The purpose of residential extended care programs is to provide clinical services to adults and adolescents in a 24-hour structured and supervised recovery setting. The primary goals of these services are to support the patient's recovery in a sober environment and to facilitate a productive return to the family, employment, and community. The facilities that provide residential extended care are halfway houses, recovery homes, and sanctuaries.

A residential extended care stay is most appropriate for those who need time to apply recovery skills, prevent relapse, improve emotional function, promote personal responsibility and reintegrate into work, education and family life after residential rehabilitation. The services provided may include individual, group, and family therapy; medication management; and medication education. Interpersonal and group living skills generally are promoted through use of community or house meetings of residents and staff. Self-help meetings usually are available on site in these settings.

Substance abuse treatment services and this residential extended care component are delivered by community-based agencies who are under contract to DHS/Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. Generally, these services are available locally in communities throughout the state. This system enables clients to be assessed and treated as close to their home communities as possible, allows communities to take ownership of their programs, and facilitates public information. Treatment services are delivered through a continuum approach, with individual clients moving from one level of care to another based on their assessed needs.

In the DHS/OASA substance abuse treatment system in FY2001, a total of 4,000 persons, including 40 adolescents, received 4,655 services in residential extended care.