In 2015 the Journal of Employee Assistance published an article to help Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) looking for addiction treatment programs to recommend for their clients. Guess what, challenge accepted!
When we at Palm Healthcare Company took a close look at the outline provided by the Journal of Employee Assistance on methods of treatment, we were happy to note that our treatment programs fit the description perfectly.
It is important for employers and their assistance groups to have a clear and comprehensive idea of what an effective addiction treatment program looks like, so they can provide their employees with options for quality care. The Journal of Employee Assistance article goes on to identify some of the aspects of the addiction treatment outline for EAP professionals should consider as vital for effective recovery. In order to make confident recommendations, Palm Healthcare Company also believes EA professionals should do all they can to understand all levels of care and the methods of treatment.
We understand and appreciate the power of information. Let us provide a detailed look, point-by-point, at how Palm Healthcare Company can best serve your clients by meeting the suggested specifications of the Journal of Employee Assistance.
As stated in the article by the Journal of Employee Assistance, the current focus for treatment of chronic diseases like addiction is based on dynamic treatment, also known as adaptive interventions or multi-stage treatment strategies. The idea is to continuously evaluate the individual’s progress in order to adjust their treatment.
One-size-fits-all tactics fail to address unique life issues that are connected to substance use and addiction. Personalized treatment that is tailored to each individual’s specific needs is a crucial element to effective holistic treatment.
In fact, the National Institutes of Health have stated that the best programs provide a combination of services that take into account all aspects of the individual, including:
Palm Healthcare Company does not believe in the ‘one-size-fits-all’ model of treatment. We know that every person has their own unique experiences and circumstances. We all live and learn differently, so addiction treatment should take those differences into consideration.
Palm Healthcare Company, like most traditional programs, provides the basics of addiction treatment. Looking at the addiction treatment outline for EAP professionals, the most traditional methods to look for include:
All detox facilities are staffed with medical professionals experienced with treating those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. Every individual is given a thorough intake assessment to ensure the safest and most comfortable method of medical detox is offered to fit each client.
Because addiction is about far more than substance use, behavioral therapy is extremely important to the recovery process. Not only do these sessions examine destructive behaviors, but they also assess the thoughts and feelings that might cause them.
As part of offering behavioral therapy, Palm Healthcare Company facilities also offer unique classes on building social skills and personal development opportunities.
Palm Healthcare Company also believes that a crucial aspect of overcoming addiction is to understand it through educational, evidence-based therapeutic intervention. Classes are consistently provided explaining various aspects of addiction and mental health disorders so each individual can better understand and cope with their illness.
Support groups and 12 Steps
Historically, group therapies and a sense of community has always been a big piece of addiction recovery. Opportunities to get involved with 12 Step fellowships and other support groups can help individuals to find a sense of community with others recovering from drugs or alcohol. Palm Healthcare Company programs consistently facilitate these options.
Family weeks or weekends for those over 13 years old
The Palm Healthcare Family Program is a unique and empowering experience for individuals trying to overcome their addictions, as well as for their loved ones. Part of the family program is the Palm Healthcare Family Weekend which includes various events designed to educate family members and bring each other closer through connection and support.
However, the Journal of Employee Assistance notes that the more “novel yet effective” programs also include more innovative addiction treatment methods. These facilities go above and beyond the basic outline of services to provide holistic treatment programs. So how does Palm Healthcare Company match up to these recommendations?
A range of therapeutic approaches
Again, Palm Healthcare Company does not believe in the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to treating addiction. Because not every form of therapy will be as influential for everyone our facilities offer a variety of therapeutic courses. Some of these include:
Palm Healthcare Company believes in utilizing cutting-edge treatment methods to create a more in-depth and personal recovery experience.
Provide multiple levels of care
There are several reasons why having different levels of care can be a big deal for EA professionals seeking treatment providers. For one, different levels of care allow for different levels of contact with the outside world.
With partial hospitalization, intensive or residential levels of treatment there is a much more secure and controlled environment with daily schedules full of therapy options and courses. If the individual is approved for Outpatient or Intensive Outpatient treatment they can attend work for part of the day while attending classes periodically.
Palm Healthcare Company helps the patient choose the level of care that is best suited for their needs. Monitoring individual progress and adapting the aspects of treatment to fit their progress is an important way to personalize the experience and support the transition from addiction to independent recovery.
Treat co-occurring mental health disorders
When an individual is struggling with a mental health disorder and substance use disorder the best method for them is dual diagnosis treatment. This allows the individual to address the addiction and the co-occurring disorder individually and simultaneously for a complete recovery.
