Archive for San Francisco Addiction Treatment

How to find help for drug addiction in San Francisco – 1st Step Interventions

Do you have someone in your life suffering from The Disease of Addiction and Talking to them hasn’t helped – Anxious and Scared?

Intervention ExpertFinding help for someone you love with and addiction to Pain Killers, marijuana, Opiates. alcohol, prescription drugs, Heroin etc.. can be harder than you think. Friends will tell you stories of people who have gone to Rehab and relapsed or you will go online and be faced with so many choices and each will tell you they are the best and treat everything under the sun in 28 days.

This can be confusing and add to your anxiety. 1st Step Interventions has been in business here locally for over 10 years working in places like Sacramento, Marin, The East Bay, Santa Cruz, San Joe, Sonoma County and San Francisco to name a few area locally. We have an excellent reputation and have performed over 400+ successful Interventions and in our 15 years in the industry (other positions as well, see “About Us” on site) we have helped over 1000+ Addicts and their Families.

We are an Ethical company and I am a certified Interventionist and Addictions Services Counseling Expert. I will spend the time with you to hear what you and your loved one’s needs are and then recommend a reputable local Rehab that can help and will focus on Sobriety and what we know works, not fancy chefs, expensive views and high thread count bed sheets. None of these things have ever gotten anyone sober and just cost you more and feed the addicts entitlement.

Our first assessment is free so giving us a call today costs you nothing and we will help you begin the process of getting your loved one help that will stick and help you free yourself and your family from this crisis you have found yourself in. Our Interventions are compassionate, Professional and Confidential.

For longer term help, as addiction is a Chronic Disease, we have founded a Service for Continuing Care called Addiction Care Management. Essentially we remove you from having to police whether your loved one is staying Sober and doing what they need to early on to build a strong foundation for long term Recovery. When you call us please ask about our Service or you may go to www.addictioncaremanagment.com for more information.

Call today and move out from being help hostage by an addiction and help your loved one reclaim their life and move on healthy and positive 707-559-5146

Here is a testimonial letter

Dear Treatment Program (Name Omitted),

I wanted to express my thoughts about Bryan Bowen. During the initial stages of my brother intervention, your current guest as of yesterday, our family was referred to your facility by an out patient program in San Fran. I personally called Duffy’s and spoke with Sarah and ask for a referral to an intervention therapist, Bryan being one of two provided.  It is important for you both to know what impact your referral of Bryan had on our family and myself.

Our family did not know what the term intervention was until my wife Heather suggested it. Our brother Tom had just been admitted to the hospital because his body was failing under his addiction. The bottom was reached. Medically, the hospital stabilized him and released him to my sister, a nurse, my mother and Tom’s family.  The watch began and Tom did not drink for a week. But without an intervention, Tom would still be drinking, as I discovered in a voice mail on Saturday.

We hired Bryan and he championed the cause to completion. I was the initial family contact person with Bryan and he was professional from the start. I did not know Bryan, other than through his website. I had no context, background or anything- just Duffy’s referral.  Now in hindsight, everything is crystal clear. Thank you for selecting Bryan for your referral list. He has the passion, the depth, the anguish, the experiences of 400+ people, the sadness, the hope, the inspiration and the tenacity to convince a person who knows not what they do and causes them to voluntarily enter rehab.  As I warned Bryan in the beginning, my brother Tom is a difficult person. He is a “former” attorney, angry, insecure, reclusive, irrational etc. Bryan methodically initiated a process, counseled our very large family through numerous conference calls and emails preparing us and Tom’s family, including his 15 year old daughter, about what was to occur. He held the intervention and did not stumble, lose focus, nor lose control to Tom and his “ways”.  The intervention was brutal in so many respects, from the utter uncaring stoic presence Tom exhibited (addiction) to the agony and despair pleaded by his young daughter Alex to Tom’s heartlessness reaction to her love. Tom did not agree to go after the intervention, even though his entire family had read their third and final statements to Tom. Tom was the 20% of those people who stubbornly refuse to go to rehab after an intervention. There was Bryan through it all, unwavering. I believe even Bryan could not help but be personally impacted by this intervention. Bryan has been given the gift of grace- to help others. He carries a special energy to move mountains.  Bryan clearly went beyond his agreement with the family, volunteering his personal time without complaint. His door was always open, which was difficult given nearly the entire family was in two other time zones.  If Bryan is the person we now know him to be and you referred him to us, then we know what your program is all about. I have never met Bryan in person, just over the telephone, text and email. That’s a powerful advocate!  Thank you!!!

