Extended care addiction treatment is designed to address more complex substance abuse issues. For those who are unable to achieve or maintain sobriety after participating in a more traditional treatment program, extended care provides additional support and time for those struggling with addiction. The program examines more closely the internal and externals that hinder a patient’s recovery process and further develop tools to help a patient transition to an independent, sober life.
Those with dual diagnosis disorders can benefit greatly from extended care. Individuals with a condition that affects his or her addiction but exists independently of the substance abuse issues fall within those needing this treatment. This can include those suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, work-injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). Mental health issues or chronic pain may spur an addiction and hinder recovery and may cause patients to need the extra time, support, and scope extended care treatment provides.
The average length of an extended care stay is 90 days, which allows for a more thorough examination of the patient’s addiction. In particular, the program addresses the consequences related to limited or deficient support systems, poor coping skills, and cognitive impairment due to chemical addiction. Extended care was originally conceived to treat drug or alcohol-addicted people working in safety-sensitive positions. Anyone working in law enforcement, airline transportation, or any job that has “the primary and specific purpose of protecting the general public from harm” will find this program a more complete road to recovery. Participation in extended care programs varies from person to person and focuses on guiding individuals through recovery.
Some extended care treatment may include a patient living in Sober Living Environments (SLEs). These interim housing facilities support people in recovery and who are transitioning from a treatment program to their new lives. While each SLE is unique, all have house rules which include no drug or alcohol use on or off the premises. Most require residents to attend support meetings, submit to random drug tests, have a job, or actively looking for a job, pay bills on time, and be accepting of their peer group. This structure gives people recovering from addiction an environment that helps them establish a new routine and hinders them from returning to old habits. Those who participate in an SLE often state that it was an essential part of their recovery process.
Everyone’s path to recovery is shaped differently. When secondary health issues or special circumstances are involved with someone’s addiction, treatment can be particularly difficult. Extended care addiction treatment gives those who need it the extra time and support to address the complex factors of their addiction.