What Is An Extended Care Program?

man brain change

Choosing the right treatment plan for yourself or a loved one can be overwhelming with so many options. Generally there are 5 levels of care: detox, residential inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient care. Each level of care, listed in that order, ranks in terms of protection, supervision, security, and hours spent in treatment. People who are in need of clinically supervised withdrawal are suggested to attend a detox program. Residential inpatient is the “rehab” model most people are familiar with which lasts thirty to ninety days or more. For those who are unable to safely live on their own and attempt to get sober, residential inpatient is the choice. Such people are in need of being removed entirely from their current lifestyles and kept in a secure facility where they can have their needs met and be supervised by a trained nursing staff twenty four hours a day.

The last three options- partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient programs, can be considered extended care options. Extended care is recommended to those who do not feel they are prepared to return to their normal lives after treatment of thirty to ninety days. Sometimes referred to as a step down process, extended care programs help give individuals the ongoing structure, clinical support, learning, and growth they need.

Why Extended Care

Most people who attend treatment for a drug and alcohol problem have been abusing substances for years. Comparatively, thirty to ninety days, however transformative, will not undo the damage of years of abuse and untreated mental illness. If there is an opportunity to continue taking time to stay in treatment programs and receive help, there is a greater chance for success. Increasingly, studies are finding that long term treatment of six months or more creates a higher chance of lifelong sobriety. Drug and alcohol addiction come from a powerful shift in brain chemistry which is built on impulse and obsessive cravings. Without enough treatment, which creates tools for coping, practical life skills, and methods for emotional regulation, those trying to recover are left vulnerable against their impulsive behaviors.

LEAD Recovery Center wants to see you and your family succeed in developing a healthy, happy, and balanced lifestyle of recovery. We offer both residential and intensive outpatient treatment programs, as well as transitional outpatient and alumni programs. Our programs support clients going back to school, entering the workforce, and learning how to live again. For more information, call (800) 380-0012.