 

Why is Addiction Care Management or Case Management Needed – 1st Step Interventions

Why is Addiction Care Management or Case Management Needed

ADDICTION CARE

Why Choose Addiction Care Managemen Outpatient Model

 

Fact: In 2002, 22 million Americans

had substance dependence or abuse

(SAMHSA, 2002).

Fact: Approximately 3,500,000 of them

received some kind of treatment

(SAMHSA, 2002).

Fact: At least 2,800 relapsed.

Most will keep relapsing !! (SAMHSA,

2002).

Fact: Of those admitted to addiction

treatment, 60% already have one or

more prior treatment admissions; 24%

have three or more prior admissions

(SAMHSA, 2001).

Fact: The majority of people completing

addiction treatment will relapse in

the year following treatment (Wilbourne

& Miller, 2003), 80% of whom relapse

within 90 days of discharge (Hubbard,

Flynn, Craddock, & Fletcher,

2001).

Fact: Between 25% and 30% of clients

who complete addiction treatment will

be re-admitted to treatment within one

year, 50% within 2 – 5 years (Hubbard,

Marsden, Rachal, Harwood, Flynn,

Craddock, & Fletcher, 2001).

 

PROBLEM: Treatment is not enough

and a reliance solely on 12 Step

programs is not enough. All Treatment

Programs refer their patients only

to 12 Step Programs when completed.

The Disease of Addiction is a difficult

Chronic Illness to treat and requires

more over a long-term.

 

SOLUTION: Addiction Care Managements outpatient

Model of providing long-term Management of

Care. Outcomes and success are better, stronger

and more meaningful.

 

 

The Disease of Addiction is Chronic and just like Diabetes it never goes away. In 2003 SAMSHA – (The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) published that 80% of Addicts who complete a Treatment Program go back to active Addiction within their first year. The majority relapse within the first 6 months. Alcoholics Anonymous has even worse numbers of only 5% staying in Recovery. Our current Model of Treatment Services focuses too much just on Treatment and is an Acute system instead of a Chronic system of care. Bryan Bowen has seen this up-close too many times and developed the missing key – Addiction Care Management’s Outpatient Model of Continuing Care – A system where newly Recovering Alcoholics or Addicts can be followed for a longer term, have access to more services than just AA or NA (though they remain important) and have an Addiction Care Management Specialist to work with them and remove the Family as “The Recovery Cops”. Addiction Care Management Outpatient’s Program also provides help and education for the Family and helps them step out of trying to control the Addiction and get better help with issues that arise with living with a newly sober person.

Why The Current Recovery Process Fails

 

How Addiction Care Management Works

 

