People in recovery from substance use disorders who have had repeated relapses can benefit from being monitored for at least five years after treatment, according to a former head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
“Addiction is life-long and treatment is brief,” says Robert DuPont, M.D., President of the Institute of Behavior and Health. “We need to shift our thinking about treatment from the current focus on short-term episodes to long-term recovery management. That should include frequent random drug testing for alcohol or drug use, with serious consequences for failing. That is the lesson from state Physician Health Programs (PHP), which set the standard for good long-term outcomes from substance use disorders.”
He described the model for such care, called the New Paradigm for Recovery, at a recent meeting of the CORE (Clinical Overview of the Recovery Experience) conference. The New Paradigm is not a new treatment program. It is a system of long-term care management for substance use disorders that enhances and extends the benefits of all treatment programs.