family members included educational readings on topics related to the patient’s particular problems (anger management, codependency, trauma, communication, etc), information about local support groups, and/or patient progress updates.
Compliance rates remained high throughout the program. There was a 92.1 percent response rate at 6 months, and 91 percent at 12 months. Most of the patients generally saw positive outcomes, especially if they chose to have their loved ones participate. Those who didn’t, however, had a significantly higher likelihood of being re-admitted to residential addiction treatment within the 12 months. Nearly three-quarters of the patients attended their required post-discharge first appointment, and more than two-thirds maintained sobriety during the entire program, which suggested that telephone-based aftercare was associated with both short- and long-term benefits for those with a substance use disorder.
These outcomes show the potential of aftercare programs that are tailored to the individual, suggesting that “interventions designed to enhance patient adherence to their continuing care plans are of paramount importance,” researchers wrote. “In fact, review studies of the vast substance use treatment literature suggest that long-term care strategies involving continued monitoring produce lasting benefits for individuals with a substance use disorder.”