Diverse Substance Abuse Treatment Programs
Substance abuse treatment does not immediately connotate positive images.
There are a host of stigma attached to drug rehab, including the quintessential dubious statement that it simply does not work. The diversity of today’s rehabilitation patient demographics suggest not everyone is a chronic user, treatment protocols are antiquated and a “one size fits all” model ostracizes those who do not respond to a 12-step method.
In 2013, Time magazine published a detailed investigation into the world of substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation programs. They discovered several provocative truths about today’s state of care in rehabilitation facilities:
❖ Our nation is home to an estimated 22 million people with substance abuse disorders (SUDs) of varying severity. Only one in ten seek professional help; the other 9 abstain from rehab simply because they are dissatisfied with the treatment options available to them.
❖ There is an egregious lack of training in the industry. In many states, addiction counselors are not required to complete a college degree or attend medical school. Physicians have little to no experience in identifying and diagnosing SUD.
❖ Group therapy comprises most of a typical eight-hour day at the average substance abuse treatment center. Patients are prodded to over-share to their cohorts, and many find this unsettling, uncomfortable and invasive. There is little focus on individualized treatment plans which allow for patient privacy and confidentiality. Videos and lectures are also utilized, which again provides scant individualized attention in a quiet, confidential setting.
❖ Maintenance treatments are eschewed in a typical rehabilitation center. This means patients with a history of drug addiction are not weaned off the substances gradually; rather, they are encouraged and expected to banish their addictions in the cold turkey fashion. There is mounting, authentic medical literature which proves maintenance treatments are most effective and safe when treating controlled substance addiction.
❖ Not everyone is a chronic user. Many patients in substance abuse treatment are casual users who were pressured or forced to “go to rehab, man.” Ironically, failed attempts at rehabilitation put these casual users at a higher risk to become chronic users.
Not immediate connotations of hope and positivity.
Lifeline Connections’ substance abuse treatment Portland, Or and Vancouver, Wa are working hard to create a diverse offering of programs that target addictions in different patient demographics with substance abuse concerns that run the full spectrum. We are working to abolish the “one size fits all” 12-step model in favor of a private, confidential and comfortable experience that focuses on individual needs.
We challenge the status quo explored in Time’s article by:
❖ Establishing an assessment program to determine the level and type of care needed for each individual patient to be successful in their journey;
❖ Offering diversity in our programs, from individual therapy with licensed professionals to outdoor activities, exercise regimens and holistic therapy;
❖ Employing state certified and licensed clinicians who attend regular professional development training;
❖ Leveraging curricula accredited by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA).
We recognize the tides are turning in our industry, but progress is sluggish. Our organizational goal is to be a leader in innovative, authentic and proven substance abuse treatment programs that provide sensitivity and advocacy to each individual patient.