Palm Healthcare Company understands that if someone only addresses one disorder without the other then they are more likely to have difficulty maintaining their recovery. These conditions tend to feed off of one another, and one going untreated can cause a relapse in the other.
Address underlying issues related to addiction
Palm Healthcare Company also cares a great deal about understanding substance use disorder; where it comes from and how it influences the lives of those who suffer. Therefore, we believe in exploring each individuals experience to help them find out what underlying issues are connected to their drug or alcohol use.
Addiction is such a complex disorder. There is no one way that someone ends up addicted. While there is a genetic predisposition, there are numerous other factors that contribute to the development of substance use disorder. Because things like trauma and family dynamics play a big part in the development of addiction, an effective treatment program should also examine and address these issues if the patient is going to experience lasting recovery.
Involve the entire family, including children
The Palm Healthcare Family Program is committed not just to offering brief visits with loved ones. Our Family Program is designed to:
- Give the family essential educational information
- Establish deeper connections between loved ones through recovery
- Teach about emotional well-being and healthy boundaries
- Offer life-changing breakthrough experiences
- Create a strong support system
The Palm Healthcare Family Program is a FREE service offered by our facilities because we believe that family involvement is incredibly important for lasting and worthwhile transformation.
Explore performance at work
Clients who are professionals are often very focused on how their substance use affects their career. Along with life skills and behavioral therapy, there is an important element of understanding how addiction impacts your professional life. Everyone from CEOs and executives to labor workers in every industry needs to be aware of how addiction affects the workplace.
Of course, EA professionals are more likely to recommend a treatment program that pays attention to addictions impact on the workplace. So teaching clients how to safely and effectively transition from treatment back to work is an important element of these programs.
Examine legal and financial issues resulting from addiction
Our facilities also take pride in providing teams of skilled individual case-workers who consistently work on behalf of each individual to maintain their personal interests regarding legal issues or other concerns they may have. It is important that an addiction treatment provider has experienced staff members who understand the difficulties that can arise from substance use and know how to best support each individual with these concerns.
Working with the Workforce
All Palm Healthcare Company facilities provide the more holistic and effective approach through this criterion of additional services. We know that addiction is an illness that impacts every walk of life. It also impacts any career position in every industry. We work every day to provide safe, effective and personal recovery plans to every individual we come into contact with.
Another part of providing recovery options to professionals can be to allow EA professionals to get involved in the aftercare process. An EA professional can inquire about policies relating to communication with the source of the referral. If the appropriate consent is given, the EA professional themselves can even become an important part of the recovery team for helping create a discharge and aftercare plan.
Looking at these very important suggestions coming from the Journal of Employee Assistance we are confident in our dedication to providing revolutionary and holistic care above and beyond the addiction treatment outline for EAP professionals. Palm Healthcare Company wants to support you and your clients to create a happier and healthier future. Please call toll-free now for more information.
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At a time like this in America, no one should be naive to the reality of addiction and the devastation it brings. The opioid epidemic impacts people in every city in every state; whether it is through prescription painkiller abuse or heroin and potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl on the illicit market. Meanwhile, methamphetamine use has also continued to grow steadily in the background. Other prescription narcotics have become more and more prevalent with misuse, and alcohol remains a legal drug both frequently abused and deadly. Something equally as important as acknowledging addiction is being aware of the options in addiction treatment.
One thing we have to continue to promote is that people seek help, regardless of who they are, where they’re from or what they think they can afford. Expenses can be an important factor for each individual when trying to find treatment; therefore it is important to remember there are always options available regardless of financial status. At the end of the day, everyone deserves a chance at making it through their adversity.
While the options may be different, they are still out there.
State Funding Rehab Facilities
For those who are extremely limited in their resources the most attainable option may be to pursue a state-funded program. State-funded rehab facilities are cost-free, which is the greatest advantage to seeking help through these programs.
Most states have some form of government-funded addiction treatment. Sadly, some people still see a stigma attached to public assistance programs and they allow it to keep them from getting help. However, for the individual who has little to no income, or with inadequate to no insurance coverage, these organizations provide detox, treatment and support services. State-funded rehabs are often included in other state services such as:
- Child social services
- Criminal justice and prison provisions
The funding for treatment may be included as part of these other initiatives.
Some states will offer a variety of therapy options with state-funded programs. Others might not have as many due to limited funding. Some state facilities will not necessarily have access to the same technologies and treatments as private treatment providers.