  • Intervention – Interventionist never seen again after intervention.
  • Intervention – Addiction care Specialist stays with and follows your Case for up to 1 year.
  • Treatment – Family rarely gets update from a Counselor or Therapist – gets information from Patient and is unsure of what is happening or needs to change. Once Treatment ends Patient never sees Counselor again, nor has any real interaction with Treatment Program
  • Treatment – Weekly Conference Calls with the Family and Addiction Care Specialist. The Treatment Program gives weekly updates  to your Addiction Care Management Specialist. Honest referrals to Programs with Ethics that work.
  • Family Program – 1-4 days with no post follow up. You cannot create real change or educate a Family System in such a short period. Nor, can a Family see, let alone understand their role in codependency and enabling. That they are not to blame but can change to better support the patient in recovery.
  • Family Program – Even though you might attend the Treatment Programs Family Program, you will continue to be educated through the use of our proprietary Workbook, conference calls and continued family education and information for up to 1 year. You will process issues that come up when your patient leaves Treatment and comes home or to another place of residence. Your Addiction Care Management Specialist is available any time during the Addiction Care Management Outpatient Period, to any one including the Patient.
  • Continuing Care – Treatment Center usually only recommends the Patient back to AA or NA. This is only part of the picture and more is needed for success.
  • Continuing Care – Your Addiction Care Management Specialist will be intimately involved with the Treatment Program helping to build the most successful Continuing Care Plan for your loved one. Since they have been involved since day one they are aware of all issues and potential pitfalls.
  • 80% of Patients Relapse – fall back into Shame and the Family feels defeated again. There has been no consistency in the Addicts Recovery nor in the Families Recovery
  • Addiction Care Management - Your Addiction Care Management Specialist will stay involved with your loved one’s Sobriety, Mental Health and Well-Being for the Period of time agreed on. At this point no one knows your loved one and their Recovery better than your Addiction Care Management Specialist. Your Addiction Care Management Specialist will manage your loved ones progress on a daily/weekly/monthly basis as needed, provide accountability on adherence to their Continuing Care Plan, help problem solve issues created in their addiction and recovery, provide Life Skills where necessary, intervene in any Crisis, make suggestions where appropriate and provide accountability. Your loved one will have someone who has been with them and you since the beginning. We provide an increased percentage of successful Long-Term Recovery. This is how you treat a chronic illness.

 

Addiction Care Management Details:

Addiction Care Management Outpatient’s Program assesses the Patient’s Life Skills, Recovery, Family and Mental Health needs Pre and Post Treatment. First contact is made when Family or loved one calls 1st Step Interventions for an Assessment. An Addiction Care Specialist from 1st Step Interventions will follow the Patient from their Intervention, thru Treatment and for up to 1 year Post Treatment. During this time the Addictions Care Specialist will have intimate knowledge of the Addicts issues, pitfalls and areas where they are doing well. They will also work with you – The Family – providing needed Support, Education and Answers.

  • While the Patient is in Treatment, follow up for the Client and “Family” for questions and support. One month is included in the Intervention Service.
  • Weekly post-Intervention follow up Conference calls for the Family. Once the Patient is out of Treatment your Addiction Care Specialist will have regular interaction with the Patient thru conference calls, face-to-face meetings. Your Addiction Care Specialist will help assess where the Patient is at, their needs and help manage that they get met.
  • 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, recommendations for continuing residential treatment, outpatient treatment, continuing care and appropriate therapist/psychologist referrals. Advising the clinical team on the recommendations for Continuing Care Planning, once the Patient has completed the primary treatment program. This is dependent on IP sighing a Consent Form
  • Signing off on and helping construct the Patient’s Continuing Care Plan. Providing resources as needed.
  • Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program will put together the pieces of the Patient’s “Roadmap for Recovery” and the boundaries for each piece. Working with other Professionals in the Community where necessary to provide the best service
  • Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program and the “Roadmap for Recovery”.
  • Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program will manage all of the recovery activities. outlined for the Patient in the Continuing Care Plan.
  • 1st Step removes the family from the role of policing the patient’s recovery. The chief codependent to the Addict within the Family will be identified and the relationship will be worked on.
  • Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program will implement a “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.
  • Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program 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.
  • Addiction Care Specialist led assessments of Patient’s progress and well-being. Patient must have a signed consent, if in Treatment, for communication to take place. Addiction Care Specialist will follow Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program’s assessment criteria for Addiction issues and provide Patient and family with qualified updates and any additional tools if needed.
  • Managing random alcohol and drug screening of Patient after treatment if required. 92% of Pilots recover because they have to participate in a drug and alcohol testing program for 5 years post Treatment. This does work and the minimal cost is worth it. Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program can supply all necessary testing material and has a lab for additional testing.
  • Managing and helping provide accountability on Patient’s adherence to Continuing Care plan.
  • Providing a Relapse Plan. Should a Patient have a relapse your Addiction Care Specialist will manage that plan if event happens during the time of Addiction Care Management. Your Addiction Care Specialist will get everyone back on track with no drama or shame.
  • Weekly Face-to-Face meeting with Patient if possible and TBD. Expenses are responsibility of Client.

