The Continuum of Care for Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatment is more than merely going through a 30-day rehab program. While many people do think of addiction treatment as rehab, it’s genuinely a continuum of care that can last for a lifetime. A continuum of care is a treatment concept where patients are guided and tracked over a specific time period, usually after rehab ends. It involves many different types of health services and levels of care. Some people like to think of it as a line starting with diagnosis and ending with the patient’s recovery and return to a healthy lifestyle. Let’s take a closer look at what the continuum of care for addiction treatment involves and why it’s essential to look at addiction through this lens.

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What Is the Continuum of Care for Addiction Treatment?

Treating addiction is similar in some ways to managing a chronic illness such as diabetes. While it’s possible to live a sober life after rehab, a recovered individual will always have to be aware of the risk of relapse. They may have their addiction under control, but they won’t be “cured.” This makes the continuum of care even more critical than it is for acute injuries such as broken bones. Peopledealing with addiction don’t simply move from injured to healed—they slowly change from having an out-of-control addiction to being in charge of their life. The continuum of care provides help every step of the way.

The continuum of care for addiction treatment[1] is often separated into distinct care periods:

  • Pre-treatment services
  • Outpatient care
  • Intensive outpatient care or partial hospitalization
  • Inpatient care
  • Intense inpatient services
  • Post-treatment care and long-term wellness
Levels of care for addiction treatment
The Continuum Of Care For Addiction Treatment

What Services Are Included in the Continuum of Care?

When an individual seeks treatment through the continuum of care concept, the treatment can take many different forms. Some of this care is in the hospital, while other treatments may take place at home. Here are some of the different categories in the continuum that a patient may receive:

  • Inpatient care
  • Home care
  • Extended treatment
  • Outreach treatment
  • Health and wellness checkups and treatment plans
  • Housing and other needs

The Continuum of Care Continues Beyond Rehab

This list of services looks very different from what most people assume addiction treatment is. It’s not just 30 days of rehab. It’s years of work for a disease that must be treated just like any other chronic illness. The patienthas to change nearly every aspect of their life:

  • They need to learn new thought patterns and ways of handling stress.
  • Patientshave to learn what triggers them and how to avoid those triggers.
  • They need to cut off relationships with other drug users. For some, this may mean losing nearly all of their current friendships.
  • They may need to find a new job.
  • Individuals may need to move or may have lost their home, forcing them to live elsewhere.

On top of all of these changes, Patients also have to face the reality of how society views addiction. All of these things combine to make sober living a long-termjourney. However, it’s not impossible, especially when you have the right support by your side. That’s why we hope to instill hope in all of our patients. No matter how bad your addiction is, we can help you through it.

Creating a Treatment Roadmap

One of the earliest things we do is connect you with a rehab that can guide you through the recovery process. They will help you create a treatment roadmap, spelling out how your time at detox and rehab will look. This map looks at the entire continuum of care for addiction:

Pre-Treatment Services

Often, the individual has already passed through a few of the stops on this map. They have acknowledged that they have a problem and have accepted the fact that they must confront and overcome their addiction in order to live a healthy life. They have also likely gone through detox at this point, although that’s not always the case. Those who haven’t may need to spend several days in a medical detox facility to make sure they come off drugs safely. Some detox side-effects can be dangerous or even deadly.

Outpatient or Inpatient Care?

The next step most will take is to determine what type of rehab they need. This is where the different options on the continuum of care come into play. The patient, along with the help of a licensed addiction specialist, will decide which option is best for them. For some, that’s outpatient treatment, but for many, it’s a 30-day inpatient program. We work with rehabs that offer a variety of different treatment options, so we can find the right one for each patient.

Intensive Care

Patients who are in life-threatening situations may need intensive care. These patients may have gone into a coma or have been otherwise incapacitated by drug or alcohol use. They require additional medical treatment and need more care and supervision than regular inpatient care provides. Some patients do both—they go through an inpatient program, but they realize they need more help. They then go through an outpatient program and transition into a sober house or another support program.