Private addiction treatment programs often have unique services depending on their approach and treatment model. However, some people still find that state-funded programs are effective in helping them get their start.
Medicaid for Addiction Treatment
One thing that can be a real help to those who are unable to afford a higher level of insurance coverage is access to state-funded health insurance programs.
Medicaid coverage for no insurance rehab is a useful option. Medicaid and Medicare may actually cover both detox and inpatient addiction treatment. Some may even cover outpatient care depending on each programs requirement for eligibility through the state. Through Medicaid or Medicare, an individual who has very limited resources may receive free or low-cost addiction treatment.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or what some call “Obamacare” insurance providers are required to cover all basic aspects of drug and alcohol dependency recovery. Medicaid covers:
Maintenance and craving medications
Long-term residential treatment
Other mental health services
In most states, Medicaid recipients don’t even have to worry about a copay for addiction treatment services.
Medicare for Addiction Treatment
Medicare is available for anyone:
- Over 65 years old
- With a disability
Medicare does have a monthly premium, but that amount is also based on the individual’s income. So if you make less money you pay less for your coverage.
Inpatient and outpatient treatment can be covered by Medicare. This coverage is provided in a four-part system:
Medicare Part A
Insurance for hospital stays covers up to 60 days without copay with no deductible. But Medicare only covers up to 190 days for a lifetime.
Medicare Part B
This can cover outpatient addiction care at up top 80% of the costs. This includes coverage for therapy, professional interventions, and drugs administered via clinics. This also covers co-occurring disorders like depression.
Medicare Part C
This is Medicare-approved private insurance for those who want to opt for more benefits. It does include more out-of-pocket costs and coverage can vary.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D coverage will help cover the cost of addiction medications. Specifically, this form of Medicare helps with medications used to combat cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Someone who is eligible for Medicaid and Medicare can actually apply both forms of coverage to their addiction treatment. If you believe that you qualify for these insurance opportunities you can contact a caseworker for assistance with an application.
Once you have obtained coverage for any of these programs, you can research online to find facilities that accept these forms of insurance.
Keep in mind, not all facilities accept Medicaid or Medicare.
Individual Health Insurance
When examining the options for addiction treatment people who have health insurance, whether privately or through their employment, should research the coverage available through their insurance provider.
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act of 2008 mandates that health insurance companies to balance the alcohol and drug treatment for group plans to the stipulation for standard medical rehab.
Because substance abuse and addiction are recognized as medical conditions, insurance companies have a responsibility for covering the cost of addiction treatment. Substance use disorders are better understood today for their effects both psychiatrically and physically, so major insurance providers make a point these days to offer terms for partial or complete coverage of options for addiction treatment. Many times this coverage will allow for access to quality holistic treatment programs.
Too many people don’t know the extent of which their own insurance covers them. Find out what services are covered by your policy when seeking out care for substance abuse. As far as employers go, your right to addiction treatment is protected by FMLA, while the details of these protections and provisions may differ depending on the state or the individual companies policies.
Private Pay Options in Addiction Treatment
Of course, health insurance is not required to obtain addiction treatment services. Not everyone has insurance, or their insurance might not provide the coverage they need. There are also facilities that cater to a private pay demographic.
All across the country, there are addiction treatment facilities that offer different levels of high-quality and luxury treatment options for those who would prefer to pay cash for services. Many patients who chose to private pay do so for a variety of reasons, and they often find that they require a combination of treatment methods, including:
Intensive one-on-one counseling
Private recovery coaching
Of course, different programs have their unique advantages and disadvantages. However, those who chose to private pay for addiction treatment often do so because they are looking for a very specific approach with a very specific criterion that caters to their own needs.
Executive Treatment Programs
Executive treatment programs are another one of the options in addiction treatment. These facilities cater to clients that wish to pay more for a more private environment with more luxuries. Executive programs are more expensive and are more commonly utilized by CEOs, high-paid professionals, and celebrities.
Many programs that offer executive options for addiction treatment allow for those receiving care to continue working with their businesses or clients while attending individual therapy, support groups, and holistic treatments.
Help is Out There
Addiction is everywhere. Sadly, there are not as many resources as many recovery advocates believe there should be. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to find help with addiction and recovery.
But help is out there.
There are accredited holistic treatment programs that maintain their integrity by providing quality care to their clients. These facilities provide high-level services in a safe and comfortable environment while staying at the edge of innovations in treatment. While not all of these companies advertise their contributions, many even provide scholarship opportunities for those who cannot afford treatment to have access to their programs.
