The Benefits of Continuing Care
The traditional treatment model for substance addiction tends to emphasize time-limited intensive medical supervision followed by outpatient care. In recent years, more and more medical professionals in the addiction and recovery field recognize that the chronic nature of substance addiction and high risks of relapsing conditions call for another type of continuing, long-term care.
The Nature of Continuing Care
Continuing care for addiction includes a range of medical interventions, including routine assessments and customized treatments. These are built into a longitudinal and systematic medical monitoring and treatment structure. The intensiveness may shift in accordance with the severity of the client’s addiction. Clients also receive self-management training that includes social skills that help to ensure strong community support.
Compared to traditional treatment, continuing care is a period of lower-intensity treatment which may follow a high-intensity initial detox in residential care. Sometimes this is referred to as “aftercare.” The goals of continuing care involve maintaining the progress of sobriety and establishing abstinence more solidly in the client’s life. More specifically, continuing care builds on earlier efforts of addressing relapse and developing coping strategies used throughout recovery to reduce the risk of relapse.
Different Models of Continuing Care
In the past decade, there has been significant growth of continuing care models in the field of addiction and recovery. The most common types of continuing care include partial hospitalization programs, outpatient therapy, and other aftercare programs.
Motivational enhancement therapy and motivational interviewing are some more common approaches. The goal is to provide the client with more peer and medical support when leaving a residential facility. However, there are also newer forms of continuing care, including:
- Mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP): MBRP integrates mindfulness practices with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for relapse prevention. Clients who complete the first phase of detox treatment may continue with MBRP for twelve months. Research suggests that MBRP may be as effective as traditional aftercare programs such as 12-Step groups and psychotherapy.
- Telephone-based continuing care: Clients who complete detox treatment may participate in continuing care through regular telephone monitoring and counseling for over twenty-four months. Similarly, recovery management checkups are part of a long-term intervention program that uses standardized methods to provide in-person clinical assessments every three months.
Mobile Continuing Care
The latest development of continuing care has involved the use of mobile health technology, such as the internet, smartphones, and texting programs that deliver continuing care. These technologies can be used in conjunction with other behavioral interventions.
They are also efficient in conveying information on a client’s status back to the health provider. For example, the Addiction-Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (A-CHESS) app is a program for smartphones with many supportive functions that clients can access at any time.
Benefits of Continuing Care
The advantages of new continuing care models – as compared with clinic-based traditional treatment programs – lie in their ability to aggressively stay in contact with the client for extended periods of time, their systematic monitoring of treatment responses, and their integration of adaptive algorithms to guide ongoing treatment. Simply put, continuing care programs that are accessible and attractive to people may serve as more effective interventions.
New models of continuing care also allow clients to incorporate other therapeutic supports. They are better platforms for providing these components of support than formal treatment. This, of course, requires a higher level of self-management skills for the client. If appropriately implemented, continuing care can help prevent the frequent situation of fragmented care with life-threatening consequences.
Continuing Care Predicts Long-Term Sobriety and Recovery
There are some common factors that predict a recovering individual’s chance of long-term recovery. They include strong support from family and friends, high-quality care, and community support. If care is not continuous, a clients’ recovery may become less of a priority. This can take the form of discontinuing treatment or relapse after reaching sobriety.
The foundational belief in continuing care is grounded in the fact that transitioning out of detox treatment is a challenging and vulnerable time. When there is no support in place, a client’s recovery might be in jeopardy. It is responsible for the recovery community to design continuing care, which can become a lifeline for people. In moments of crisis, continuing care can help save lives.
Treatment without continuing care is less effective. Medical professionals should consider the danger of overdose when clients lose a strong support system and fall into relapse. Because substance addiction is a chronic disease, much like other types of chronic illnesses, continuing care should be a built-in part of a client’s treatment plan.
Recovery does not stop when you complete detox treatment. It takes time and patience to rebuild a healthy and balanced lifestyle while learning to cope with stress and cravings. Moreover, the risk of relapse is always there even after achieving sobriety. This is why many people prefer to work with treatment programs that offer continuing care. At Capo Canyon Recovery, we have experience in managing addiction. We can help you get your loved ones through drug or alcohol detox at our treatment center near Mission Viejo, CA. We care about the long-term recovery and well-being of our clients. That is why we do not give up on you. You can benefit from our inpatient residential care and outpatient long-term care programs. With an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and an onsite organic garden, we’re here to help you on your journey to sobriety. Don’t wait. Call us today at (800) 804-8714.