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Addiction is a Chronic Disease and we need to overhaul The Treatment Industry to Finally Address it

**Like other chronic medical illnesses, substance use disorders have biological, social and behavioral components; and effective management of the disease requires attention to each of these pieces (similar to Type-II Diabetes).

**A recent call from a family member of a patient illustrates just how bad the situation is. This call was from a very senior level executive at a prestigious medical school, asking for advice on how to help his 26 year old son who has a serious heroin addiction. The son had been through five residential treatment programs over the past several years, at a cost to the family of over $150,000. In this case, he was literally too ashamed to contact one of his own organization’s physicians.  This extraordinary degree of stigma and sense of isolation that families still experience is unjustified and incapacitating. The second thing that troubles me about this interaction is that although his son had been to five residential treatment programs, he was unaware that there were any FDA-approved medications for the treatment of opioid dependence. No treatment program had informed him or his son about these treatments, even in the face of repeated, potentially deadly relapses. This is not simply inappropriate – it is unethical.

**It is time and it is possible for individuals with emerging substance use disorders to have all available medical facts associated with the progression of addictive disease; to receive full disclosure and information about all evidence-based treatment options for their condition; and to have full access to all evidence-based therapies, medications and services. I am hopeful that the Affordable Care Act and the Parity Legislation together will create basic fairness for individuals and families affected by the disease of addiction. But if those landmark pieces of legislation are not enough, it will be time to stand together to demand the already available health benefits for the prevention and treatment of substance use.

Treatment has boxed itself into a corner. Centers have created a myth that if you send your loved one to us they will be fixed. Therefore, they charge astronomical fees essentially zapping a Families resources and then give us recovery rates as bad as only 15% getting well (number vary, but the “real” norm amongst honest Industry Therapists and Executives is between 10% & 20% don’t relapse after Treatment). If we made tires and 8 out of 10 failed new we would be out of business. It is also time to stop blaming the diseased individual and say “they were not ready” or “They didn’t do the work”. Programs need to step up to the plate and start realizing that what Treatment does is 4 things.

  • Detox
  • Stabilization
  • Hopefully open the Patient to the notion and ability to speak about themselves in an honest fashion without wearing a mask.
  • Provide a long-term Continuing Care Plan that includes Addiction Care Management.

Treatment Centers needs to lower their costs so that Families have the funds to afford other resources that are necessary for long-term recovery. Things like a Addiction Care Specialist that can assist in keeping all the pieces moving forward, provide accountability that the Addict is following through, bring in other resources such as Therapists, financial planners, Marriage Counselors etc.. as needed over the long haul.

Addiction is a Chronic Illness and like other Chronic Illnesses, like my 11 year old niece – diagnosed with Type I Diabetes since 4, there are multiple interactions with Professionals over time (it has been 7 years for her) to make sure she is accountable, the course of Treatment is working, her Parents are getting support and as she gets older she is educated more and more on what she needs to know. This is no different than the Model that needs to be developed for the Treatment of Addiction. It is already there for Diabetes and other Chronic Illnesses, all we have to do is take what works and leave the rest.

Addiction Care Management   www.addictioncaremanagement.comis a step in the right direction but more needs to be done by Centers who need to take their heads out of the sand and see what is traditionally the way of doing things is not working. A Continuing Care Plan where you hands a Patient an AA Schedule, tell them to do 90 meetings in 90 days, get a Sponsor, work the steps, Help others, Trust god and maybe get a Therapist with no other help is archaic and a broken model.

**Treating addiction as a chronic disease – how do we get from here to there? July 2, 2013 by A. Thomas McLellan – Addiction Professional Magazine



1st Step Interventions And Addiction Care Management’s™ “Recovery Without Walls™ Mission Statement is simple “A Lasting Focus on Recovery”

In the Near Future 1st Step Interventions will be changing it's name to Addiction Recovery Management and Intervention,Inc. We feel this better reflects the direction our business model is taking. We believe Treatment is not always necessary and our Program provides Families with more choices and better outcomes. Our Services are located in Northern California, The Bay Area and San Francisco

1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management™ Programs have become the most successful and leading choice for Alcohol Intervention, Drug Intervention, Continuing Care Services, Family help and Education, and Accountability for the Recovering Addict in Northern California, The Bay Area and San Francisco. 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management™ Outpatient Program is a leading choice for Alcohol Intervention, Drug Intervention, Continuing Care Services, Family help and Education, and Accountability for the Recovering Addict in Northern California, The Bay Area and San Francisco. 1st Step Interventions And Addiction Care Management™ offers tailored programs, accountability, relationship building, life skills, and honest coaching to help patients explore their addiction issues and develop strategies to address their patterns. We also regularly check up on our clients to ensure accountability to their Continuing Care Plan. We take all the worry and responsibility out of the Family's or Spouses hands. 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management™ operate on behalf of families, removing them from having to play the role of addiction police'. All of this is done in the alcoholic/addict's real world setting. Our “Recovery Without Walls”™ allows your loved one to live their life and experience recovery in the real world while having Professional guidance and help.