Meanwhile, we should all look to our politicians and public health officials to create even more options for addiction treatment. Until more support and funding is available for expansion of options for addiction treatment, the resources we have now do everything they can to make a difference.
Palm Healthcare Company has made a commitment to provide effective, innovative and holistic addiction treatment options to those still suffering with substance use disorder. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now. We want to help.
CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
With the nation in the midst of an opioid epidemic, it is more important than ever to understand that substance use disorder is rampant partially because it is extremely difficult for more people to overcome. Out of the estimated 22.7 million Americans who desperately need addiction treatment, only around 2.5 million of them actually received treatment in a facility. But this is largely because a lot of people are afraid to ask for help.
One of the primary reasons so many people don’t seek the help they need is because they fear how it may reflect on them in their professional life.
Fortunately, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provides some assistance and protections to people who need help with addiction treatment.
So how does FMLA cover addiction treatment, and how do you get the help you need?
The Family and Medical Leave Act
On February 5, 1993 then President Bill Clinton signed the bill establishing the Family and Medical Leave Act as a United States federal law. FMLA requires covered employers to provide their employees with job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. The situations that fall under this coverage include:
- Personal or family illness
- Family military leave
- Foster care placement of a child
FMLA is administered by the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor. This act allows eligible employees to take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period to attend to any of the qualifying circumstances. In order to be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must:
- Have been at the business at least 12 months
- Work at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months
- Work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles
Four states have passed laws requiring paid family and medical leave:
- 2002- California
- 2008- New Jersey
- 2013- Rhode Island
- 2016- New York in 2016
Washington State approved paid family and medical leave in 2007, but the law has not taken effect due to a lack of funding.
In any case it is important to remember that every state has different provisions regarding FMLA. Be sure to try and reach out to your Human Resources department and a legal professional to find out what options are available in your state.
Does FMLA Cover Addiction Treatment?
If you are seeking help for substance use treatment, it is covered under FMLA. With FMLA, after returning to work from addiction treatment you must be restored to your original job or an equivalent position. In other words, financial punishment from your employer is prohibited. Therefore, the individual will receive no loss of pay or benefits and terms of the previous position will be honored. Even if you are entitled to a bonus before FMLA leave, the bonus will still apply.
ATTENTION: FMLA Does NOT Protect Everything
For one, an employee can still be terminated regardless of whether he or she is presently taking FMLA leave depending on if your employer has an established policy that:
- Is applied in a non-discriminatory manner
- Has been communicated to all employees
- Provides under certain circumstances an employee may be terminated for substance abuse
So be sure to evaluate your employers drug and alcohol policy carefully before asking for FMLA leave.
What If You’re Still Worried?
The truth is, with HIPPA laws, you can keep the reason WHY you are filing for FMLA leave private. When you apply for FMLA with your employer, you’re only need to tell them you are ill and unable to meet the conditions of your job at this time. You can say that you need to get medical treatment for your condition. That is all.
Legally, an employer cannot force you to provide any more information than you are comfortable with, although they may require a doctor’s certification that you need medical treatment. You can have FMLA cover addiction treatment as long as it is provided by a health care provider, or they can refer you to a specialized treatment provider of health care services.
In order to be protected by FMLA you must provide your employer with prior notice, or else you may still face termination.
Be aware, this does not mean that if you are using the substance and chose to take time off because of its adverse side effects, this is not covered by FMLA. In other words, absence for addiction and not for treatment does not qualify for FMLA leave.
FMLA Does NOT Cover Active Addiction
This is an important aspect to remember about the FMLA laws. While you are provided some protection in order to take leave for treatment, it does not protect you from the consequences of active addiction.
Termination due to inappropriate behavior on the job site is not protected. Neither is absenteeism due to active addiction. FMLA does not allow you to take time off because you are too drunk or too sick from withdrawals while waiting to go to treatment.
For example: If you seek help for alcohol addiction and file for FMLA leave for addiction treatment, but you miss work for a few days before leave because of heavy drinking, those few days are not protected because they don’t count as part of the FMLA leave. So be careful not to get too far ahead of yourself if you are planning on utilizing FMLA to get the much needed help.
Why It Matters
So why does FMLA cover addiction treatment at all?
One of the main reasons that substance use disorder is protected by the government is because the National Institute on Drug Abuse states:
“Drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. Fortunately, researchers know more than ever about how drugs affect the brain and have found treatment that can help people recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives.”
Addiction is classified as a disease and qualifies as a serious health condition that needs healthcare treatment. This shows that the government acknowledges the difficulties faced by individuals who become addicted to drugs, and the importance of supporting them in getting better by offering some protection for their careers and financial futures.
