1 Choosing the Best Substance Abuse Treatment Facility
2 Choosing the Best Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Treatment Alternatives, located in Boca Raton, Florida is an outstanding outpatient treatment facility that offers men and women specialized substance abuse treatment which includes dual diagnosis treatment. Our facility has continually been awarded the Gold Seal of care, is staffed by licensed physicians, psychiatrists, and therapist trained in and experienced in substance abuse and mental health disorders. Treatment Alternatives and our affiliated partner combined years of experience in the delivery of care for those suffering from addiction are over 25 years. The following guide was created with you and your loved ones in mind. You or your loved one needs substance abuse treatment. You have looked on the internet for a program, but there are so many choices you feel overwhelmed. Choosing a quality substance abuse treatment program is crucial to building the foundation for long term recovery. The following pages inform you about crucial elements of a quality treatment program. This pamphlet answers most if not all of your questions. This information enables you to make an appropriate decision about treatment. What is the Disease of Addiction? Is Detox Substance Abuse Treatment? What are the Elements of a Quality Substance Abuse Treatment Program? What is the Best Treatment Plan for Substance Abuse? How Long Should I be in Treatment? Can I stay at home and receive treatment? Why Choose a Substance Abuse Facility in South Florida? Get Started with the Gift of Recovery If you or someone you loved needs treatment call now and speak with a knowledgeable who can answer all your questions, put your fears to rest, and help you take the next step. CALL now and reclaim the life you were meant to live. What is the Disease of Addiction? Finding the best treatment program for you or your loved one requires an understanding of what defines addiction, how it progresses and how it can be managed. Research has
3 illustrated time and again that addiction to substances is a disease of the brain. That means all the will power in the world may not stop the disease of addiction or the progression of the disease. Think about what disease of the brain implies? A person regardless of age, race, ethnic background, educational training, work or financial status, can become a victim of addiction. It is a problem with brain function influenced by other mental and physical conditions. The reasons for the onset of use vary: Experimentation Mental health disorders Peer pressure Physical pain Once regular use is established addiction grows. The most common definition involves compulsive, self-destructive drug and alcohol seeking behaviors again and again despite negative consequences. (This definition applies to any addiction: gambling, shopping, working, overeating etc.) The disease of addiction occurs when drugs and alcohol alter normal brain function. How quickly one moves from abuse to addiction depends upon a variety of factors for each person. Once the brain and body grow accustomed to the presence of drugs and alcohol, an ever increasing need for more of the drug or alcohol means dependence. The disease of addiction grabs the person and the addiction takes over. The brain no longer functions properly.
4 The good news is that treatment for substance abuse works. Interventions can break the stranglehold of addiction. Behaviors can be relearned and new coping skills developed. Addiction is a disease of the mind, body and the spirit affecting one s emotional, physical, and mental health. But, with treatment and work, the addict can break free of active addiction arresting the disease with maintenance and monitoring. Is Detox Substance Abuse Treatment? NO. Detox is a biological process that rids the body of toxic substances. Detoxing produces drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms (the body s response to the changes in brain chemistry) can be dangerous. Levels of drugs or alcohol in the body and the side effects caused by the withdrawal of substances can create life threatening conditions. Stroke, heart attack, seizures, psychotic episodes can be part of drug and/or alcohol withdrawal. A licensed physician trained and experienced in addiction medicine should monitor withdrawal symptoms. Prescribed medications can help ease the pain and
5 discomfort and dangers of withdrawal. Most clients will be off all medications, once withdrawal has been completed, except those medications deemed necessary, as in the case of depression or anxiety etc. However, once the body completes detox, the disease of addiction remains untouched: cravings, addictive behaviors, and distorted thinking are not altered by the process of detox unless a comprehensive intervention takes place. Without intervention, it is likely that the addict will return to using (drinking or drugging). In detox, a person does not learn about addiction, relapse prevention, life skills or any of the other tools that enable one to avoid using substances. Detox is the first step in recovery it prepares the person to go into treatment. What are the Elements of a Quality Substance Abuse Treatment Program? First, a treatment facility should be properly licensed by the state in which it is located. Staff should be licensed, trained, experienced addiction professionals including physician, psychiatrists, therapists and certified addiction techs- a multidisciplinary team. Second, it should be accredited by the organizations that set health care standards for providers and patient care. Third, assessment and evaluation create the framework in which a person begins to recover. Utilizing a multidisciplinary team approach and a combination of therapeutic approaches can address individual needs in treatment. Any quality treatment facility should have a variety of therapeutic modalities and therapists with the capacity to treat dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. The best approach for each client is a combination of different therapies as there are usually multiple issues to be resolved. These include Behavioral therapies, Rapid Eye Movement Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, Family Therapy, Group and Individual Therapy, Relapse Prevention, Life Skill seminars, and Addiction education. Therapies allow long term issues to be exposed and resolved, or to begin the healing process. Other approaches including exercise, nutrition, pain management (acupuncture and meditation) medication management along with alternative therapies (art therapy and yoga), as well as 12 Step programs which provide clients with ways to address deep personal issues, form new sober relationships, find community with other recovering individuals and feel supported. Key Elements for a Quality Treatment Program Licensed by the state Accredited by the major accreditation health organizations Addiction trained and experienced psychiatrist and physicians
6 Master level therapist experienced in addiction counseling Certified Addiction staff Alternative therapy staff (art therapy, yoga, acupuncture, nutritionist etc.) Utilization of evidence based therapies and a multidisciplinary team approach Compliance with best practices and standards Clean, safe, secure environment in which to receive treatment Regular and random drug testing on site Monitoring of client behavior and participation What is the Best Treatment Plan for Substance Abuse? No single treatment protocol is suitable for everyone. Addiction is complex, addressing every aspect of a client s life is important. Evidence based scientific practices, those recommended by the government s National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration are guidelines based upon decades of research about substance abuse, brain function, and mental health issues and treatment. One size fits all treatment plans DO NOT WORK. Every client must have an individualized treatment plan based upon client assessments. Everyone entering treatment should be given an individual comprehensive assessment and a treatment plan. A comprehensive assessment includes mental, emotional, and a physical examination, as well as a psychosocial assessment. Only by identifying a person s strengths, problems and deficits, can a proper treatment plan be created. Such a treatment plan must be routinely re-evaluated to track progress, setbacks and identify additional problems.
