WHY WE STOPPED USING THE TERM ‘AFTERCARE’
The words we choose to describe alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatments reveal assumptions about our understandingAll Research and Trends
Moreover, they have important implications for how the treatment is imagined, implemented and funded.
Service provision which follows engagement in an intensive (usually residential) program is often called ‘aftercare’ in the international AOD field. In this commentary, we argue that the term ‘aftercare’ fails to articulate the nature of ongoing care required by people who are managing AOD use. We maintain that ‘aftercare’ positions post-residential care as being less important than other treatment modalities, rather than as integral to a continuum of care.
Alternative terms including ‘continuing coordinated care’ more aptly signal the integrated and ongoing service provision that should be available to support people in sustaining changes initiated through other AOD interventions.
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