While residential treatment provides a natural “safe zone” where people seeking sobriety can focus on battling the immediate crisis of addiction, we know that a whole new kind of work in recovery begins when residential treatment ends. At Origins, we take great care in developing a personalized continuing care plan for every patient in our care. This means that we begin preparing for discharge upon admission to our programs. In order to form a comprehensive discharge plan, we consult not only with the patient, but their family, and referents, as well. This ensures that we develop a continuing care program that is customized to each patient’s individual needs.
Continuing care planning, also known as “discharge planning”, is a critical component of a treatment which helps patients and their families prepare to navigate the ups and downs of a life in recovery. A detailed and organized continuing care plan can provide both stability for the person entering recovery and peace of mind for their families. Here are a few of the key components of a plan as well as what questions to ask as your loved one engages in treatment.
Continuing care planning at Origins begins at the onset of treatment. Our Continuing Care Department works hand in hand with the primary therapist and the other our multidisciplinary team to create a personalized plan for every discharging patient.
Each patient at Origins will work alongside one of our Continuing Care Specialists to develop a plan that is personalized to their unique needs. These specialists coordinate with all auxiliary points of contact to develop their plan. Every day, our specialists attend our treatment team meetings which allows them to better understand each patients history and clinical support recommendations.
While discharge planning begins with the patient, many other people will likely be involved in the process. Most people in treatment sign consents that allow providers to touch base with auxiliary points of contact, including family members. Those contacts will naturally be included in the discharge planning process. Though parents or loved ones cannot ultimately dictate a patient’s discharge plan, they may provide valuable insight into aftercare needs. Together, patients, their families, referents, and Origins’ treatment team will build a continuing care plan that reflects these relationships and support services.
At Origins, we take the individual needs of every patient and develop a continuing care plan that includes a range of recommendations.
Counseling is a critical component of most patients’ aftercare plans. Recommendations by our team may include work with a therapist or various levels of clinical support, such as Intensive Outpatient or Outpatient services. These clinical services provide support for the challenges presented by life after treatment and may include group work or individual therapy. We coordinate with trusted referents in order to guide our patients to clinical services that help them address issues that may arise following treatment.
Co-occurring disorders are common with addiction, and our multidisciplinary team is dedicated to providing superior medical services to every one of our patients. After they discharge, many patients in our care will need to adhere to the medical plan laid out for them during treatment. We ensure that our discharging patients understand how and when to take their medications. We also connect them with doctors and mental health professionals in their area who can monitor their progress over time.
Substance use disorders impact the entire family and studies have consistently shown that recovery outcomes improve when families engage in their own recovery. Our treatment providers offer support to the entire family through our Family Programs. These programs also take into account every family member’s needs once the patient exits our care. This type of support may involve individual or family counseling or family-oriented support groups (such as Al-Anon or Families Anonymous). This allows the entire family to heal from unhealthy family dynamics that may be present.
12-Step fellowships allow people to learn practices to improve their recovery while they develop a network of support. These types of groups often provide the much-needed guidance and motivation necessary to maintain permanent recovery. Alongside these recommendations, we offer comprehensive Alumni Services and include these recommendations in our continuing care plans. At Origins, Alumni Services begin at admission and last a lifetime.
Residential treatment is a rigorous process during which nearly every minute of the day is planned. Leaving a structured environment of this nature without an idea of how to spend one’s time after treatment can set a patient up for failure. Together with their counselor, our patients develop a working schedule which includes clinical and medical recommendations as well as other sober, positive activities (e.g., going to the gym, participating in service work, attending 12-Step meetings, work/school). All of these aspects provide much-needed structure and accountability.
For some patients, returning to an unhealthy environment can mean disaster. It is important that patients discharge to living environments that support recovery. As families approach discharge plans, they should work to ensure that safe living accommodations are available immediately after treatment. Sometimes, a patient’s care plan may also include a treatment step-down program such as transitional living.
Developing a comprehensive continuing care plan may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. While the goal of any treatment stay is sobriety, the most successful outcomes occur when the patient learns to develop healthy relationships and interests that do not end at “graduation” from Origins’ care. Ultimately, recovery is about breaking old ways of thinking and learning how to practically apply recovery principles to everyday life. Through open communication with our treatment team, the entire family is able to develop a plan that supports freedom from addiction — not only for today, but for a lifetime.
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