Drug dependence is a chronic, relapsing disorder requiring specialized treatment. Identifying the most effective type of treatment continues to be a difficult task. Research is ongoing, with rigorous evaluation of treatment modalities and programs, and of patient outcomes. Increasingly it has become clear that the effectiveness of rehab has a great deal to do with what happens when the individual leaves rehab.
Changing the Language
“Research has shown that people with substance use disorders are viewed more negatively than people with physical or psychiatric disabilities,” said an October statement from the Obama Administration. The statement from Changing the Language of Addiction pointed to studies conducted in which even mental health professionals were more likely to suggest punitive consequences for those referred to as a “substance abuser” rather than “a person with a substance use disorder.”
A large number of those who are in need of addiction treatment do not receive the help they need, most often due to lack of resources, but in many cases because of the social stigma.
Support for Recovery
Numerous studies have determined that intensive outreach and care after discharge from inpatient drug rehab provided more favorable outcomes.
A new study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment sought to address both issues using the company AiRCare™ which describes itself as “a turnkey, outsourced disease management program that delivers high-quality customized support through telehealth and coordinated health care interventions after a patient has completed a primary episode of care. It is based on a proven predictive care model that anticipates patient behaviors to help reduce recidivism and keep patients engaged in treatment.”
The addiction aftercare program was structured to deliver case management-style follow-up treatment through continuous outreach in which clinicians evaluated patient adherence to their individualized aftercare plan and had the option to let family and significant others actively participate. It involved regular telephone communication between clinicians, patients, and loved ones over a 12-month period after discharge from residential addiction treatment.
Researchers followed 379 substance use disorder patients utilizing this program, which included a minimum of 23 planned telephone calls between patients and clinicians, and a minimum of 23 calls to family members. Most patients saw positive outcomes, adding to an increasing number of research results highlighting follow-up as a foremost target for increasing effectiveness, especially following a stay in a long-term inpatient drug rehab.
How Hotlines Can Help
Unfortunately, not all addicts have the support of family or even friends. Even in cases where a structured program such as the above is in place, cravings can happen anytime, and they don’t always occur at convenient times, such as during a therapy appointment, scheduled call or meeting. Often the urge comes when there is no one around to talk to about the craving while waiting for it to pass. This is when a drug addiction hotline can be most helpful. The time spent waiting for a therapist, sponsor, close friend or family member to call back could mean the difference between resisting and succumbing to the urge. For immediate help, 24/7, a rehab hotline fits the bill. In addition to the immediate gratification, callers get:
• Anonymity. Everything you say on the phone to your drug abuse hotline operator stays between you and the person on the other end of the line.
• No charge. You pay nothing to call a toll-free drug abuse hotline and you can talk as long as you need to about your cravings or what happened that made you want to relapse.
• Connection to treatment resources, if one is not already enrolled in a program.
When seeking a compassionate and effective resource, rehabhotline.org can help. Click the link or call 855-510-0786.