Addiction is a disease and a long-term condition. Those who were once addicted to drugs and alcohol will continue to face struggles and triggers throughout their lives. This is why addiction recovery requires a solid continuum of care to ensure long-term success for patients.
Without an effective continuum of care, patients are at a much higher risk of falling through the cracks of the healthcare system. This increases the likelihood that someone suffering from addiction will relapse or potentially overdose.
To provide the best short- and long-term care for your patients, here’s what you need to know in developing a reliable continuum of care for addiction recovery.
What Is the Continuum of Care?
Continuum of care is the concept that involves an integrated system of care that guides and helps patients through a variety of health services following a medical crisis. For those in addiction recovery, the continuum of care often includes programs such as:
- Partial Hospitalization
- Intensive Outpatient
Through each stage of treatment, patients require ongoing support to ensure they have access to all of the care and resources they need to stay on their journey to recovery.
Ideally, continuum of care should be personalized to meet each patient’s individual needs. Every patient’s experience with sobriety is different. Some absolutely require residential rehab and partial hospitalization, while others can immediately enroll in an intensive outpatient program.
Because not all patients will require all of the services on the continuum, it’s important for it to be as flexible as possible.
How Creating the Continuum of Care Improves Patient Outcomes
Addiction is a chronic, life-long condition, but one’s ability to achieve long-term recovery and sobriety is dependent on the support and care that is provided. Someone is more likely to stay on the sober path if they:
- Have support and stability from friends and loved ones.
- Take part in social and community support activities, such as support groups.
- Spend longer periods of time receiving professional care.
This means that care and support must be continuous, starting from the time a patient arrives at an addiction treatment center. When patients switch to a different program or work to reintegrate into the local community, the continuum of care must continue. Otherwise, they may fall out of recovery and revert back to old habits, which restarts the cycle.
Why Patients Fall Through Cracks Before Reaching Rehab
Let’s face it: The process of getting someone help with addiction or dependence isn’t always easy and straight-forward. In fact, a patient may undergo a medical detox, only to then have to wait weeks for an open spot in a rehabilitation facility. More often than not, patients are never referred to a program that provides them the necessary level of care. During this “down time,” patients may land themselves back in the hospital or be incarcerated.
Problems also often arise after someone finishes a rehab program. These programs typically last 28 days, which means that plans must be in place to determine where a patient goes after completing an inpatient program. It is hard to imagine that a person could truly unwind the clock on their addiction in just 28 days. Once rehab is over, some return home and fall back into their old ways due to having no support to keep them on track.
Without someone checking in or following up on them, someone who has been treated for addiction may relapse into old habits.
RecoverWell Is the Ideal Solution for Creating the Continuum of Care
Creating a continuum of care is much easier when using innovative solutions that streamline access to the best care for patients. RecoverWell offers a patient management platform for addiction treatment that enables medical professionals and social workers to triage medical needs, verify insurance benefits, and match and book patients to rehab facilities in just a matter of minutes!
Our platform helps patient advocates create a continuum of care for addiction recovery patients. Get started today by contacting our team or signing up for a free trial of RecoverWell.