The first 3-6 months following addiction treatment is the period of greatest vulnerability to relapse. Consequently, continuing care services are designed to monitor the emotional health of recovering people, remind them of their commitment to lifestyle change and support their needs as they attempt the difficult job of living their former lives with a new perspective and resolve.
Settings of Care:
All continuing care occurs in the community setting to assist people in adjusting to their day-to-day lives.
Components of Care:
The components of continuing care are very similar to those in rehabilitative care but they typically occur less frequently. Individual, group and family therapy sessions may be scheduled monthly. Some rehabilitation programs offer telephone counseling and support services for people to talk with their former counselors.
Duration of Care:
Most continuing care programs continue for 6-12 months following completion of rehabilitation. Telephone calls occur semi-weekly during the first month, gradually decreasing to once per month over time and last 10-30 minutes depending upon the recovering person’s needs.
The goals of continuing care are exactly those of rehabilitation. Effective continuing care will help a recovering person to self-manage the recurrent occasions of temptation and craving and as importantly, develop an enjoyable, fulfilling life.