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Attachment E


Definitions of Continuum of Care Components and Services


Prevention: Includes six primary prevention strategies targeted, as appropriate, to particular groups of people. The strategies include:

  • Information dissemination: Provides awareness and knowledge of the nature and extent of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use and addiction and their effects on individuals, families, and communities. Also provides knowledge and awareness of available prevention programs and services. Information dissemination is characterized by one-way communication from the source to the audience, with limited contact between the two. Examples include clearinghouse/information resource centers, resource directories, media campaigns, brochures, radio/TV public service announcements, speaking engagements, health fairs/promotion, and information lines.
  • Education: Involves two-way communication and interaction between an educator/ facilitator and participants. Activities aim to affect critical life and social skills, including decision-making, refusal skills, critical analysis (e.g. of media messages), and systematic judgment abilities. Example include classroom and/or small group sessions, parenting and family management classes, peer leader/helper programs, education programs for youth groups, and children of substance abusers groups.
  • Alternatives: Provides for the participation of targeted youth in activities that exclude alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. Based on the assumption that constructive and healthy activities offset the attraction to, or otherwise meet the needs usually filled by alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Examples include drug-free dances and parties, youth/adult leadership activities, community drop in centers, and community service activities.
  • Problem Identification and Referral; Aims at identification of those who have indulged in illegal/age-inappropriate use of tobacco or alcohol and those people who have indulged in first use of illicit drugs in order to assess if their behavior can be reversed through education. Does not include any activity designed to determine the need for treatment. Examples include employee assistance programs, student assistance programs, and driving under the influence/intoxicated education programs.
  • Community-Based Process: Aims to enhance the ability of the community to provide substance abuse prevention services more effectively. Examples include community and volunteer training, systematic planning, multi-agency coordination and collaboration, accessing services and funding, and community team building.
  • Environmental Focus: Establishes or changes written and unwritten community standards, codes, and attitudes, thereby influencing incidence and prevalence of substance abuse in the general population. Includes a focus on legal and regulatory initiatives and on service and action-oriented activities. Examples include promoting the establishment and review of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use policies in schools; technical assistance to communities to maximize local enforcement procedures governing the availability and distribution of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; modifying alcohol and tobacco advertising policies; and product pricing strategies.

Shelter: Provides food, lodging, and clothing for people who abuse alcohol and other drugs, with the purpose of protecting and maintaining life and motivating them to seek substance abuse treatment. Shelters are a pre-treatment service, usually operated in connection with a detoxification component. At a minimum, shelter is provided 12 hours per day.

Extended Shelter: Provides a structured treatment environment for people who are on a waiting list for substance abuse treatment, or who either have completed a detoxification program or are otherwise not in need of detoxification services, and who need a social support system to enable them to remain chemical free for a period before returning to the community or moving to another treatment modality.

Detoxification: Provides people with acute problems related to withdrawal from alcohol or other drugs with immediate assessment, diagnosis and medically assisted detoxification, as well as medical treatment for other acute illnesses. These programs must provide for appropriate referral and transportation for continuing treatment. Services are provided on a 24-hour basis.

Residential Rehabilitation: Provides a scheduled treatment program in a 24-hour setting, which consists of diagnostic, educational, and counseling services. These programs must refer people to support services, as needed. People are routinely discharged to outpatient services for aftercare counseling and support.

Therapeutic Community: Provides an age-appropriate, structured environment in a residential facility in combination with professional clinical services to support and promote recovery. Residents generally are characterized as having chaotic, unsupportive, and often abusive relationships, extensive treatment or criminal justice histories, and little or no work history or educational experience. Programs are characterized by their reliance on the treatment community as a therapeutic agent that introduces and enforces appropriate social values and behaviors, as well as by their focus on reintegration of the resident into the greater community, with particular emphasis on employment and education. Treatment is specific to maintaining abstinence and preventing relapse, but also vigorously promotes personal responsibility and positive character change.

Halfway House: Provides age-appropriate treatment and supportive services in a chemical-free, community-based residential program for people involved in a recovery process. These programs offer services which vary in intent and intensity, depending on the needs and nature of the people they serve. They prepare people for reentry into the community.

Extended Care: Provides a long-term supportive and structured environment for individuals with extensive alcohol and drug-related debilitation and, possibly, exacerbation of mental health problems. These programs require sustained abstinence and provide specialized treatment in a supervised living experience. Outcome goals range from custodial care to further treatment services and recovery. The term of residency is usually more than 180 days.

Outpatient Services: Provides assessment, treatment, case management, and referral to other services. Services may be provided to families or other concerned persons, whether or not the primary abuser is receiving treatment. Treatment may include individual and groups counseling, as well as presentations that are educational or skill building in nature.

Intensive Outpatient Services: Provides an intensive and structured program of alcohol and drug assessment, diagnosis, and treatment services. These services include a structured sequence of multi-hour clinical and educational sessions scheduled for three or more days a week with a minimum of nine hours a week.

Family Therapy: Regularly scheduled sessions for families and affected others of people with alcohol or drug problems. Sessions may be with individuals, entire families, or groups of families, and generally address coping and personal growth issues.

Transitional Housing: A community-based group living environment for people in transition from a residential treatment setting into the community or as an interim safe residence while awaiting admission to a residential facility. People may receive services outside from community-based agencies or, in some cases, may receive services within this service setting.

Consumer Run Housing: A group living environment in which people share responsibility for managing the household. Some people have co-existing disorders of mental illness and substance abuse and receive case management from community-based services.


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For questions or comments, please send mail to: Web Administrator

Maine Office of Substance Abuse
#159 State House Station
A.M.H.I. Complex, Marquardt Building
Augusta, ME 04333-0159
Main Office: 207-287-2595
Information and Resource Center: 1-800-499-0027 (In-State Only)or 207-287-8900
Drivers Education and Evaluation Program: 207-287-6400
TTY for all programs: 207-287-4475
Fax: 207-287-8910