The Continuum Of Care Model: A Powerful Tool For Addiction Treatment

Continuum of care is a term that gets thrown around a lot when referring to addiction treatment. For those seeking help for their substance use disorders, they might be perplexed on what this term means. If you need to be brought up to speed on what this model entails, rest assured–North Jersey Rehabs has got you covered. Here is why the continuum of care model is a powerful tool for addiction treatment.

Understanding The Continuum Of Care Model

When people refer to continuum of care, it’s often imagined as a single thread of treatment that begins when you choose to enter rehab, carrying through to aftercare and beyond. In this model, patients will step down to less intensive levels of care as they go about their recovery. Continuum of care personalizes and adjusts care to meet your individual needs, every step of the way, especially after you have left the facility.

What Services Should The Continuum Include?

The perfect continuum of care treatment model should cover a wide array of services and specialties to meet your needs. This can include the following:

  • Inpatient Hospitalization: The highest level of care is reserved for people who need the most intensive services, while under the supervision of a team of professionals. These short-term services are usually found in acute care hospital settings.
  • Inpatient/Residential Treatment: Inpatient treatment is longer than a stay at an inpatient hospital, residential treatment can last from 28 days to a year, or longer in some cases. These programs will still provide 24-hour care from trained staff, but allow for more freedom.
  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): PHPs offer outpatient treatment for 5 days out of the week, 4-6 hours each day. This allows the person to still live at home, but the model is not devoid of structure and consistency for those who need it the most.
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP): If PHP is too much for you, IOP could be a great alternative. IOPs provide about 3 hours of treatment, 2-3 times a week.
  • Outpatient: Outpatient therapy will consist of hour-long therapy sessions, ranging from several sessions each week or only one session a month. In light of the aftermath of COVID, teletherapy services can also be considered here.
  • Aftercare: Aftercare services are helpful for developing coping skills for triggers, relapse prevention plans, extra resources, and peer support, so that you can stay grounded in your sobriety and live a healthy life upon the completion of formal treatment. 

In addition to these treatment programs, a patient may also need assistance from detoxification services that help the body rid itself of alcohol and drugs, all of this is safely overseen by our team of medical professionals. Detox can occur in either an inpatient or outpatient program. Alternatively, medication-assisted treatment or MAT, should be a core element of a continuum of care model to better manage addictions, cravings, or any co-occurring disorders. Not every person will need all the services on the continuum, but each service should be available.

Steps In The Continuum Of Care

As mentioned in the previous section, every case is unique, meaning that not everyone will need access to all the services that we mentioned. The general steps in the continuum of care are as follows:

  • Assessment: The first step of the process is to identify the nature and extent of the substance use disorder, as well as any other chronic illnesses or co-occurring mental conditions that can complicate care if it’s not addressed.
  • Treatment Plan: Develop an evidence-based plan for addiction treatment
  • Treatment: Use detox, counseling, or holistic treatment to build the skills that are needed for long-term sobriety. 
  • Evaluation: Understanding how successful treatment has been in breaking old behavioral patterns
  • Case Management: Create a plan for ongoing care, (e.g. intensive outpatient treatment or sober living). 
  • Extended Care: Provide the necessary services to ease the transition into independent living while tackling physiological, psychological, and spiritual concerns.
  • Monitoring: Periodically check in with the patient to ensure that there are no areas of concern.

The level of support will gradually decrease as the client becomes more adept at practicing the skills needed to manage the chronic ailments of substance use disorders. 

Ease The Process Of Transitioning To Independent Living

Even though the specifics of this plan looks different for every person, the goal remains the same. Continuum of care aims to ease the transition from the structured environment of residential treatment to a fully independent, sober life. Our care team will continually help you in applying the skills you’ve learned in everyday situations. This includes coping with cravings, managing triggers, finding productive ways to manage stress, and learning how to reorient and communicate effectively around family and friends. 

Providing Continuum Of Care As A Roadmap To Recovery

If you or a loved one are in need of a structured program that will aid you in your recovery, North Jersey Rehabs has your back. Contact us today to start the process of treatment.

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