Effective treatment programs prepare patients with the tools that will help them once treatment is over.

Aftercare - the system of support for a recovering person once intensive treatment is over - is essential for continued recovery. People can get this support through programs at work or in the community. They need help maintaining the skills that will help them to deal with craving for alcohol and other drugs and to avoid the triggers that set off cravings.

For treatment to be successful, it must closely match an individual's particular personality and needs. And people in recovery need a great deal of support from counselors, family members and friends.

Recovery is about putting together a new life in which alcohol and drugs no longer have a place. It requires sustained decisions and actions for life.

Take responsibility for your own recovery by following these core actions.

By following some basic steps, you can enhance your ability to provide the support your relative needs while recovering.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a free mutual help organization open to all people seeking recovery from addiction.

People seeking recovery, their families and friends need to become educated about addiction issues and to rely on others for help. Here are a few resources to support the recovery process.