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What is Extended Care?

What Happens After Rehab?

Going through rehab provides the individual with a solid foundation for their recovery, but it is only really meant as a first step in a long journey. By entering this type of treatment programme, the individual will be giving himself or herself the best possible start, but there will be no graduation day. If they fail to make further progress after they leave rehab, the individual can find him or herself to be back in the midst of addiction or turning to new maladaptive behaviours. There will also be other people who need more than what an initial rehab programme is able to offer. It is vital that the individual has a good plan for what happens after rehab or else they will be risking any progress that they have made thus far.

If you are worried about what happens after rehab, you can call us here on 0800 024 1476 (+44 203 1511488 outside the UK), and we will be able to discuss your concerns with you.

What is Extended Care?

It can be helpful to look at addiction treatment as being made up of different phases that would include:

  • Stage one – this is the detox stage and it can last from 10 days to 28 days. During this phase of recovery, the person’s number one priority will be to make it safely through withdrawal symptoms.
  • Stage two – this is the primary rehab treatment stage and it can last up to six months, but it tends to be about 90 days. During the primary stage, the individual will have the opportunity to pick up the basic tools they are going to need in order to break away from addiction.
  • Stage three – this is what can be referred to as extended care. The individual may continue to stay in a rehab programme for up to two years, and they will be expected to follow a schedule of treatment during this stage.

There are different types of extended care available such as:

  • Dry house (third stage houses) – these may look like normal homes, but the individual will be sharing it with other people in recovery and expected to follow an in-house programme. A key worker will usually have responsibility for this house, but they will not be there at nighttime and weekends unless there is an emergency. The person will have a great deal more freedom here than they would have in first stage rehab, but there will be rules that they have to follow. If they relapse, they will be automatically kicked out of the programme.
  • Third stage rehab – this is where the individual remains within the therapeutic community of rehab for up to two years.
  • Half way houses

The Benefits of Extended Care

Extended care can be beneficial for a number of reasons including:

  • The individual will be supported for longer in recovery, and this increases the chances of achieving permanent abstinence. There is good evidence to suggest that this type of longer programme leads to better outcomes.
  • The standard rehab programme only really offers a basic grounding in recovery because of time constraints. In order to make further progress, the individual will benefit from a longer program.
  • As the individual passes through the first year or so of recovery, they will face many challenges. It can be so helpful to get support while actually facing these challenges. The person will learn about the common traps in recovery, but they may not really appreciate this information at the time. By learning as they go, the individual will be much better able to deal with life as it comes.
  • Many people will have housing problems because of their addiction. This means that they will have nowhere suitable to go to after rehab. By choosing an extended care programme, the individual will not have to worry about housing right away. Many of these programmes will even come with promises of council housing in the local area at the end of the treatment so long as the individual remains sober.
  • Some people will struggle to cope with sober living even after they have been through rehab. These are often individuals who have been addicted for many years, and are just not used to dealing with day-to-day living. Many people will also fall into addiction at a young age before they have had the opportunity to develop appropriate coping mechanisms. By entering an extended care facility this person will be better able to develop the skills they need.
  • One of the great things about staying in this type of programme is that the individual will be able to test out their coping skills in a controlled environment. This means that they have more freedom to experiment.
  • Some individuals will be dealing with complex addictions where they will need support for longer. This will often include those people who have a dual diagnosis where they have a mental health problem alongside their addiction.  An example of this would be people dealing with depression – this can prevent them from making progress in recovery, so they need some additional support.
  • Some people will have tried different approaches to ending their addiction, and they now want to have the best possible chance of achieving this goal. By entering an extended care programme, the individual will be giving their recovery the best possible advantage.

Do You Need Extended Care?

Inpatient extended care is probably not something that everyone needs, but it is certainly something worth considering.

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