Average amount of time per month Addiction Care Management outpatient Program provides up to 16  hours per month (unused hours cannot be used from one month to another.) This includes time spent with Family during weekly conference calls and helping the Family move into its own recovery, Working with The Family Workbook, Weekly Contacts with Patients either by phone or face to face, Addressing issues as they come up for Patients or Families, Managing referrals to other Doctors, Psychiatrist’s, Therapists etc. Being Accessible to Family or Patient at any time to help process issues or problem solve issues as they arise as. Making sure the Patient participates in a 12 step program and actually works the steps with a Sponsor. This also includes on going education for the Family and Patient and helping each move forward in their own Recovery. Addiction Care Management will also handle ALL issues as they do or will arise with the recovering patient, or a Family member. Should a case require more time than 16 hours per month than additional fees may apply, but will always be discussed first.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde It’s a widely accepted belief that we alcoholics and addicts have two personas that may be extremely divergent or just slightly different. We may even have more than two that add to our deep experience of internal conflict. For example, we may recognize the loving husband and father who coaches Little League and enjoys his family when he’s not lying to them, getting drunk and beating his wife and kids. Subtler is the addicted doctor who practices quality medicine and plays by the rules until he decides to lie to his staff and family as he begins to self-administer narcotics or other controlled substances. You probably know the cliché phrase Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from the story by Robert Louis Stevenson. Dr. Jekyll is a fine individual who turns into the monster, Mr. Hyde, once he ingests the “poison.” This seems like alcoholism, except the alcoholic starts becoming Mr. Hyde before he ingests the alcohol or other drug. The transformation into Mr. Hyde, the using addict, precedes his actual use. You have heard it before -  “Relapse happens before the usage”. In essence, people get ready to relapse. They begin to behave, think, and feel in ways they used to behave, think and feel when they were actively addicted. This has always been called a “dry drunk.”

Relapse is active use. Relapse behavior, thinking and feeling come first. But remember, a person doesn’t relapse until he or she takes the drink, the pill, the needle or the sniff. Addiction Care Management will teach you to intervene on yourself before you take the relapse action. We will focus on the Dr. Jekyll part of you becoming Mr. Hyde. One of our major goals is to heighten self-awareness without increasing self-obsession. When you are able to notice the earliest signs of your addict emerging and you take the appropriate steps to avoid using, you have averted a relapse. You are beginning to take the actions needed for “living sober.” We Professionals who are alcoholics and addicts know what it’s like to be at war with ourselves. We know what it’s like to be at war with others too, but the big war is an inside battle. Until we are solid in recovery, and even then, we maintain strong defenses against seeing ourselves clearly. We work to mute the opposing players within us. Dry…using. Dry…using. Back and forth we go, we undermined steady, forward growth in recovery by forces within. Is this experience unique to alcoholics and addicts? NO! It is part of being human. But does it cause trouble for addicts and alcoholics? Yes, and so we must look inside to see who’s there. What blocks us from maintaining a healthy recovery?

Trauma Why are you afraid? This is a big question, one you will tackle repeatedly in Treatment and Addiction Care Management. Sometimes you’ll be able to look back on your life and remember old behaviors, beliefs, feelings and relationships that were distressing to you. Now, you may be able to see that you felt afraid. You felt alone. You felt inadequate to take care of yourself. But you had nowhere to turn for help. Many addicts and alcoholics have grown up with trauma. Trauma means being in a state of utter helplessness and hopelessness. It may be the experience of living through an earthquake, flood or war when you thought you might die. It may be the experience of living with out-of-control, alcoholic parents. You couldn’t stop them and you couldn’t protect yourself. Another, a trusted family member, friend or a stranger, may have abused you. In these examples you have been the victim of trauma — a natural disaster or someone else’s out-of-control behavior. As you work through the exercises of uncovering the past, you will remember these traumas. You may see that your relapses have been directly connected to these past experiences and your fear of the power of these memories in recovery. Many people drink or use to try to control memories. We will help you remember and we will help you learn to cope with all of your past. This work is hard and painful, but it is often necessary to maintain sobriety. There is another kind of trauma that is also related to relapse. That’s the trauma you inflicted on yourself and others by being addicted. We will work with you to uncover how you lost control, how you were helpless, what you did to yourself and others and how hard it is to remember and to take responsibility for your behavior, beliefs, feelings, and patterns of relationship. You traumatized yourself. You became your own victim.  You were out-of-control and helpless, though you may have believed it was just the opposite.