It is important that employers honor FMLA because it allows for a healthier and more effective workplace, while also giving someone who has already become part of the business to better themselves. This all matters because you never know when a member of your staff could need support for a drug and/or alcohol problem. It isn’t always the slacker. A lot of times it is the employee of the month.
It matters because even for the deal makers, the self-starters and the top performers, sometimes we all need help.
Recovering from substance use disorder can be a lot work on its own. To have FMLA cover addiction treatment and to know that you can work on bettering yourself and get back to making a living secure in a career can make all the difference. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now. We want to help.
CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398
Holistic methods of drug and alcohol addiction treatment are so effective because they are designed to heal all the unique aspects of an individual’s life. This style of comprehensive care delivers empowering and personalized recovery strategies to help each person find their way to a lasting transformation. Holistic addiction treatment doesn’t just save a life; it helps people to discover a new quality of life in recovery.
Part of creating a customized plan of recovery means making a complete appraisal of the individual’s needs and how best to serve them in a healthy and productive environment. Part of the initial assessment includes what some refer to as the Addiction Severity Index (ASI).
Every program may not use the term Addiction Severity Index directly. However, an intake assessment is always a critical step toward a comprehensive treatment. So what is the ASI and why does it matter?
What is the Addiction Severity Index?
The ASI is a semi-structured interview with an individual seeking care for issues with substance abuse. The interview is designed to address seven potential problem areas relevant to substance use disorder in potential patients, including:
Employment and support
The input given by the individual is important because it helps providers determine the best way to engage in safe and effective treatment. All information gathered for the Addiction Severity Index is treated as confidential.
In each of the 7 areas, the individual will be asked to answer questions based on a 1-to-5 scale system. The individual will be asked how bothered they are by problems pertaining to each area. They will then be asked how important treatment is for them in those areas. The scale is:
1- Not at all
Of course each individual has the right to refuse to answer any question, especially if a topic is:
Considered too personal
Uncomfortable to the patient
If this is the case the individual should be instructed not to answer. While the individual should be made aware of the benefits of answering as many questions as they can in order to prepare a more comprehensive treatment plan, they should also be allowed to avoid unnecessary distress.
Ultimately, the Addiction Severity Index is typically used as a standard assessment tool for evaluating substance use disorder and determining treatment options. Having a higher score on the ASI can be an indication of a greater need for treatment in the listed areas.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the Addiction Severity Index, Lite version, also known as ASI-Lite, is a shortened version of the ASI. In other words:
- A typical ASI gauges problems within the previous 30 days and calculates a lifetime worth of information about problem behaviors.
- ASI-Lite contains 22 fewer questions than the ASI, and omits items relating to severity evaluations, and a family history grid.
The abridged version of the Addiction Severity Index is not an extremely uncommon method. It simply utilizes a portion of the data to outline treatment options.
Why Does it Matter?
While not everyone may be familiar with the term Addiction Severity Index, it is easy to guess as to why its important. When dealing with such a complex and intimate issue as substance use disorder the more information you have to build a foundation the better. This offers more potential to address every part of the problem. With a holistic addiction treatment program there is typically an intake process that helps clinicians and medical staff best understand the individual’s needs.
If the individual has struggled with legal, professional and/or financial issues, their recovery plan can be more focused toward how to overcome these adversities.
If they are dealing with a medical issue while trying to repair damage done to their personal and familial relationships they can build their plan around coping with these obstacles.
A complete picture like the Addiction Severity Index can be crucial when addressing dual diagnosis patients. In order to effectively address someone who may be struggling with a mental health disorder, such as clinical depression, while also dealing with addiction both co-occurring disorders must be simultaneously treated. If someone ignores one to focus on the other it frequently instigates a relapse of the untreated issue.
The point of evaluating the Addiction Severity Index and using holistic addiction treatment is to heal all parts of the person’s life; not just the addiction.
Palm Healthcare Company is proud to have some of the most trusted holistic drug and alcohol treatment programs in South Florida. Our innovative and personalized approach helps create lasting healing and comprehensive transformation. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now. We want to help.
CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Repeated and extended use of most drugs can cause physical dependence to develop quickly in the body, and while many people experience symptoms of dependence differently, once it has been established there are typically a number of uncomfortable or even painful adverse effects. Many of these side-effects, specifically withdrawal symptoms, happen when trying to discontinue use of the substance. Many refer to this period of getting off of drugs as the detox stage. Detoxing from some substances can be harder on the body than others, while some can actually become life-threatening. When attempting to get off of drugs one of the most commonly asked questions is- how long does it take to detox your body from drugs?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Withdrawal symptoms can appear quicker and last longer, depending on the individual and the factors of their drug use.
