CASA report decries quality of addiction treatment system

Analysis says Patients, counselors pay the price for a lack of standards

While few of its individual findings will come as much of a surprise to seasoned professionals in the addiction field, a newly issued report from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA Columbia) packs a punch in its assault on current substance use treatment practice.

Perhaps the most stinging, if still not stunning, comment in the report is its statement that the medical profession is largely absent from addiction practice and that the counseling professionals who deliver most of the treatment services to patients are often subject to few or no qualification standards.

“There simply is no other disease where appropriate medical treatment is not provided by the health care system and where patients instead must turn to a broad range of practitioners largely exempt from medical standards,” CASA Columbia vice president Susan Foster said in a news release issued this week.

CASA this week released a mammoth report of nearly 600 pages, entitled Addiction Medicine: Closing the Gap Between Science and Practice. The research team led by Foster relied on numerous data sources that included but was not limited to five national data sets, a survey of more than 1,100 members of addiction treatment organizations, and a survey of 360 individuals in recovery. Grants from several charitable foundations financed the five-year project.

Here are some of the findings CASA is highlighting from its report:

  • Only about 1 in 10 individuals who need treatment for addiction are receiving it, compared with 7 of 10 individuals with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and depression who are receiving treatment for those conditions.
  • A total of $28 billion was spent in the United States in 2010 to treat addiction, an illness that affects 40 million people. By comparison, $107 billion was spent that year to treat heart disease, which affects 27 million people.
  • Only 2 cents of every dollar spent on addiction-related costs pays for treatment and prevention efforts, as the vast majority of spending focuses on the health consequences of substance abuse.
  • Addiction treatment remains largely disconnected from mainstream medical practice. The report cites research data showing that only 29% of individuals who visited a general medical practitioner in the past year were ever asked about alcohol or other drug use.

The Counselors who handle the majority of clinical care in addictions are subject to a Hodgepodge of educational and credentialing requirements from state to state, with nearly one-third of states requiring no certification or licensure to practice and only half a dozen states requiring that counselors hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The report characterizes the gap between research and practice as “unfair to the thousands of addiction counselors who struggle, in the face of extreme resource limitations and no medical training, to provide help to patients with the disease of addiction and numerous co-occurring medical conditions.”

The report issued numerous recommendations to improve addiction treatment practice and policy, including:

  • Developing core clinical competencies for addiction treatment and prevention and requiring that they be taught in all relevant education and training programs.
  • Standardizing the language that is used to describe the full range of severity of substance use problems in the population.
  • Requiring routine screening and brief intervention for individuals in all government service systems, from corrections to housing to child welfare.
  • Requiring that all addiction treatment facilities be licensed under the same provisions and standards as other healthcare facilities.
  • Implementing a national public health campaign coordinated by federal government agencies to educate citizens about all forms of risky substance use.

**Addiction Professional Magazine – June 26, 2012 by Gary A. Enos, Editor

AS a Professional who has worked in the Treatment Industry since 1999 in various positions, Owner Operator of 8 Single Sex Sober Homes in The Bay Area, Certified Alcohol and other Drugs Counselor (CA), Owner/ Operator 1st Step Interventions (2033-present), Owner and Operator of 52 Bed Young Men’s Relapse Specific Treatment Program;

I have always wondered if this is a Medical Disease that is Chronic in Nature why we do not have more of the Medical Profession working side by side with us. I find it totally baffling and unethical all at the same time. This goes to my current theme that Treatment Programs have painted themselves into a corner. A corner by which, a stronger and more Ethical Association than NAATP is needed to skillfully lead us out. No offense aimed at NAATP as it does what it does well. But this is a different task at hand and requires full time attention and skill. Also, a encyclopedia knowledge of Insurance and it’s Industry.

No, more than ever is a time to come together with well thought out Conferences instead of more semi-real Conferences where Dinner, Golf and Cigars afterwards are more important than anything being said in talks that might God forbid move our Industry forward. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but like so many the problems are glaring.

 

 

 

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?
EMAIL: bryanbowen@1ststepinterventions.com

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