up after you leave. In many ways, aftercare plans are as important as treatment itself. Everything from interpersonal relationships to housing to finances need to be factored in. You must design an aftercare plan that starts working for you the second that you set foot outside of your treatment center. But developing a truly successful aftercare plan takes time, guidance and attention—things that most treatment centers simply don’t have experience doing. When done correctly, though, an aftercare plan isn’t just a roadmap: it’s a promise to help someone find lasting sobriety and a rich, fulfilling life.

Sierra Tucson is committed to making that promise to its residents.

The Tucson, Arizona-based treatment facility offers a comprehensive list of programs and services, ranging from addiction recovery to trauma treatment, among many others. More than that, though, Sierra Tucson distinguishes itself through Connect365—a full-service continuing care program that helps clients stay connected to treatment long after they’ve left treatment. The Connect365 program actually begins while residents are still closely working with their treatment team. Experts at Sierra Tucson sit down with residents to develop the best possible aftercare plan for them. Once that plan is established and the resident is ready to be discharged, a Sierra Tucson Recovery Coach is assigned to help that person navigate all the challenges of the real world.

Connect365 is an online portal that keeps clients and Coaches connected after initial treatment has ended. The tool takes its name directly from Sierra Tucson’s belief that the first year of recovery is absolutely critical and every single day counts. During the first 365 days of recovery, all of the building blocks necessary for successful sobriety are being carefully put into place. In addition to the Connect365 program portal, the Recovery Coach communicates with their clients on a weekly basis via phone and/or secure web chat. Coaches offer everything from advice to individualized support techniques to relapse prevention assistance. The program also provides personal accountability, support meeting logs, weekly progress reports, and a variety of reporting tools for EAPs, legal affiliates and licensing boards.

There’s solid evidence that Connect365 works exceedingly well. Not only did the majority of Sierra Tucson’s residents enroll in the program, but participants reported an overall recovery rating of 4.91 (on a scale of 1-5). Similarly, Connect365 participants said they were well-connected with their Coaches and were enjoying an improved quality of life following treatment. Perhaps even more telling about the program’s efficacy is how its participants were able to deal with cope with life stressors, thanks to the program. (85% were “very confident to get emotional support from family and friends” and 80% said they had “greater confidence in the ability to pray or meditate when stressed and to stand their ground and advocate for what they want.”)

Comprehensive, full-scale aftercare programs like Connect365 are the key to long-lasting sobriety, as they bring people and interactive technology together in meaningful, rewarding ways. Coaches aren’t the “recovery police,” watching for missteps or stumbles. Instead, they’re deeply invested in their clients’ success as they continue to find balance in their mind, body, spirit and emotions. Whereas many treatment centers see an endless parade of residents come through their doors, Sierra Tucson takes the time to forge strong relationships with their residents in order to help sustain sobriety through the demands of everyday living. Connect365 is much more than an aftercare program—it’s a commitment that Sierra Tucson will be there every step of the way, long after treatment.

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