In the field of addiction treatment, “continuing care” refers to the stage of treatment that follows an initial period of intensive care. It is designed to provide individuals with more support throughout their recovery – in other words, a full continuum of care.
As we know, drug addiction is a chronic and lifelong disease. Much like diabetes and other chronic illnesses, addiction needs to be managed with active and ongoing treatment. As described by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the chronic nature of addiction means that relapsing is “not only possible but also likely,” with relapse rates similar to those for diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.
This is not to say, of course, that recovery is impossible. In fact, many people achieve sobriety with a combination of long-term treatment and continuing care. The key is, you must commit to a life of recovery. This does not end after rehab is complete.
Why Long-term and Continuing Care?
We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires lifestyle changes, as well as shifts in your mindset, your behaviors, and your coping skillset. Of course, change doesn’t always come easy at first. Through a drug treatment program, you can learn the skills needed to launch a successful recovery journey.
National research shows that long-term drug treatment is most effective for overcoming addiction. At least 90 days of rehab is recommended, though better outcomes are associated with longer bouts of treatment. At Turnbridge, we’ve found that most clients – about 95 percent – find success after 270 days in our residential programs.
The initial stages of drug treatment, particularly in a residential setting, are designed to help clients:
- Establish medical and psychological stability
- Reinstate a healthy mind, outlook, and regime
- Understand their conditions fully, as well as how to manage them in a healthy way
- Develop a detailed plan for ongoing care outside of the treatment setting
Without drug treatment, it can be very difficult to quit drugs for good. Drug addiction creates lasting changes in the brain, which can only be managed or reverted with a long-term plan in place. This means that the work does not end with treatment – and that’s where continuing care comes in.
Continuing care is designed to help clients re-integrate with society after their residential rehab program. This ensures they are not just thrown into the waters of mainstream living, which might involve navigating job or school-related stress, traversing relationships with family and old friends, and learning how to manage other adversities without drugs or alcohol. With continuing care in their back pocket, those in recovery can live life independently while maintaining their access to important resources such as:
- Counseling and therapy sessions
- Group meetings and support groups
- Sober living residencies
- Clinical professionals who understand their unique needs
At Turnbridge, our continuing care model helps ensure clients are prepared for life after rehab. We develop a detailed discharge plan that connects each client with treatment resources in their community. We help set up appointments with medical providers, transfer any relevant records, and facilitate meetings to ensure a cohesive continuity of care. Having teen and young adult clients, we also set them up for vocational success after rehab, ensuring they have a plan in place to pursue educational or employment goals.
Turnbridge also offers extended care programs, specifically designed for teens and young adults who have completed a residential rehab program (at Turnbridge or another facility) and require additional care. In addition, our extended care program may be right for adolescents who require a higher level of care than what they are getting in an outpatient setting.
Within the final phases of our extended care programs, clients begin to prepare meals on their own, attend classes and meetings independently, and navigate life outside rehab. The goal is to help these youth:
- Develop skills to proactively manage their health conditions
- Make healthy decisions that will contribute to a better well-being
- Continue their academic trajectory, and achieve their goals while in recovery
- Become an engaged and positive family member upon returning home
At Turnbridge, we recognize that treatment for drug addiction must be individualized and take into consideration the whole-person – their mental health, physical health, as well as any other developmental, social, academic, or even legal factors that may be at bay. Continuing care should be approached similarly. Our continuing care residential program, for example, helps support ongoing self-care by encouraging nutrition, physical health, skills development, academics, and wellness.
Recovery from addiction is a lifelong journey, but it is possible with the ongoing care and support. Through extended and continuing care programs, like those at Turnbridge, individuals in recovery are set up for success after treatment. You can learn more about our programs by calling 877-581-1793, or by visiting the links below.