According to the American Addiction Center, the rate of relapse is around 40 to 60 percent for people found with substance abuse problems. This big number shows that 50 percent of those who successfully got over substance abuse for the first time have a strong chance of spiraling back into the habit.
This is why continuity programs are often imposed on low-relapse cases. Continuity programs work by reinforcing the habits already developed by substance abusers even as it lets them get back to ordinary life.
Currently, there are several continuity programs being offered depending on which one would suit the patient best.
Common Continuity Programs
1. Partial Hospitalization offers a degree of freedom for those with multiple health conditions.
This particular continuity program simply requires the patient to appear for daily meetings and then go back to their own homes each night. It’s a combination of medical and psychological care delivered to patients who are often battling with two or more medical needs, including their substance use.
The beauty of this method is that it offers a degree of freedom that you just can’t get with inpatient care. At the same time, the approach towards therapy is extensive, often including process groups, sessions, life skills classes, and relapse prevention. Individual therapy is also encouraged to help properly assess the progress of the patient. On one hand, there’s a consistency that comes with the program while still managing to instill some sense of responsibility for the patient.
2. Outpatient treatment for those who want to slowly rejoin the community.
Outpatient treatments are a tad lower in intensity compared to partial hospitalization. It’s for people who have mild to moderate cases of substance abuse and are capable of better control over their impulse. The number of hours for treatment per day is lower – allowing patients to maintain part-time jobs even as they continue with the treatment.
3. Community programs help create a sense of community among patients.
Another way of imposing continuity programs is by creating a community where patients can interact with each other after therapy. Patients will often be asked to move into a common house, building, or apartment whilst undergoing outpatient treatment or partial hospitalization. This isn’t an inpatient system however since the patients are free to come and go as they like. The main purpose of a community program is to simply allow patients to meet and interact with each other to create a sense of camaraderie.
How Continuity Programs Help Prevent Relapse
Continuity programs extend the following assurances to patients:
Prevention of Relapse
Patients are specifically taught how to recognize the signs of relapse and stop it immediately. Practices, routines, mantras, and other techniques are taught that can help patients resist the temptation and eventually stop wanting addictive substances.
Getting Back to the Normality of Life
Have the opportunity to go back to society and rebuild their life even as they continue to receive care.
Shared Program of Healing
Meet with others who are going through the same process as them. This fosters the creation of bonds and having a community who understands and relates with your own struggles during the program.
Medical Intervention from Professionals
Access to medical professionals who have the right background and skills to help you through the treatment.
Access to a facility that helps ease the struggle – especially for comprehensive programs. Some facilities even encompass meal services, games, and activities to help channel energy into more beneficial activities.
Assurance of Continuous Guidance
Continuity programs provide patients with the confidence they need to rejoin society after undergoing intensive inpatient therapy. There’s a degree of reassurance there as patients participate in new activities and then gain confirmation that they’re on the right path by a team of professionals.
New Learnings and Extended Support
Being taught new skills that can be directly applied to daily life combined with the presence of supportive individuals, helps improve the motivation of patients. With a team providing additional support and demanding accountability on a routine basis – it becomes easier for patients to stick to their promise of staying sober.
There’s nothing wrong with getting an additional boost to ensure that there are minimal chances of relapse after undergoing therapy for substance abuse. Today, many patients are lucky enough to have access to multiple services and the opportunity to choose one that best fits their specific needs.