7 (source SAMHSA) Notice that the majority of treatment facilities (blue) DO NOT address mental health issues despite research that indicates mental health issues must be addressed along with substance abuse issues. The number of program that do both can be seen in the green section. Key Elements for an Individualized Treatment Plan A thorough clinical and medical assessment(conducted by a licensed psychiatrist and physician trained and experienced in addiction medicine) A psychosocial evaluation (social, educational, work, cultural history) Drug and alcohol history History and evaluation for trauma Evaluation of pain (if any) Ongoing re-evaluation of treatment plan Medication management (where needed) Regular counseling sessions (individual, group, family) Well-constructed Aftercare plan It is crucial that treatment begin immediately upon the establishment of a treatment plan. Any gap between detox, evaluation and treatment reduces the possibility of a positive response to treatment. Indeed, any lapse between these phases and treatment makes it more likely that the individual will return to using again. When choosing a treatment facility one should look at the facility s ability to handle cooccurring disorders (dual diagnosis or more than one mental health disorder and substance abuse occurring simultaneously), gender specific treatment, and PTSD, for example. Are there psychiatrists on staff who can administer and monitor appropriate medications without substituting one addiction for another? How long should I be in treatment? The recent change in the health law now requires parity of treatment for those suffering from mental health and substance abuse problems. This is significant as scientific evidence has demonstrated that the longer one stays in treatment and maintains involvement with the recovery community (AA, NA, CA etc) the better the long-term outcomes. Research has illustrated that addressing addictive behaviors and mental health issues and establishing a strong foundation for recovery requires a minimum of 90 days in treatment. Sometimes, underlying mental health disorders will surface early in recovery. These disorders must immediately be addressed if the client is to successfully stay clean and sober. According to the SAMHSA, 6 out of 10 individuals suffering from substance abuse also suffers from one or more mental health disorder.
8 Relapse may occur. On this note, one should remember that the rate of relapse for addiction resembles those of relapse for diabetes, hypertension, and asthma, for example. Attention to the condition (addiction) is a long term process that requires monitoring and maintenance. Relapse happens; it does not mean treatment is a failure, it means that more internal, personal work must be done, and life skills must be proved. Upon completion of a minimum of 90 days of treatment, a client should move, if possible, into a sober living house to attend to the specifics of an aftercare plan and work. A sober living house with structure, rules, monitoring and random drug testing further strengthens the foundations for long term recovery. Rebuilding life in sobriety is a slow process, new habits need to be learned, a new network of sober people needs to be built, and new perceptions need to be solidified. Most people who complete treatment, attend 12 Step programs and follow an aftercare plan can maintain sobriety and recovery for the long-term. Can I stay at home and receive treatment? The question of leaving home seems difficult for individuals and families to face. However, the realities of staying at home and receiving treatment are, in fact, more difficult. A client s ability to focus on his or her addiction can be interrupted by family responsibilities and destructive family dynamics. These can cause old responses that trigger the desire to drink or drug. Early in the treatment, a client requires quiet time to
9 examine his or her attitudes, and behaviors. Simply stated, he or she must explore everything about him or herself. This self-evaluation is not easily done when surrounded by outside distractions, which in this case includes loved ones. The mind slowly clears from the fog produced by drugs and/or alcohol. A newly sober person confronts shame, guilt, anger and many other intense feelings. These feelings must be openly dealt with in individual and group session with the client taking responsibility to reflect. If the client is still at home, negative feelings may be hidden, shame and guilt or resentment may feel overwhelming and the client may seek release in his or her addiction and drop out of treatment. The biggest problem with dropping out of treatment can be associated with Distractions at home, or in the neighborhood Feeling obligated to do routine chores and other family or friend obligations Avoidance (being at home gives the addict an excuse to avoid working through difficult feelings) Negative influences (surrounded by old drug and alcohol using friends, passing by places where you or loved one drank or drugged every day is detrimental to stopping) In treatment and early recovery, people, places, and things associated with using and drinking intrude upon the client s psyche making the work of self-reflection, change, and managing cravings difficult if not impossible. Treatment away from home provides the client with a safe secure environment needed to do the work of breaking addictive behavior without guilt, shame, blame, and family obligations. A treatment program will provide a newly detoxed client with the structure, supervision and routine he or she would lack at home. Daily monitoring, reporting on feelings at meetings and regular drug tests are powerful incentives helping addicts overcome initial cravings, identify triggers and obtain coping skills to overcome the triggers. Left at home during treatment and early recovery, an addict will generally choose the substance over moving through the discomfort of addressing emotions and self-destructive behaviors. Should you need to stay near home and continue to work, you are best served by entering PHP, IOP while arranging to stay in a facility that can provide supervised, structured housing for you. In such a circumstance, you can benefit from being away from home, maintain your job, and receive treatment in a safe, secure, drug and alcohol free environment. Why Choose a Substance Abuse Facility in South Florida?