Entering the Continuum of Care

Often, an individual will go through several, or even all of these care periods. Some may skip over some care periods, too. For example, a patient who recognizes they need help may reach out to us on their own and receive some pre-treatment services before working with one of our partner rehab facilities to begin inpatient treatment. On the other hand, someone who suffers from an overdose may need intense inpatient services that are managed by medical professionals to help them through severe detox.

Overall, most people will move through these levels of care as they move away from their addiction and towards living a healthy, sober lifestyle. Each level of care can also be customized to the patient, too. Some people may do much better in outpatient care because they retain a sense of stability and normalcy. For them, providing more robust outpatient treatment is going to lead to more success, even though many people would assume inpatient services would be a better option.

We encourage everyone struggling with addiction to reach out to us. Dealing with addiction on your own is difficult and nearly impossible. Please reach out to us today if you’re fighting with addiction and unsure of how to begin recovery.

The Standard Roadmap for Addiction Treatment

When going through rehab, there are often similar steps that everyone takes. Here is an overview of the steps and what they entail.

Inpatient Therapy For Addiction
  1. Intervention: This is when an individual comes to a point in time where accepting they struggle with addiction happens. This is also when people get to the point of being willing to accept help by means of treatment.
  2. Detox: This is the part of the process where an individual safely and comfortably removes the drugs and alcohol from their system. In most instances, this is the first physical aspect of treatment, as it focuses on treating the body.
  3. Residential Treatment: During this type of treatment, professionals are heavily monitored to transition them from the physical aspect of treatment to the mental aspect of treatment. It is a transition from detox into a therapeutic management of cravings and mental connections to abusing drugs or alcohol.
  4. PHP: This part of treatment focuses on the underlying aspects of addiction while also giving individuals the tools and skills they need to overcome struggles and maintain sobriety.
  5. IOP: During this aspect of treatment, people begin stepping back into a normal environment and learn to manage daily trials. The treatment continues during this phase, and each aspect of remaining sober is covered while real challenges become apparent.
  6. OP: This aspect of treatments sees individuals fully reentering society and everyday life. It focuses on support and therapy to keep the individual focused on their sobriety.
  7. Aftercare:The main focus during aftercare is getting increased support as is necessary to remain sober. During this phase, there is ongoing therapy and treatment to help sobriety stay in focus.

What About Relapse?

Most people would assume that relapse is not a part of the continuum of care, and while that’s true, it is important to realize that relapse does not equate to failure. Patients who see relapse as failing to be sober often want to give up. They don’t see the point of trying again because they failed.

That’s why it’s crucial to see relapse as a learning tool. It shows patients what doesn’t work for them. As long as they realize that they’ve relapsed and reached out for help, they haven’t failed. Their journey to a fully sober life may take a little longer now, but it’s not over.

This is one of the instances where an individual may enter into the continuum of care in the middle of the process. They may need to enroll in an outpatient program to learn new tools for handling stress or avoiding triggers. Some may even need to go back into a 30-day intensive inpatient program. Because of the different types of therapy and addiction treatment, the program the patient enters can be customized to focus on new techniques to help them avoid another relapse.

Relapse Prevention Process

Why Addiction Treatment Needs to be Flexible

Unlike most other illnesses, when it comes to addiction treatment, the continuum of care must be very flexible. Every person is going to have their own unique needs. This is because there are many different factors involved in addiction. The type of drug or combination of drugs the patient is using is just one of many. Their past, including their childhood, their relationships, and their living situation, all play a part in addiction. The plan to treat this addiction has to address all of these very personal issues, and there’s no one-size-fits-all method for that.

The Continuum of Care Is Designed for Long-Term Success

The continuum of care for addiction treatment is designed to help patients understand their illness, work through the rehab process, gather the tools they need to combat relapse, and establish healthy coping mechanisms and patterns of thought for the rest of their life. The various treatment programs help you succeed long-term, even if they do relapse before they achieve their sober life. They will see the spectrum of care available and understand that there are a variety of options and treatment programs out there.

We’re here to help you connect with a rehab that allows you to succeed in becoming and remaining sober, no matter what type of treatment you require. If you’re battling addiction and ready to begin the process of taking back control of your life, reach out to us here at Find The Best Rehabs today. We’re here for you.

We provide a healthy environment uniquely suited to support your growth and healing.

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