Programs and Services
Our programs and services are designed to provide chemically-dependent and dually-diagnosed individuals the opportunity to establish and maintain healthy, happy and sober lifestyles.
Addiction is a treatable disease that affects the whole person, as well as their loved ones. Therefore, treatment must be comprehensive and address all affected life areas, as well as mind, body and soul. Recovery is a lifelong process that requires courage, honesty and motivation.
Our program provides a safe, clean and sober environment that allows patients the opportunity to find hope and create positive change. We offer a therapeutic program rooted in the 5 Essential Elements of beating addiction, the 12-Step philosophy or a suitable alternative, and behavioral health counseling to assist individuals in establishing and maintaining a personal program of recovery. We work to create an environment that promotes mutual respect and trust amongst all patients and staff. Loved ones are also encouraged to participate in the treatment process.
The staff at American Addiction Centers is committed to providing guidance and support through comprehensive assessment, individualized treatment planning, weekly individual counseling and a variety of therapeutic recovery oriented groups. In conjunction with working the program, we strongly encourage our patients to attend ongoing 12-Step meetings or suitable alternatives.
Transitioning to a clean and sober lifestyle is a process that begins when a new, healthier mindset is manifested and implemented. This change is often difficult, and anxiety and discomfort are common. With the help of our caring, expert staff, patients are encouraged to explore and express their thoughts and feelings, develop their strengths, discover their capabilities and understand the consequences of their choices and behaviors.
The Recovery Process
Patients should know and understand as much as possible about our treatment program the very beginning. Although every person has his or her own individual needs and circumstances, his or her recovery process will essentially follow the same basic progression of orientation, education, implementation and transition. Each phase of the program is a building block toward the next phase in the process, all geared towards the establishment of a firm foundation in recovery.
Assessment, Intake and Openness
During the initial phase of the treatment program, a comprehensive assessment is administered to identify patient needs, strengths and to assist in planning ongoing treatment. During this process, many areas of life are discussed, from substance use history to family, legal and vocational history. Openness and honesty allows us to develop, with the patient, an appropriate and individualized treatment plan that is an organized plan of action designed to maximize the chances of successful recovery. Patients are expected to actively participate in establishing personal recovery goals and objectives, as the likelihood for success generally increases with compliance with the treatment plan and program requirements. With patient consent, appropriate family members are contacted in order to obtain additional information, as needed, and to be referred to our Family Education and Support Group. If appropriate, they may also be intermittently involved in your individual counseling sessions. Under certain circumstances, we need to coordinate patient care with other behavioral health, medical or chemical dependency providers. We may also require contact with the patient’s referral and/or funding source, and the patient may be asked to sign a consent for release of information that allows us to do this.
Following initial assessments, patients work with the Intake Counselors in creating weekly program attendance schedules. Changes in life circumstances may necesitate changes in this attendance schedule. With legitimate reason, patients are expected to inform their counselors/clinical interns as soon as possible so the appropriate accommodations can be made without any administrative consequences related to treatment compliance or personal compromises to your recovery. Our staff is committed to making every effort to try to increase every individual’s chances for success, and we will try to work with each patient’s program schedule to accommodate work schedules.
Patients are assigned to a counselor or clinical intern who provides a variety of services and is responsible for treatment planning, individual guidance and monitoring of progress. He or she may also assist with case management issues such as access to and coordination of outside adjunctive resources (such as 12-Step groups in the community) while in treatment, and discharge planning in order to assure a smooth continuum of care following treatment. During these individual counseling sessions and throughout the treatment experience, patients are provided the opportunity to work closely with the counselor on agreed goals and objectives. These goals and objectives are reviewed and amended as necessary, and these sessions may help to identify and resolve both short-term and long standing issues which may have contributed to addiction.