10 South Florida is a tropical oasis in the United States. This tropical oasis provides much needed healing powers that only nature can offer. Research on mood, health, and the general population revealed that those who had access to nature relaxed better, that green spaces provided cognitive respite, and encouraged positive social interactions, thus restoring the mind s ability to focus and promote physical healing. (Washington University) What we see, hear and feel (noise and light) can help or hinder our wellbeing. Imagine. You are sick, tired, and scared; feelings of hopelessness overwhelm you. You suffer from the devastation caused by substance abuse. You know your life is at risk. You want to recover. You want to seek treatment. You ask yourself does the environment matter. The answer is yes. While it is possible to overcome addiction in a filthy, dangerous environment, the chances of success are increased if the environment fosters a sense of peace, calm, tranquility, comfort and safety. This is the last consideration in choosing a treatment program. We have already established the necessary elements that make a quality treatment program (licensed, accredited, utilization of evidence based practices, expert staff, ability to address cooccurring disorders etc.) Now, add the healing environment of South Florida in which you receive treatment. You do not have to seek treatment in a dangerous neighborhood. You don t have to live like a monk. You can move through treatment and get better without denying yourself physical comforts and the soothing environment found in South Florida. You (or your loved one) face your addiction and the negative consequences of that behavior. You attempt to heal your body and struggle to overcome your confusion. In South Florida, every day you walk outside to go to treatment you feel the warmth of the sun on your face and body. You see the intensity of greenery and vividness of the year round flowering bushes. You hear the songs of the exotic birds, and you instinctively begin to relax. You begin to understand that this is reality, not a drug or alcohol induced stupor. The environment in which you receive treatment is important. The beauty of South Florida, the healing powers of the natural environment, the warm breezes, the sound of the ocean, the blue skies, enhances recovery. So too does the easy access to the many 12 Step meetings and club houses in South Florida --a meeting every hour in every direction.
11 One never has to travel far to get to a 12 Step meeting. That is a good thing. Indeed, South Florida, known as the rehab capital of the nation allows those in early recovery access to healthy role models. People who attend 12 Step meetings are seeking, many with decades of recovery under their belt, to live a life free of drugs and alcohol. These old timers as they are called, demonstrate daily how to live a life free of drugs, alcohol and other addictions. Such individuals help form the core network for a newly recovering individual. These individuals, familiar with the experience of addiction, help support the new comer through challenges, successes, and disappointments. No drugs or alcohol. This dynamic cannot be under estimated. The sense of belonging is important as the network helps newly sober and clean individuals overcome feelings of isolation and being misunderstood. (A recovering person can identify the excuses and avoidances that will be offered by the new comer.) Role models in recovery increase the likely of maintaining sobriety and achieving long term recovery. We hope this guide has been informative. With this basic knowledge you can make the right choice for you or your loved one. Choosing the right treatment program can put you or your loved one on the road to a life time of solid recovery. Get Started with the Gift of Recovery Calling for help takes courage. The staff at Treatment Alternatives understands the power of addiction, the consequences of addiction, and the financial strained associated with addiction. Many of our staff and therapists are in recovery. But, we go beyond that, our staff, and therapists are licensed, and our main therapists are Masters level, as well. We follow the standards set by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the Joint Commission and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration. Quality treatment matters. We offer medically supervised detox, dual diagnosis PHP, IOP, and OP. Housing during treatment can be arranged if needed. We are here to see you or your love one enter recovery with the ability to stay in it for the long term. Call now and speak with someone who can help. Life can begin anew today.