    What are The Advantages of using 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management’s™ Model "Recovery Without Walls?

1Bryan Bowen is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor in California (CAS II) and is a Nationally Certified Interventionsist through the University of Pensylvannia (CIP) Bryan has been Certified for over 12 years.

2.. 1st Step Interventions enjoys a 95% success rate of getting the alcoholic addict to enter treatment as a result of an intervention. Over 400 Intervention have been professionally completed. Experienced Addiction Care Management - Bryan Bowen has 15 years of combined direct patient care and 1st Step Interventions has an outstanding record working with more than 1,000 addicts and their families.

3. Continuity of care - An Addictions Care Specialist works with you from the beginning of the intervention all the way through the 1st year of sobriety. You will continue to be Educated through our proprietary Workbook, Weekly Conference Calls and continued Family work for up to 1 year if neccessary. Even processing issues that come up when your Patient leaves Treatment and comes home. Your Addiction Care Specialist is available during The Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program’s Office hour's Period to any one including the Patient. Your Addiction Care Specialist will manage your loved one's progress on a daily/weekly/monthly basis as needed, provide accountability for adherence to their Continuing Care Plan, help problem solve issues created in the their addiction and recovery, provide Life Skills where necessary, intervene in any Crisis, makes suggestions where appropriate and provide a sense of relief for you. Your loved one will have someone who has been with them, and you, since the beginning of the intervention. You will have a much higher chance of successful long-term recovery. This is how you really treat a Chronic Illness!

4. Addiction Care Management™ - We have worked in all areas of the treatment Industry and understand everything your loved is going to go through. We have also developed long-standing relationships with treatment providers, having personally visited nearly 250 Centers and have outstanding trusting friendships with treatment executives, therapists and counselors. We maintain professional relationships by attending relevant conferences and making visits to centers to make sure they are consistently meeting the needs of the alcoholic/addict. We make honest referrals to programs with ethics who will take care of your loved one and give them the clinical care needed for recovery from their addiction. Your Addiction Care Specialist will be closely involved withe the treatment facility helping build the most successful Continuing Care Plan for your love one.

5. Family Communication - Addiction Care Management™ provides families with weekly conference calls with The Addiction Care Specialist.

6. While the Patient is in treatment, follow up conference calls for the client and family for questions and support

7. Weekly consultations with the Patient Therapist/Case Manager/Counselor if Patient is in treatment during the time of Addiction Care  Management™. This includes but is not limited to, following Patient during treatment,discussions about  recommendations for continuing residential treatment, outpatient treatment, working with the clinical team on the recommendations for Continuing Care Planning and appropriate therapist/psychologist referrals post Treatment (once the Patient has completed the primary treatment program).

8. Signing off on Continuing Care Plan. Providing resources as needed.

9. Addiction Care Management will put together the pieces of the Patient's “Lasting Focus On Recovery" and the boundaries for each piece. This is the patients post Treatment plan to deal with any issues such as financial or legal that may bring up issues.

10. Addiction Care Management will manage all of the recovery activities outlined for the patient in the Continuing  Care Plan.

11. Stress identification and reduction Plan” for Patient's stress and in each case a plan will be put into place with appropriate education and training were necessary. This may include Life Skills. Many of these do not show themselves until after the Patient has left Treatment.

12. Addiction Care Management™ will manage Patient's recovery in stages that build on each other and individual responsibility and provide an exit stage. Providing support for Client and Family and providing a concrete plan for Client and Families growth and recovery.

13. Managing random alcohol and drug screening of Patient after treatment.

14. Managing and helping provide accountability on Patient’s adherence to Continuing Care plan.

15. Providing a plan if Patient has a relapse and managing that plan if event happens during the time of Addiction Care Management™. Family is not involved and encouraged to stay out. Addiction Care Specialist will also have Weekly Face-to-Face meeting with Patient.

With us you get an Intervention Company and an Addiction Care Management™Recovery Without Walls Model, that has been where your loved one is. We know the joy of Recovery and the despair of Addiction, and have developed a Caring way of speaking to active Addicts and their Families.

San Francisco Drug Intervention, Alcohol Intervention, Addiction Help and Addiction Services Counseling