The Counseling Staff
All American Addiction Centers counselors are either certified in Substance Abuse Counseling and/or have extensive experience in the field. All clinical interns participate in either Masters or Doctoral level graduate school programs. All interns work directly under the clinical supervision and closely monitored guidance of the Clinical Supervisor and/or the Director of Outpatient Services, who are both licensed behavioral health professionals.
Patients participate in various group therapies throughout the treatment program. Growing evidence points to expressive therapies and other creative means to achieve distinct and measurable therapeutic goals, such as socialization, self understanding and realization, and self expression. For this reason, art therapy, drama and or music therapy may be incorporated into the treatment curriculum.
The 12-Step Model
Patients are expected to attend community-based 12-Step meetings designed to foster support during the journey into recovery by other people also recovering. These self-help groups are part of a world-wide organization which began with Alocoholics Anonymous in the 1930s. There is no membership or leader, and the only requirement is the desire to get and stay clean and sober. These meetings are anonymous, meaning that participants may disclose any (or no) personal information, as they so choose. The “twelve steps”are the foundation of these meetings, a set of beliefs and activities designed to provide a program for a clean and sober lifestyle. There is a strong spiritual aspect to the steps and to the meetings.
For some patients, the 12-Step model may not lead to successful recovery — and that is okay; a patient’s preference for attending other outside meetings would be considered on a case-by-case basis. These alternatives may include:
- Rational Recovery (RR): secular, educational self-help program of planned abstinence from alcohol and other drugs, founded in 1985. Addiction recovery is viewed as an event, not a process, with methods designed as a means to become independently abstinent in a brief period of time. Its groups are not confidential. There is no charge for meetings, but donations are accepted.
- Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART): abstinence-based, process-oriented, self-help program designed to empower addicts to abstain from drugs and alcohol. It is based on a cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy devised by psychologist Albert Ellis in the 1950s. The focus is on present-day events and causes, and emphasizes enhancing motivation, refusing to act on urges to use, and sensible management of life’s problems. Meetings are confidential. There is no sponsor or buddy system and there is no reliance on any deity or other abstraction outside oneself.
- Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS): network of autonomous, non-professional groups dedicated solely to helping individuals achieve and maintain sobriety. SOS emphasizes physiology, not psychology, and that recovery is achieved through personal responsibility and self-reliance. There is no reliance on a “higher power”, and although SOS supports healthy skepticism, it encourages the use of the scientific method to understand alcoholism. All who sincerely seek sobriety are welcome, and the support of others is deemed a vital adjunct to recovery. Group meetings are anonymous and supportive, and members are encouraged to share. SOS is self-supportive through member contributions only.
- Women For Sobriety (WFS): an organization and a self-help program for women alcoholics, which focuses on the emotional needs of women in recovery. It is based upon a “Thirteen Statement Program” of positivity that encourages emotional and spiritual growth. Its activities are self-help groups and the distribution of literature. WFS derives its operational money from group donations, sales of literature, speaking engagements, workshops and outside donations. All the programs described, except for WFS, are all non-profit organizations.
We consider the protection of patient confidentiality a vital part of the treatment process. The staff will not, under any circumstances, divulge a patient’s presence in treatment to anyone outside of the facility, without the patient’s written consent, except as required by law. However, as is common procedure, relevant information about your treatment and progress will be shared ongoing with any or all members of the treatment team. This may include any collateral contacts involved in coordinating care, should the patient choose to sign a release of information which permits us to do so. Patients will, however, be exposed other patients’ information through day-to-day interactions; we encourage communication and sharing of feelings. Therefore, we ask that all patients respect the rights of others to mutual confidentiality.
Patients are asked to submit to monitored random urinalysis drug testing throughout the treatment process. Urinalysis is a tool which provides the treatment team with a way to monitor and objectively assess progress. This is done on a random basis, approximately bi-monthly. Non-compliance with the request for testing, for any reason, will be considered a positive test. Patients are asked to follow, and expected to comply with, a pre-determined procedure, as described to you by your clinical intern/counselor.
