What are the Different Levels of Clinical Care for Addiction Treatment?

The rule to healthcare is there is no single approach for granting treatment. Addiction treatment is not an exception to this rule hence the recommendation to a continuum of care by many addiction treatment professionals and physicians. While there is a common misconception by many people directly or indirectly affected by substance abuse that detox and quick inpatient services are enough for treating addiction and alcoholism, they are insufficient if you are seeking lasting sobriety. Medics believe continuum care is the key to achieving full recovery from drugs and alcohol. Continuum of care involves matching your level of treatment to the needs discovered at the initial assessment session.

What is a continuum of care, and why is it preferred in addiction treatment?

Continuum of care is also referred to as Recovery-Oriented System of Care (ROCC). The phrase refers to a detailed plan for the appropriate services a person seeking treatment for addiction or alcoholism should follow. It involves guidance on different levels and intensities of care and close monitoring to measure progress. The general steps of the continuum of care include:

  • Assessment to determine the nature and extent of addiction and alcoholism
  • Development of an evidence-based addiction treatment plan
  • Treatment through detox, therapy, and counselling
  • Evaluation to measure the progress of treatment
  • Case management: A plan to ensure adherence to a path of recovery from drugs and alcohol depending on the complexity of needs
  • Extended care: refers to the services helpful in easing the stage of transition and the measures that address physiological and psychological concerns
  • Monitoring: The patient undergoes periodic scrutiny to avoid relapse or any other concern

The most important benefit of using the continuum of care when treating addiction or alcoholism is its ability to fill gaps that develop after treatment which are possible reasons for vulnerability and the seamless transition to independent living.

How do they determine the suitable level to use on you?

After gathering enough courage to face your addiction, the first step to take is booking a session with a physician or addiction treatment professional for an initial assessment. During the session, they aim to gather all the information about your substance use disorder and determine the appropriate form of treatment. Some of the common questions asked include:

  • Whether you have participated in any addiction treatment program before
  • The frequency of drug usage
  • Evidence of a mental health diagnosis or history
  • Evidence of existing medical issues

Answers to the questions above evidence the complexity of needs and are the factors considered in treatment.

Understanding the different levels of addiction treatment

Level One-Outpatient services

At the lowest level is level one which majorly entails offering therapy, medications, or other forms of treatment to the patient while they maintain their daily lives. After deciding to receive addiction treatment, the first step is to book a session with a physician or an addiction treatment professional for an initial assessment. The session aims to evaluate the intensity of addiction and determine the form of treatment they should offer. Outpatient treatment is typically the lowest in cost. It involves constant follow-ups by the physician and regular visits for treatment, usually nine hours and six hours per week for adults and adolescents or children. Level one addiction treatment is recommended for patients with less severe symptoms or an alternative if you have completed inpatient treatment.

Level Two-Intensive outpatient (IOP) and partial hospitalization (PH)

Following the discovery of accompanying symptoms or complex needs at the initial assessment, patients are recommended either for intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization, or a combination of both programs. The standard baseline for addiction treatment on this level is a non-residential treatment setting, rigorous treatment, and additional resources than the outpatient services. However, partial hospitalization occurs at a behavioral health treatment center, hospital, or day treatment program. The recommended amount of time you dedicate to treatment is approximately twenty hours or more per week or about six hours per day. It is also recommended as an alternative to step down or up a patient’s needs depending on the progress.

Level Three-Clinically managed low to high-intensity residential services

At level three, patients reside on-site under 24-hour care and supervision. The recommended duration of treatment and supervision at an inpatient facility is between thirty to ninety days. However, the intensity of settings, services, and care given and the duration of the program at this level depends on the patient’s complexity of substance use disorder. A typical day of a patient at the facility involves medical care, therapy, and a flurry of activities to minimize free time. Level three is recommended if:

  • You have completed medical detox
  • You do not require medical stabilization anymore
  • You have had an unsuccessful rehabilitation session(s)

Level Four- Medically managed intensive inpatient services

Patients who require medical stabilization due to a severe substance use disorder are recommended for medically managed intensive inpatient services. If you experience withdrawal symptoms due to a high dependency level, four is the appropriate level of treatment. You are signed up for medications, counseling, and medical care round the clock. The treatment for addiction does not lie with mere detoxing but partaking in all the necessary steps to achieving a full recovery from drugs and alcohol. The journey does not stop at treatment but includes measures to achieve sobriety and avoid a relapse. Call us today at 844-639-8371 to start. Our counselors are available round the clock.

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