What is Continuing Care in Addiction Treatment?

What is Continuing Care in Addiction Treatment?

This article reviews why continuing care is an essential part of addiction treatment.

Understanding Continuing Care

It’s no secret that relapse rates are high among people who deal with addiction. Studies show that as many as 95% of people relapse, depending on the drug they were addicted to.

There are various stages in the rehab process where relapse is likely to occur, but it is common for it to happen after a patient gets out of an addiction recovery program. That’s why continuing care is so important.

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What Is Continuing Care?

Continuing care refers to any ongoing treatment of a disease or illness. It helps the patient achieve an optimal state of wellness so they don’t relapse after their initial treatment program.

Definition of Continuing Care in Drug Rehabilitation

Continuing care in drug rehabilitation involves ongoing therapy to ensure patients don’t go back to using. It is an essential part of the recovery process.

The Importance of Continuing Care in Addiction Treatment

Patients often relapse after checking out of an addiction treatment program. This could result from going back to living how they used to before treatment, being around friends or people who still use the substance, or simply not having a support system at home. Continuing care in addiction recovery offers the support people need to maintain sobriety in challenging times.

What Are the Four Main Stages of Continuing Care?

The four main stages of continuing are as follows:

Extended Outpatient Program:

This involves a patient continuing therapy after checking out of an inpatient addiction treatment center.

Early Recovery Program:

Early recovery refers to the early stages of recovery when relapse is most likely to occur, typically within the first year. It’s important for patients to be closely monitored during this stage, whether they are undergoing inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Recovery Maintenance Program:

A recovery maintenance plan helps the patient avoid relapse and provides them with guidance on what to do if a relapse occurs.

Health Professionals Group:

This is a group of health professionals who help the patient through recovery and offer continuing healthcare. They include both mental health and physical health specialists.

Continuing Care Services

There are many therapies that can be integrated into continuing health care. These include the following:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) identifies negative thought processes and attempts to replace them with healthier behaviors.
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy: This therapy helps motivate patients to want to get better.
  • 12-Step Mutual Help Support: This is a group therapy treatment that follows the twelve steps to recovery as established by Alcoholic Anonymous (AA). It is religious in nature.
  • Relapse Prevention: This service is an ongoing therapy that provides patients with the support they need to maintain sobriety.
  • Contingency Management: Contingency management uses stimulus control and consequences to change behaviors.

After Care Options

There are several aftercare options that offer continuing care services. These include the following:

Sober Living Homes

Sober living homes offer places for people to live after they check out of an addiction rehab facility. They work to prepare people for the outside world and may offer workshops that teach valuable career skills.

Alumni Programs

Alumni programs provide continuous health care after patients leave a treatment center. Former residents are encouraged to come back to engage in social activities and therapy programs.

Support Groups

Support groups refer to group therapy. AA is one of the most popular types used by people who have been and are dealing with alcohol addiction, alongside Narcotics Anonymous (NA) for those dealing with addiction to narcotics. Support groups are often free and located in various cities throughout the country. They allow people to talk about their problems with their peers.

Case Management

People who get out of an addiction treatment center may be assigned to a case manager, who is a type of social worker. The manager will provide them with resources to help them get a job and maintain sobriety.

Long Term Therapy

Addiction is something that needs to be managed on an ongoing basis. Many people continue attending therapy long after they complete addiction recovery. Sometimes treatment is lifelong.

Continuing Care in Addiction Treatment at Alta Centers

There are many rehab facilities that offer continuing care after a patient checks out of recovery, but which one is the right choice? Alta Centers offers addiction treatment that sets us apart from the rest.

Who Is Eligible for Our Continuing Care Program?

Anyone who attends our addiction recovery facility is eligible for continuing care—it is built into our program. It may also be available to others who attended another program and are looking for aftercare treatment.

We start by teaching strategies for relapse prevention. The client is made to understand what triggers their need to use a substance. In addition, they are provided with therapy that helps them come up with a healthier way to deal with this type of stimuli.

Once a patient graduates from our program, they are provided with continuing care to ensure they don’t go back to their old ways.

What To Expect

While continuing care is beneficial in reducing the likelihood of relapse, it takes more than that to ensure a successful recovery. Here are the common steps included in our treatment program:


We start with a detox process. Patients will experience withdrawal during this stage of recovery, so our medical staff supervises the withdrawal process to keep patients as comfortable and safe as possible. They may provide medications to reduce symptoms and ensure relapse doesn’t occur.


After detox is complete, patients move on to therapy. Our highly-trained professionals take an individualized approach ensuring each patient gets the customized care they need. They integrate various methods, including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, family therapy, and more.

Continuing Care

Once therapy is completed, the patient will move on and become one of our continuing care community members.

Addiction is not easy to fight, but the right addiction treatment will help anyone move past their dependency issues to achieve a higher state of living. Alta Centers provides the assistance needed for a successful recovery. Contact us to find out how to leave addiction behind and enjoy a well-deserved happy life.