Extended care, also known as long-term care and aftercare, is a kind of care normally provided to patients who have left their main treatment programs. This kind of program may also be known as a continuing care program, because the goal is to continue providing a patient with access to care even if they have completed their main treatment period.
Extended care in addiction treatment follows an intensive care episode. Some patients may opt into a long-term residential program for care, but others may use halfway houses, sober living communities, or regular check-ups and appointments as their form of extended care.
What Are Some Kinds of Continuing Care?
According to DrugAbuse.gov, some of the types of continuing care may include:
- Group counseling
- Individualized drug counseling
- Outpatient treatment programs
Some other forms of continuing care may include:
- Sober living communities
- Halfway houses
- Virtual/telehealth conferencing with a therapist or medical provider
- Regular checkups at a clinic
- 12-step programs
- Peer support in alumni groups or mutual aid groups
Extended care has the goal of helping with addiction recovery once a person returns to their normal daily activities. For some people, the shock of returning to a job or back into their original environment tempts them to relapse, but extended care options are there to keep them on track.
What Are Some Extended Care Options That Are More Intensive?
Sometimes, people aren’t ready to move on from the more intensive treatment after a 30 or 60-day period. In those cases, extended care in a treatment program makes sense. Long-term care may be provided for 90 or 180 days, for example.
With these longer-term treatment options, patients may find that they’re better able to move forward, because they have all the same supports in place despite more freedoms. For example, the core treatment may last 90 days, but then you may have an additional 90 days of sober living and transitional support.
What Is Included In a Long-Term Addiction Program?
With a long-term care program, patients stay in a facility for 60, 90, or 180 days (and sometimes longer). A long-term addiction program may have a number of helpful benefits such as:
- Recovery coaching
- Peer support
- Alumni groups
- Sober living options
- Personalized treatment
It has been shown that the lack of a stable, alcohol and drug-free environment makes long-term sobriety more difficult, based on a study available through the National Institute of Health. This is largely because the individual is more likely to be exposed to their triggers without a solid support system in place if they return to their original environment. If they relapse, they are also less likely to seek support.
With long-term care services, the goal is to give them more options, so they can choose a path that minimizes the risk of relapsing. Some long-term programs offer educational support, job support, sober-living environments, and ongoing therapy.
The key in all of this is that individuals who go through extended care are held accountable. As they gain more freedoms and work through their treatments and opportunities, they will also learn to take responsibility for themselves and their actions, which is a key component of long-term success.
Contact Atlantic Recovery Center about Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Options Today
At Atlantic Recovery Center, we offer continuing care options and services to help individuals on the road to sobriety. Whether it is you or someone you love who needs addiction treatment, we would be happy to speak with you about the extended care options that we currently have available. Substance abuse disorders can be treated, and addiction recovery is possible. Contact us today at 1-866-824-5193.