The Phase Structure
The American Addiction Centers’ treatment philosophy is based on 5 Essential Elements, the 5th element being ‘Maintain the Life You Love’. Each patient’s progression through the treatment program is based upon compliance and progress, as monitored and reviewed by our treatment team. The number of days patients are expected to attend is based upon their present needs, attending less frequently as patients successfully progress and demonstrate treatment gains.
Overview of Programs, Groups and Services
12-Step Education and Support Groups
This program offers specific groups aimed at exposing patients to the 12-Step orientation, fellowship and program of recovery. Such groups may include Step Study, Big Book Studies, Recovery Issues, and AA/NA/CA Panels, all designed to afford patients an opportunity to gain insight into the steps and 12-Step philosophy, and to actually work their steps in a guided and supportive environment. A foundation for working a personal recovery plan is provided through the use of educational materials, recommended readings, review of the step principles and a guide toward sponsorship.
Alcohol & Other Drugs Education
Patients participate in presentation and discussion oriented groups which focus on providing information about drugs/alcohol and addiction. Topics include the impact of drugs and alcohol on one’s biological, neurological, emotional and behavioral health. Materials are drawn predominantly from research and clinical studies.
Patients who suffer with co-occuring disorders participate in education and discussion-oriented groups designed to provide information regarding dual diagnosis — psychiatric disorders that co-exist with chemical dependency. Materials cover the characteristics and types of disorders, causes, signs and symptoms, the emotional, cognitive and behavioral effects, symptom management and treatment approaches. The emphasis is on providing patients information necessary to help themselves remain maintain a clean and sober lifestyle.
Heightened awareness, guided insight into one’s issues and the acquisition of knowledge and new skills are often key elements to establishing a solid foundation in recovery. Therefore, American Addiction Centers offers various educational groups on such topics as Chemical Dependency, Principles, Issues and Processes of Recovery, Behavioral Health Issues, Spirituality and 12-Step, and Relapse Prevention.
Family Education, Groups & Support
As appropriate, patients are encouraged to involve significant others and family members in their treatment. These individuals are invited to attend both Family Support & Education Group and Multi-Family Group (a process-oriented group). Here they have the opportunity to learn more about the disease of addiction, their potential role(s) in the addiction and the opportunity to deal with their own issues that have arisen in response to the addiction. Appropriate discussions and open communication are encouraged, with the focus on assisting in changing and resolving ineffective interactive family processes to ones which will contribute to creating a sustained lifestyle of recovery.
In group therapy, patients learn appropriate ways to communicate and resolve conflict. Growth is achieved through sharing one’s personal issues with staff and peers in a safe, non-threatening environment. The group leaders’ responsibility is to facilitate the group to do their work. The patient is expected and responsible to openly and honestly participate, through self-disclosure and feedback to peers, expressing issues relevant to the recovery process.
Behavioral Health Services
Many patients have psychological issues or coexisting psychiatric disorders that need to be addressed as part of their personal program. Behavioral health groups and individual counseling are offered under staff supervisors who are licensed behavioral health professionals. In addition, referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist is available for assessment, treatment and medical/medication management, if necessary. Monitoring of these patients is ongoing, when seen, and intervention is provided as the need arises.
Recovery Issues Process
Patients participate in open-ended education and interactive discussion-oriented groups which focuses on realistic lifestyle-based issues associated with difficulties in establishing and/or maintaining a substance-free lifestyle. This is designed for patients to communicate their personal issues that presently impact their recovery, and work toward resolving conflicts. Pertinent educational information will be presented and provided, and relevant associated topics will be discussed. Appropriate self-disclosure and peer feedback is encouraged. Topics include dealing with thoughts and feelings, stress, grief and loss, ambivalence and relationships.
Patients participate in education-based groups which incorporate interaction and discussion, designed to facilitate patients’ awareness of their own processes. The focus here is to identity signs, symptoms and patterns of relapse, and explore effective strategies to prevent or reduce the frequency and/or intensity of future relapses.