Home > Impact of continuing care on recovery from substance use disorder.

McKay, James R (2021) Impact of continuing care on recovery from substance use disorder. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews, 41, (1), 01. doi: 10.35946/arcr.v41.1.01.

External website: https://arcr.niaaa.nih.gov/volume/41/1/impact-cont...

Continuing care is widely believed to be an important component of effective treatment for substance use disorder, particularly for those individuals with greater problem severity. The purpose of this review was to examine the research literature on continuing care for alcohol and drug use disorders, including studies that addressed efficacy, moderators, mechanisms of action, and economic impact. This narrative review first considered findings from prior reviews (published through 2014), followed by a more detailed examination of studies published more recently. The review found that research has generally supported the efficacy of continuing care for both adolescents and adults, but the picture is complex. Reviews find relatively small effects when results from individual studies are combined. However, continuing care of longer duration that includes more active efforts to keep patients engaged may produce more consistently positive results. Moreover, patients at higher risk for relapse may benefit to a greater degree from continuing care. Several newer approaches for the provision of continuing care show promise. These include incentives for abstinence and automated mobile health interventions to augment more conventional counselor-delivered interventions. Primary care can be used to provide medications for opioid and alcohol use disorders over extended periods, although more research is needed to determine the optimal mix of behavioral treatments and other psychosocial services in this setting. Regardless of the intervention selected for use, the status of most patients will change and evolve over time, and interventions need to include provisions to assess patients on a regular basis and to change or adapt treatment when warranted.

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