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It is not uncommon for individuals seeking refuge from alcohol and drug use to be under the misconception that participation in professional treatment will inform lasting sobriety and recovery. Likewise, those with mental health disorders may also adopt this inaccurate notion. Truth be told, recovery from addiction and mental health disorders is a lifelong journey, and this journey requires participation in continuing care to effectively maintain abstinence and healing long-term. Understanding the role of continuing care in preventing relapse and sustaining sobriety and recovery can help individuals develop the motivation necessary to remain committed and connected to their recovery journeys for a lifetime to come. 

At CCM, we believe that participation in continuing care services following primary rehabilitation is absolutely necessary to successfully maintain sobriety and recovery. However, to effectively reap the benefits of continuing care, individuals must first be willing to accept their need for help and, in turn, utilize intervention, treatment, and other recovery services in early sobriety. Fortunately, at CCM, we provide concierge services to individuals across the entire continuum of care. Moreover, we are dedicated to customizing our services to fit the unique needs and recovery goals of each client we serve. 

Before Continuing Care: Understanding the Need for Primary Rehabilitation

Once an individual is willing to accept the need for professional help in overcoming substance use disorder (SUD), behavioral addictions, or mental health disorders, the first step in recovery involves participating in a primary rehabilitation (rehab) program. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), primary rehab “engages all people with acute or chronic health conditions to optimize functioning, reduce disability, and participate in meaningful activities throughout the life course.” Meanwhile, those seeking recovery from SUD will likely need to utilize professional detox services before they begin rehab. 

Nonetheless, primary rehabilitation programs are often person-centered and individualized, ensuring that clients’ treatment plans directly reflect their personal needs and goals for recovery. Often, treatment programs will offer a wide range of therapeutic approaches and services, both evidence-based and holistic, to address not only a client’s presenting symptoms but also any underlying causes that may be contributing to their distress. More often than not, unresolved trauma is one of the most common underlying risk factors that will need to be addressed in treatment. 

Furthermore, in primary rehab programs, clients will gain awareness of the connections that lie between their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. They will participate in treatment as often as necessary, with some programs requiring daily participation while others only require weekly or biweekly participation. The duration and intensity of treatment will depend on the severity of the client’s symptoms as well as their healing progression over the course of treatment. 

Contrary to what some individuals may believe, recovery is not completed once a client graduates from an initial rehabilitation program. As mentioned previously, recovery is a lifelong journey; one where the potential for relapse is always prevalent. Thus, individuals must understand the role of continuing care in preventing relapse and sustaining sobriety. 

What Is Continuing Care?

Simply put, continuing care, more commonly referred to as aftercare, is a long-term stage of recovery monitoring that follows the completion of a more intensive treatment program. As stated in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, “Continuing care is provided in a variety of formats and modalities, including group counseling, individual therapy, telephone counseling, brief check-ups, and self-help meetings.”

It is important to recognize that continuing care is beneficial for individuals in recovery in a number of ways. First and foremost, participation in continuing care services helps to prevent relapse, as it encourages clients to be consistently engaged with their sober community. Moreover, through every transition in recovery, continuing care provides stability in uncertainty by offering individuals a place to constantly evaluate and overcome triggers as well as adopt new perspectives of recovery from their sober peers. 

Another benefit of continuing care is that working to prevent relapse helps improve clients’ quality of life and social functioning through fellowship. Continuing care provides individuals with the knowledge, tools, and ongoing support that they need to prioritize their recovery and healing, even years into sobriety. 

Just as clients have individualized treatment plans in primary rehab, clients will also work with professionals to create individualized aftercare plans throughout long-term recovery. It is essential that these plans are continuously revisited in sobriety to effectively prevent relapse and address any potential concerns that may otherwise jeopardize an individual’s recovery efforts. 

Engaging in Continuing Care With CCM

In addition to the common types of continuing care mentioned by the journal above, individuals can also consider implementing the following suggestions into their continuing care plans: participating in 12-Step groups or alumni programs, residing in sober living homes, becoming a sponsor or a mentor, and engaging in holistic modalities like mindfulness. Moreover, at CCM, we can help clients discover the best-fit options for continuing care to enhance their individualized healing and recovery journeys. 

Despite what some may think, successful recovery from addiction requires ongoing maintenance, specifically participation in continuing care. Continuing care is offered in a variety of formats – from individual therapy to 12-Step meetings, alumni programs, and more – and works to bring individuals together to prevent relapse throughout long-term sobriety. If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health disorders or substance use disorder (SUD), it is essential to recognize the role of continuing care in facilitating lasting healing, abstinence, and recovery. We at CCM connect clients with recovery services all throughout the continuum of care. We have what you need to establish and sustain lasting sobriety and recovery. Learn more by calling (855) 467-3226.