 

 

San Francisco Drug Interventions – 1st Step Interventions

San Francisco  street carSan Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the leading financial and cultural center of Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. And if Addiction rates match the National rate of 10%, then th Population of 825,863 means we have 82,000 Addicts and Alcoholics living in San Francisco.

Most people would think that these Addicts are found wandering the streets of San Francisco in areas like The Tendeloin or parts of The Mission, but they are mostly normal everyday people living in nice, normal and other areas, searving us our coffee or working in the Operating Rooms of our Local Hospitals. The point is most people afflicted with the Diease of Addiction live and struggle through and we cannot always tell.

They all live around friends and family who eventually can tell something is going on when the Addiction becomes too big for the person to manage and they start to wobble out of control. Lots of times Families will notice and talk about their family member behind their backs and wonder what is going on or how they are going to help. Usually too there is someone or more than one person in their lives enabling the Addicition to go on. The enabling is not meant to continue the Addiction, it is usually harmless in intention, trying to buy time so hopefully the Addict gets their act toghether -However, by the nature of the Disease all the enabling does is help continue the very Addiction that is trying to be stopped.

So what is a Family to do when they figure out one of their own is drowning in drugs or alcohol. Intervention is one of the most loving acts that you can do for a family memeber and for the family. If you find that you have a Family member who is struggling with drugs and alcohol Intervention Companies like 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Behavioral Healthcare Services, Inc can provide you with a plan and help your family and your loved one look beyond Treatment and help put a plan of action together that will provide all the steps and tools needed for “A Lasting Focus On Recovery”

Addiction is a Chronic illness an those 82,000 people in San Francisco with The Disease of Addiction will always have it – it never goes away ,only into remission – if the addict does what they need to do daily and if the family stops their enabling and get help for codependency if neccessary.

National stastistics give recovery rates of only about 20%. This can be confusing because it doesn’t give details around if they had a plan or not, continued with Professional help with their plan or any other details. It has been shown that those who not only start their recovery by the way of Intervention, but who also continue after their treatment with Professional help with their Continuing Care Plan with Programs like Addiction Care Management, have higher rates of success.

In conslusion, it is my hope that if you are trying to help a loved one who has addiction that you will not get caught up in the riduculousness of Reality TV and the shows that have basterdized Intervention by showing the despair and using of drugs instead of the happiness and joy of recovery, and call for a free assessment today. It doesn’t cost anything and may save your loved ones life.

For help with Drug Interventions if San Francisco call 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Behavioral Healthcare Services, Inc today at 707-559-5146.

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How to Help somone with Prescription Pill Drug Addiction in San Francisco – 1st Step Interventions

Have someone you love addicted to Prescription pills and they are no longer taking them for the Medical reason they were prescribed,  but are now taking them for Emotional or Psychological needs?

Pills

Prescription pill addiction and overdoses have now overtaken Heroin, Cocaine and Methamphetamine’s combined. Let me first say there is nothing wrong with Prescription Pills and that for instance a body will not heal if it is in pain. The problem is when someone with an addiction problem already or  is suspected of possibly having issues with substances gets their hands on “feel good” drugs like Pain killers, Opiates or Opioid’s like (Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Codeine, Oxymorphone, Hydromorphone – these are generic names for Percodan, Vicoden, Tylenol #3, Dilaudid and Opana) or benzodiazepines (Alprazolam, Diazapam, lorazapam, Clonozopam – generic names for Xanax, Valium, Ativan or Klonopin) the latter are used for anxiety, muscle relaxant, sleep disorders to name a few. The addict becomes either physically addicted or psychologically addicted to the emotional pain they relieve.

