Long-Term Sobriety and The Full Continuum of Care
So you or your loved one is thinking about entering treatment for alcoholism or substance abuse. Maybe you or they have already completed a treatment program? Everything should be fine and they are cured now, right? Unfortunately, that's incorrect. While the views of addiction treatment by society and the medical community at large have dramatically improved over the last few decades, there are still many misconceptions regarding addiction treatment, and the long-term care of individuals suffering from this chronic, progressive and potentially fatal disease.
Addiction and alcoholism is a very serious and sometimes deadly condition. It ultimately destroys the life of the alcoholic or addict; often damaging the lives of those around them. This is why it is so crucial that when you or your loved one make a decision to get help, that you are properly educated.
When looking at the numbers, one thing is clear. The full continuum of care leads to higher success rates. So what is the full continuum of care? The full continuum of care is a structured treatment program with different levels of care for varying periods of time.
1. Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
In this stage of treatment, the patient spends 6 to 8 hours a day in individual and group therapy. Case management at this stage is also important for the recovering alcoholic or drug addict (accountability, testing, treatment plan, etc.).
2. Intensive Outpatient (IOP)
This stage typically consists of group therapy, case management, testing, and treatment planning. Therapy includes groups, therapy, case management, continued treatment plan, testing, etc. During this time the patient is being integrated back into life, sober and with support. They are able to go back to work, look for a job, go to school, volunteer, etc. At this point, sober living is often a good idea if possible to have an even higher level of accountability and structure.
3. Outpatient (OP)
During this stage of follow up care, the individual can continue to work, go to school etc., while still being monitoring and receiving support. This usually consists of 1 to 2 groups per week, meeting with a case manager and testing. The length of time depends on the individual’s needs.
One thing that should be noted is that it is very unlikely that one provider will be able to provide all aspects of care for continuing recovery(PHP, IOP, OP, sober living, etc.). This makes it extremely important that you research and look into the providers for these different stages of care. At Coastal Addiction Center, for example, we work with many very reputable outpatient facilities and even help facilitate the transition. We also take our patients to tour outpatient facilities, so they can make sure it’s a good fit for them once they have left our facility.
After the recovering individual successfully completes these three stages, their chances of long-term sobriety have already gone up drastically! It is still important, however, that they understand that addiction/alcoholism is a lifelong disease and requires ongoing awareness. By this point, you or your loved one will have received the necessary tools to continue the journey of recovery.
Coastal Addiction Center