The emphasis on long-term outcomes in addiction treatment is relatively new, even though leaders in the treatment field have been saying for years that four weeks of inpatient treatment is not adequate to recover from addiction. Whether someone attains recovery with or without treatment, it takes sustained commitment, and in relapse-prone patients one acute phase of the most intensive services isn’t enough.
Many critics of industry practices charge that 28 days of treatment alone is not even appropriate, if the patient is left with no support after discharge. Addiction treatment providers are starting to provide long-term follow-up care, and many have long provided referrals to continuing care after discharge. A Way Out believes that once initial intensive in-patient treatment is provided, a year of follow-up care is crucial to an individual’s success.
A Way Out has an aftercare program that is free to all A Way Out clients. Former clients receive one telephone call a week for a year after their discharge from primary treatment. A Way Out’s results from this program show that 85% reported an improved quality of life.
The “Sober Buddy” assigned to each client is a trained person in recovery themselves and all calls are confidential. This allows the client to feel they have a partner in their recovery process. The outcomes are better for long-term recovery if the Sober Buddy or Recovery Coach and the patient can be connected immediately following treatment. This helps establish a rapport early on.
So far A Way Out’s aftercare program of supporting Sober Living, Aftercare Treatment Programs and the Sober Buddy Relapse Prevention program has yielded longer term recovery rates for a year than the national average. While the national average of relapse is 67%, so far A Way Out has been able to maintain 35%.
The importance of aftercare programming cannot be overstated. The more support an individual has to help them in times of stress and thus an urge to use the better!