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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.

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.
Long Term Therapy for Addiction Treatment

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.

Questions About Treatment?

Our knowledgeable team is ready to discuss your situation and options. Your call is confidential with no obligation required.

What is an Intervention?

In a situation involving substance use disorder, planning an intervention may be the best, and safest, option to help someone who is living with an addiction. So, what does intervention mean? An intervention is a strategically planned process of confronting the person who is living with addiction about the consequences of their actions while simultaneously encouraging them to accept help and treatment for their addiction.1

The key feature of an intercession is that while it can be an immensely helpful option in convincing a person that they should seek treatment, it should not be done solely by friends and family members. Without the aid of a specialist, or someone who is equally trained in the process of interventions, an intervention may do more harm than good.

An intervention specialist is someone that has been professionally trained in helping people break free from their addictions. They can help a person without judgment, emotions, or blame to understand how their actions are negatively impacting themselves and those that they care about.

When performed properly, without judgment or pressure, and with the aid of a qualified intercession specialist, 80-90% of substance use interventions are successful in convincing the patient to seek help.

Early Intervention

Treatment is more effective the earlier that it begins for an alcohol or drug abuse disorder. As with any other health condition, early intervention and treatment can prevent more significant problems further on in life.

Unfortunately, in many cases, an alcohol addiction intervention or a drug abuse intercession does not take place until most other options have been exhausted. It can be difficult for those struggling with a substance use disorder to realize or admit that they need help.

It often takes a life-altering event, such as a divorce, loss of employment, or a housing crisis for a person to be willing to seek treatment. Because early
alcohol and drug intercession can be so beneficial, first responders must be able to recognize the symptoms of substance abuse.3

What is a Nursing Intervention?

Nursing interventions are often the first time a patient will experience care for their disorder. It takes place when someone enters a care facility such as a clinic or hospital for a condition that may or may not be caused or exacerbated by their substance use disorder.

After initial evaluation and stabilization, a nurse will take action to help their patient by suggesting healthy physical or emotional coping mechanisms for a patient that wants to quit using the substance that they are addicted to. The nurse will also be able to offer education and information to the patient about other treatment facilities or care providers that can help them on their road to recovery.

Alcohol Intervention

A Further Look at Interventions

Nearly 50% of adults in America regularly drink alcohol, and it is believed that as many as 25% of those Americans have an alcohol addiction, most commonly in the form of binge drinking. In many situations, once a person with an alcohol use disorder realizes the way that alcohol is negatively impacting their life, they can reduce the amount that they drink, or even quit entirely, without outside assistance.

However, some people that have an alcohol use disorder are unable to see how their addiction is negatively affecting them. In this situation, an alcohol use intercession can be extremely beneficial. Some of the benefits of interventions include:

Drug Intervention

A Further Look at Interventions

Over nineteen million adults struggle with a drug abuse disorder and of those, nearly 74% also struggle with a co-existing alcohol abuse disorder. Drug abuse and addiction can be a much harder disorder to recover from than alcohol addiction, particularly due to the high rate of co-use that most people with a substance use disorder experience.

In many cases, suddenly stopping the use of an illicit substance can be just as harmful, if not more so than using the substance itself. The side effects and withdrawal symptoms that a person may experience when they decide to stop using a substance can be severe and at times life-threatening.

Luckily, substance use is a highly treatable disorder and several medications can help a person wean off of illicit substances in a safe, sustained, and monitored manner. A drug abuse intervention can help someone realize that they have options and that they can recover safely and healthily.

Questions About Treatment?

Our knowledgeable team is ready to discuss your situation and options. Your call is confidential with no obligation required.