How to Define Continuum of Care
According to the US National Library of Medicine, continuum of care involves an integrated system of care that guides and tracks patients over time through a comprehensive array of health services spanning all levels of intensity of care. This article presents how to define of continuum of care, including objectives, basic components, and operating principles. The purpose is to provide a concept that will encourage leadership by offering a vision for the future and providing a framework to guide day-to-day decision-making.
By helping people throughout every aspect of care, not just the treatment itself, their chances for long-term sobriety increase exponentially. While receiving initial behavioral and medical treatment for addiction is important, so are the stages of treatment that follow. Just because a client completes a treatment program in inpatient rehab doesn’t mean they are cured and will stay sober forever. Ongoing care as part of the continuum of care process is extremely important.
The Four Parts of a Continuum of Care
Addiction isn’t as simple as just kicking a bad habit. If getting over addiction was as easy as simply quitting, everyone would be able to do it. The reality is that it is a progressive, and often fatal disease. That’s why it is important to approach addiction treatment with the four different levels of the continuum of care, according to The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), so the patient knows what to expect during treatment. Clients can be transferred to different levels of care during treatment, depending on their specific needs and the length and severity of their addiction.
- Level 0.5: Early intervention services, such as outreach programs or other admissions services
- Level 1: Services for Outpatients who suffer from less severe addiction or need ongoing support after inpatient treatment
- Level 2: Partial hospitalization / Intensive outpatient
- Level 3: Residential / Inpatient Services.
- Level 4: Is an intensive medically managed inpatient service
Why Continuum of Care is Important
Everyone suffers from addiction differently. Some people may suffer more greatly during the detox process than others, some may need more help in the early intervention stage and some people may need to stay longer in inpatient service than others. Finding what works best for the client is important, and continuum of care helps do just that.
Recovering from addiction is a life-long process, and important to know when learning to define continuum of care. Going to the hospital for surgery or getting a cast for a broken bone can almost guarantee 100% recovery, but going to treatment for addiction is not the same. There is no magic wand, and going to treatment for 30 or 90 days does not cure or fix the person’s addiction forever. It is an ongoing process. As such, the continuum of care helps clients through this lifelong process and helps to manage their triggers.
Life After Treatment
Ongoing care and support are required. Some people with severe addictions may need to live in transitional sober housing before they return home. This is especially true for people who live in a triggering environment, such as in a neighborhood where drugs are prevalent or other types of stressors.
Managing life after treatment is a process because many people feel inspired and hopeful upon completion of treatment; however, it is important to have an aftercare plan in place in an effort to prevent a relapse. Having boundaries in place, a sober support group and a new routine are proactive ways to manage life after treatment.
At Cliffside Malibu, we are with our clients every step of the way. After our clients have completed a program with us, we offer a comprehensive Alumni program and aftercare to create an environment for successful long-term recovery. That is our continuum of care promise, and we take it very seriously.
About Cliffside Malibu
Addiction treatment is more than just simply getting sober and kicking a bad habit; it is a complex process. Many people become overwhelmed and avoid getting the help they need. It is important to remember that concepts such as continuum of care and individualized treatment plans are put in place to give the best possible chances of long-term recovery. Trusting the process, connecting with the therapists and maintaining an aftercare program can make all the difference.
Since no two addictions are the same, Cliffside Malibu offers an individualized treatment plan for every client. We are committed to providing evidence-based treatment through a continuum of care model including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment, and outpatient services. Our program also includes family therapy and holistic therapy, as well. Whether an individual is suffering from substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction, our programs are structured to create a supportive environment where healing can begin.
In addition to world-class treatment, Cliffside Malibu offers luxury accommodations, a serene environment, five-star dining, and plentiful amenities. We understand that addiction treatment is a rigorous process. Therefore, we provide for your comfort and relaxation at every turn, allowing you to rejuvenate, and meet the demands of treatment with your greatest energy and attention.
For more information on Cliffside Malibu, visit cliffsidemalibu.com