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Volume 6, Issue 1: Winter 2016

Aftercare Programs Following the Delivery of Treatment for Substance Use Disorders: Breakthrough or Setback?

By Paul M. Roman, PhD
University of Georgia
Editor in Chief, The Bridge


Sustaining the recovery process has long been one of the major goals facing those who treat substance use disorders (SUD), and success at such maintenance has been a definite challenge. Upcoming issues of The Bridge center of emergent strategies for recovery maintenance, including the alumni program that may be linked with formal treatment programs, a topic yet to appear in professional journals.

I assert that formal aftercare is problematic for the SUD treatment field from a macroscopic perspective. The emphasis on aftercare can be a barrier to the integration of SUD treatment into mainstream medical care. Trends seem to be establishing aftercare as a permanent necessity of SUD treatment. I would argue that instead, it should be seen as a temporary fix, and the need for it reduced or eliminated as soon as possible. Effort should instead be concentrated on providing the treatment that patients need as treatment, not as something else.


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The Bridge is a semi-annual e-pub that links science and service by providing information and tools on technology transfer and implementation science strategies.

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