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Some sources make no distinction between an extended-care program and a long-term treatment program for substance use disorders. For the purposes of this article, the distinction between an extended-care program and long-term treatment follows:
Some of the differences between the two types of programs include:
Extended-care programs may consist of numerous types of interventions that can include sober living homes, intensive outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization treatment, outpatient therapy, inpatient therapy, social support group participation, group therapy, etc.
Despite the manner in which the treatment is delivered, there are important principles that help to make an extended-care program more efficient and to increase the risk of a positive outcome.
According to the books Designing, Implementing, and Managing Treatment Services for Individuals with Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Blueprints for Action and Addiction Treatment as well as information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the principles of effective extended-care treatment include:
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Extended-care treatment programs that adhere to these principles will have greater overall success in their treatment outcomes. Not adhering to these general principles will result in the intervention losing its effectiveness and/or frustrated clients who drop out of treatment prematurely.
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