What is secondary care?
If you’ve already gone through treatment for addiction (which usually starts with rehab), you’ll probably know that this is known as primary care. If you feel like you need extra support after your stay in rehab, secondary care is a service that can support the next step in your recovery journey.
Secondary care is designed to help you manage your recovery as you return to normal life, so that you still have expert guidance as you start to address the potential relapse triggers you’ll be faced with. This allows you to start regaining your independence within the safety of a structured programme.
While primary care allows you to deal with the causes of your addiction and teaches you the practical skills needed for recovery, secondary care reinforces those techniques and gives you the confidence to maintain your initial progress. It’s only natural for willpower to waver, so many people need additional help as they transition to their new life of abstinence, to avoid falling back into unhealthy habits.
Who should attend secondary care treatment?
These programmes are suitable for anyone who’s already had residential addiction treatment, and would benefit from ongoing care before embarking on their next chapter. You would usually attend secondary care straight from a 28-day primary treatment programme.
You can still be accepted onto the programme if you’ve had a break after rehab, as long as you’ve been sober for 14 days immediately before. This interim period can be effective if you’d like to see how you cope being back home, before continuing with further treatment.
In any case, an assessment will usually be carried out beforehand to make sure you’re suitable – and feel ready – for secondary care.
What is the difference between primary care and secondary care?
The main difference from primary treatment is that secondary care has a strong emphasis on the practical elements of recovery, which help you to regain independence.
You’ll still attend therapy and work on any ongoing mental health challenges, but you’ll also be guided through performing a range of hands-on tasks, to get you used to handling everyday responsibilities. These might include shopping for food, cooking, cleaning, managing money and working on interview skills.
Secondary care also offers additional therapy to focus on specific areas you’d like to address, such as trauma, cross-addictions and relationships. This lets you continue to make peace with anything still threatening your happiness, and mentally prepare for continuing your recovery journey in the outside world.
How can secondary care help me with addiction?
A key part of secondary care is about building stronger relationships with those around you. The programme will operate in a compassionate community environment, emphasising the importance of a strong support network. You’ll be encouraged to eat meals with others undertaking treatment, take part in activities together and attend regular group therapy sessions. Sharing experiences with people facing the same challenges encourages you to open up about your feelings at each stage, collectively working through any struggles you may encounter.
The support of fellow clients, along with the empathy of a caring, experienced clinical team, can be incredibly positive for your state of mind. This can also help you to communicate with loved ones, repairing any bonds that may be weakened by the trauma of addiction. Family therapy is usually offered as part of this, along with potential visits from relatives or partners. This lets them be involved in the treatment process and helps them to understand how you’ll achieve your next steps, and the role that they’ll play in this. You’ll also be encouraged to visit home towards the end of your programme if you feel it will be helpful, to trial a return to your day-to-day routine.
It’s important to know that you’ll still have 24/7 support in secondary care, with access to therapists and healthcare assistants whenever you need it. At The Elphis, we’ll show you to rebuild essential life skills that will help you to achieve a brighter future, feeling better prepared for the road ahead.