How Long Does it Take to Detox Your Body from Drugs: Questions to Ask
Because not everyone is exactly the same, their body will react differently based on their own personal health and their own habits. Typically an individual will experience the most serious withdrawal symptoms in the first two weeks of detox, but there are so many things that contribute to how this experience will affect you.
Here are a few questions you may want to ask:
What is the drug?
Different drugs will have different detox periods because of how long they stay in the system.
How much do you usually take?
For those who take larger amounts, they increase the chances of the body building up more of a tolerance to the drug.
How often do you use the drug?
Someone taking a drug multiple times a day every day has a better chance of developing a stronger dependence quicker than someone who uses once every couple of days.
What is your metabolism like?
Of course something that impacts how long a drug stays in your body is your metabolism. The quicker your body burns through fat, nutrients and other resources the quicker the residual deposits of the drug in the body will dissipate.
Are you generally healthy?
Those who not only take care of themselves, but are healthier in general may have an easier detox experience than those who are already not healthy and more often ill. For each individual there are a number of personal health that impact how long a drug stays in the system, including:
- Body fat
- Health of the liver
- Kidney health
Many key organs are involved in the metabolism or elimination of many of the drugs you take, such as digestive organs, respiratory organs, liver and kidneys. Some studies have made rough estimate of how long withdrawals may last for certain substances. However one cannot guarantee a general timeline can tell how long detox will take accurately considering each individual’s own health and habits can make these timelines vary.
How Long Does it Take to Detox Your Body from Drugs: PAWS
Sometimes people don’t expect to experience withdrawals after a certain point because they think the body has already overcome its dependence, however there are other effects of drugs that can be a challenge.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (or Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome) is often referred to as PAWS. This the second stage of withdrawal. PAWS causes recovering addicts and alcoholics to feel some symptoms of withdrawal long after the initial withdrawal phase is over. So you may have fewer physical symptoms, but there are much more emotional and psychological symptoms that can continue to bother you.
PAWS occurs because your brain chemistry is gradually returning to normal. As your brain heals without constant use of potent drugs, the levels of brain chemicals fluctuate as they approach the new equilibrium.
Common Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Variable energy
- Low enthusiasm
- Variable concentration
- Disturbed sleep
PAWS can often mimic depression, and increases the risk of relapse. So while the body may start to feel more refreshed and the aches and pains of physical dependence may be getting better, the brain is still struggling.
How Long Does it Take to Detox Your Body from Drugs: Why Medical Detox Matters
Some people may ask how long does it take to detox your body from drugs because they want to try and detox at home. This may seem like a more convenient approach, but it is definitely not the safest or most effective way. Medical detox matters because it is not so simple to predict how long someone will experience withdrawals.
Because some may experience detoxing from drugs differently, having an experienced medical staff, along with addiction specialists creates a safer and more effective environment to detox. Medical detox provides a safe and secure space to get through this beginning difficult stage of recovery, while offering quality care and assistance to each individual and their needs.
The Palm Healthcare Company detox facility has a 24-hour medical and addiction professional staff to continuously evaluate individual progress and provide comprehensive support during this process. Our highly qualified specialists genuinely strive to make recovery possible for everyone who needs help. If your or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free.
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Let’s Not Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater!
by Thomas G. Beley, PhD, LCSW
There has been an enormous amount of negative publicity regarding substance use treatment facilities and so called “sober homes” in the south Florida area. So much so that the integrity of the entire treatment industry has been under scrutiny. And perhaps so it should be. Given the accounts of fraudulent billing, “patient brokering,” and human trafficking occurring, it is disheartening to know that we continue to live in a society where vulnerable groups of people are preyed upon for monetary gain. There is a definite need to take a closer look at what is actually going on. However, let’s not let the emotional sensationalism of these news stories cloud the facts and issues of what is really going on.
Our nation is currently under siege by a problem that has been a long standing health issue that seemingly continues to be the “step child” of our healthcare system despite the fact that it is one of the leading contributing causes of death in our country. Addiction has become a menace to our society. Illegal drug use, legalized drug use, prescription medications, and alcohol have infiltrated all segments of our population. While pharmaceutical companies have well intentionally figured out ways to introduce an assortment of new medications to combat the side effects of prescribed opioid medications, deaths from opioid overdoses have become the number one cause of accidental deaths in the United States outnumbering car accidents.