The biggest issues related to Prescription Pill abuse and suggestions for avoiding Prescription Pill abuse are below:

  • The person taking them is already an addict and they have full control of the medication. In this case another family member or friend should and in most cases getting a small safe or lock box and only giving a days worth at a time can relieve the addict from even thinking about taking more than they should.
  • A family member not attending all Dr’s visits and allowing the addict to describe symptoms that maybe are not being seen by you or over playing the amount of pain they are actually in.
  • Stepping in when it seems as though the “Patient” has been taking the medication for a long time and asking the Dr during these visits is the medication really necessary or is there a non narcotic replacement medication that could now be prescribed.
  • Pill Counting – every once and a while it is good to count the amount of pills still in the bottle. The bottle will have the amount and frequency of how the medication should be taken. This will tell you how many pills should have been taken and should be left. When you get a prescription these days you also get a piece of paper with your insurance info, personal info and precautions on it. It will also have how many days the prescription is supposed to last for on it.
  • Making sure your loved one or friend isn’t seeing multiple Dr’s for the same ailment and getting more prescriptions than they need.
  • Make sure the medication is being taken as prescribed – this does not usually include, snorting pills, crushing or chewing long acting medication or in severe instances using a needle. No matter what your loved one says these are not OK routes for taking these medications. Your Dr has prescribed an amount to deal with your issue – doing the above cause much more of the medication to get into your system potentially causing overdose or increasing tolerance and now you need more to get the same pain relief for instance and your normal amount doesn’t work when swallowed.
  • If your loved on is Physically addicted to their medication and it is time to get off them, instead of trying to tapper the medication over time – look into your insurance and see if you have coverage for a medical Detox in a Center or Hospital. It is safer, quicker, ensures it gets done and a Dr can provide a letter stating you are taking a week off work for “Medical Reason” only and your work has to accept it and cannot legally ask what your “medical’ issue is.

I’ve done these things and I am still finding problems and it is not getting better even though my husband, wife or child swears they will stop or change. I am even finding they are buying pills from other people, off the internet or the streets or have switched to illegal drugs.

  • Never just take their medication away – severe withdrawals could happen and in some cases potential death.
  • If you are allowed to still talk to their Dr, make sure their Dr knows. One thing to know is if they are suffering from Chronic Pain you may want to consult with an Addiction Services Expert or an Interventionist, like 1st Step Interventions & Addiction Recovery Services, INC. for advice.  This can potentially lead to unwanted consequences and a Professional can help you come up with solutions that don’t negatively impact the addict, but get them off the medication and back living normally without needing the medication.
  • If you have found that no matter how many promises you loved one has made, it doesn’t matter they are always broken. Intervention is a potential solution as a good Professional, Compassionate and Confidential Interventionist, who knows your local area well and is local to your Region, such as The Bay Area – will have a high success rate at getting your loved one into Treatment or an Addiction Care Management Service Company that can monitor their progress and accountability. This removes the stress and anxiety from you and allows a Professional in to help and in appropriate cases assess the situation and decide that Rehab ( a Drug Treatment Program) is really needed.
  • You may find that you have developed Co-dependency during this time and have enabled the situation just to relieve your own feelings or to get the Addict out of your hair or to stop acting our, yelling, screaming, being mean etc.. In these cases talking to an Interventionist or Addiction Care Management Service Company helps, but you may need more like Al Anon or CoDA (Co-dependents Anonymous) first let me say as an active AA member myself, the support found in these groups can be found no where else and is really important if you are dealing with a loved one who has an active addiction or who is going through early Recovery (by this I mean the first 2-3 years).
  • If you are trying to help your loved one accept that they need help and your conversation is going in circles – STOP – and then call a Professional like me. You probably have had essentially no impact on their Addiction to this point and you don’t want to further drive them underground and isolated.
  • Lastly this is nothing to be embarrassed about, it doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong. Addiction is a Brain Disease and if you have it you were born with it. The introduction of the substances has activated it and now Professional help is needed.

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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.