The problem of addiction is not going away and, unfortunately, it is only going to get worse. The fact is that we need treatment centers and we need “sober” homes. They have been a main stay for people suffering from the scourge of alcohol and drug addiction for decades. What we do not want to do is to scare people away from getting the help they need. Let’s not forget that there are many established quality treatment centers and “sober” homes throughout the nation.
One of the problems that legitimate treatment centers have encountered is the limitation that insurance companies have placed on them in providing effective treatment. Treatment is often cut short by insurers, often citing “there is no medical necessity” in favor of a less intensive program meaning they are often discharged from the facility without really getting the full care that is needed. As a result, there has been a proliferation of these “less intensive” treatment programs which is where the insurance loophole begins to expand. Many of these “less intensive” programs are ineffective at best because of a lack of credentialed professionals running them, or they have been established with the sole purpose of milking the insurance companies of benefits.
A problem is occurring that many of these well-established treatment facilities and “sober homes,” historically known as halfway and three-quarter houses, are being overshadowed by these bogus; make shift facilities that have taken advantage of the insurance loophole. Make no mistake, some of these places have little interest in providing the necessary help needed to address those suffering from an addictive disorder. The primary goal is to make money. Their sole purpose is to prey on a vulnerable population, many of the victims are young adults in their early twenties with little or no life skills who are still on their parents’ insurance. Many of these individuals have been in the throes of their addiction for years and have little choice. Either they and the family do not know any better or they simply feel resigned to play along within a deficient system.
Many of these victims are offered easy money to recruit other patients to live in a so-called “sober home” who will often have connections with a so-called “treatment” facility. In many instances, there is an established unethical relationship of “brokering” whereby there is an exchange of money for patients between the “sober” home and the “treatment” facility. Each supplying the other with a steady stream of “insured” bodies. Patients are actually encouraged to go out and recruit other patients from other “sober” homes and treatment facilities in exchange for money, free room and board, or both. In some instances, the owner of the “sober” home also owns the “treatment” facility.
Many people leaving a bona fide treatment facility will need a halfway or three-quarter house for support and a transition back into sober living. However, a legitimate half-way or three-quarter house, now often referred to as a “sober home,” will be just that, a place where people can live and receive the necessary support and structure to transition back to a normal life. The halfway and three-quarter house has been an integral part of recovery since addiction was recognized as a medical condition decades ago. The concept of the halfway and three-quarter house is basic. The person pays rent for a safe, structured place to live with other recovering people. The concept being a person can engage in life responsibilities such as work or school and return to a supportive setting until such time the person can live independently.
However, for some, the concept of the halfway and three-quarter house has morphed into the so-called “sober home” where clients are more or less forced to participate in a “less intense” treatment program in exchange for free room and board. While in theory this sounds like a very reasonable proposition, the reality is we have vulnerable people being “brokered” into, at best, untenable and ineffective facilities. Many of these individuals do not need “less intense” treatment, what they need is guidance and direction in developing life skills and purpose, which is often a part of more intensive treatment
Families are also enticed by these facilities with the promise of not needing to pay rent for their loved one to live in such a “sober home.” The catch is their son or daughter will have to participate in a highly ineffective “less intense treatment program” which is usually compromised of other patients who have no desire to recover or are simply just trying to get by; to survive playing what now amounts to a very deadly game of so-called “recovery.” Life for some of these individuals has become not trying to recover as much as trying to negotiate a better “treatment” deal. They bounce from one treatment program to another, from one “sober home” to another, with no real direction of getting back on track with their life.
Legitimate treatment centers often encounter prospective patients and families negotiating treatment terms because they have been offered free plane fairs, waived co-payments and deductibles, free room and board post treatment, and other enticements by these questionable treatment facilities. Somewhere along the line, treatment for a deadly disease has become more like purchasing a car. People, unfortunately, have been seduced into looking for the better deal rather than effective treatment that is going to save a life.
The Politics of Addiction
How is it that the treatment industry for substance use disorders has become increasingly more suspect of unethical practices over the years? The answer is a very simple one, neglect. Neglect at all levels of our society except one and that is the criminal element.
Regardless of how much research that has been conducted over the years, and there has been a plethora of research in better understanding addiction, it seems to be still falling on deaf ears. People continue to turn a blind eye to the fact that substance use disorders and addiction is one of leading health hazards and causes of death in our country.
Despite the fact that it has long been recognized as a medical condition requiring medical and professional interventions, there continues to be the stigma of the ‘addicted’ person suffering from a lack of will power, fortitude, and discipline. Research has clearly demonstrated that this is not the case. There are neurobiological and behavioral underpinnings to this disease that have impacted key areas of the brain including a person’s genetic make-up. What is even more important regarding this research, which has been around for decades, is that there are effective interventions and treatment approaches that can be utilized. The old adage of relapse being a part of recovery is simply not true anymore. Unfortunately, this research seems to be slow in reaching our treatment industry forcing many people suffering from addiction to be treated with antiquated and ineffective approaches.
What compounds this malaise even further is the fact that the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry seem to have little incentive for change making it difficult for legitimate treatment facilities to do their job effectively. These facilities are often limited in the amount of treatment they can provide and are often in a battle with the insurance companies to prove medical necessity for further treatment. Even when medical necessity is proven, insurance companies are reluctant to authorize further treatment, in part because of the abuses that tend to occur across the board in our healthcare-insurance paradigm, but also because they are tired of paying for treatments that are seemingly ineffective.
Insurance companies are fighting back. Why should they pay for another intensive treatment when that person has been through a similar “treatment” four or five times previously? As a result, the insurance industry has relied on the premise that treatment needs to be provided on a shorter-term basis and in a less restrictive setting. As a result, there has been a proliferation of these less intensive programs that have focused on relapse containment, which is not necessarily a negative goal, but they are extremely limited when it comes to addressing the coping and life skills necessary to live a more productive and meaningful life.
The insurance industry has also relied on the pharmaceutical industry’s propensity to develop better maintenance medications. These medications, creating a multi-billion dollar windfall of their own, are geared more toward reducing symptoms and maintaining the person so they do not decompensate any further, not necessarily getting the person back on track with their life. The goal of stabilization and maintenance is not enough. People with addiction issues need a treatment program that will address the neurobiological, psychological, and behavioral aspects of this illness.
All of this creates a vacuum of need for the person suffering from an addictive disorder. As such, they are left vulnerable with little or no options to choose. They are preyed upon by the opportunists whose only intent is financial gain subjugating these individuals to less than supportive living conditions and participation in ineffective programs that will only lead to relapse, hospitalization, or worse, death.
Yes, the reality is there does need to be a crackdown on these unethical and fraudulent “sober homes” and ineffective “treatment” facilities. However, what is going to happen after that? Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. The problem is not with the fact that there are unscrupulous people out there ready to take advantage of a faulty system. This happens in any organization or industry where there is a faulty system in place. The real problem is that there is not enough attention being paid to the real issue, the disease of addiction and the need for more effective treatment.
The problem of addiction needs to be the focus of our attention. Last year alone there were over 52,000 deadly opiate overdoses in the United States outnumbering that of car fatalities. Add in another 88,000 alcohol related deaths and the number of deaths from addictive substances becomes staggering. This is close to the equivalent of a passenger 747 jumbo jet airliner crashing every day for a year. This does not even include the deaths of other addictive legal and illegal substances. It is estimated that the use of addictive substances costs our nation $740 billion dollars annually. Let us not lose focus on the true issue.
Let’s also not lose sight of the fact that there are a number of well-established and effective treatment centers and “sober homes” throughout the country that have been in operation for years. These are facilities that are committed to working with a population that have long been neglected and now preyed upon. These are the facilities that need to be recognized and supported.
Established treatment programs will be staffed with credentialed licensed professionals. The facility is also usually certified or is in the process of getting certified by an external credentialing organization such as the Joint Commission or the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). The facilities will have established levels of care with clear clinical guidelines as to treatment philosophy and outcome. Involvement with the person’s family and support system will also be an integral part of the program. Transparency and openness for others to see the work they are doing is tantamount to their efficacy and success.
The credible sober home will also have the same transparency and openness. The facility will usually have structured ground rules and 24-hour supervision. The main goal being a time limited supportive living environment geared toward assisting the recovering person getting back into the mainstream of life and personal direction. Most important, it will not have any affiliations with insurance or with a treatment facility. A credible sober home may be endorsed by a number of treatment facilities but they will operate independently and separately of those treatment facilities.
The bottom line is that there is effective and meaningful treatment out there. It is just a matter of finding those places. It is going to take a concerted effort of accountability at multiple levels to address all the problems at hand with addiction. There is no one entity to blame. Lawmakers, healthcare professionals, treatment programs, the insurance industry, and families are all going to need to take a closer look at what they can do to address the problem of addiction.
– Thomas G. Beley, PhD, LCSW
Palm Healthcare Company
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