Author: Justin Mckibben
First, I have to make it clear that any amount of treatment has the potential to make a difference. Every opportunity to take action in the right direction means something. So making the most out of our time is what is so crucial. Still, I want to look at why a month in rehab has become most insurers’ answer to the addiction issue.
Because different people progress through treatment at different paces there is no perfectly predetermined length of treatment. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. However, research shows that clearly good outcomes are contingent on adequate length of time in treatment. Arguably a treatment program of less than 90 days will show limited effectiveness in comparison to longer programs. Many recommend longer lasting treatment for maintaining positive outcomes. Yet, just around a month’s stay can be pretty typical among people who go to an inpatient facility.
So, who came up with the 28 days later standard of treatment? Why do most people only get this amount of time in treatment?
28 Days Later Routine
Kimberly Johnson is director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at SAMHSA. This federal agency studies addiction treatment services. Johnson says,
“As far as I know, there’s nothing magical about 28 days,”
Anne Fletcher, author of the book Inside Rehab, agrees. Fletcher states,
“It certainly is not scientifically based. I live in Minnesota where the model was developed and a lot of treatment across the country really stemmed from that.”
According to Fletcher, the late Daniel Anderson was one of the primary architects of what has been called the “Minnesota model.” This methodology became the prevailing treatment protocol for addiction specialists a long time ago, but how?
The story starts in the 1950’s at a state hospital in Minnesota. Daniel Anderson attended to alcoholics living in locked wards, leaving only to be put to work on a farm. Anderson came up with the 28-day model to find a path for his patients to get sober and leave the hospital. Back then, it was innovative.
Marvin Ventrell, executive director of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, has studied the model’s history. Ventrell says the month-long method comes from the belief that when-
“someone is suffering from addiction — and in the days that this began, we’re pretty much talking about alcoholism — it made sense to people that it took about four weeks to stabilize somebody.”
Ventrell went on to explain this is the norm because the insurance industry became willing to pay for a 28 day period of time. While many treatment providers believe we must adapt with the times, it would seem insurance companies aren’t so sure.
The early form of this 28 day model was designed for alcoholism. One big issue today is the model is used to treat opioid addiction. It is such a problem because recovering from addiction to powerful narcotic drugs just might be different than recovering from alcohol abuse. Therefore, it may require a different method. Yet, many still want to use the 28 day model as a cookie-cutter standard.
Now, to be fair Ventrell admits there isn’t enough research to prove the exact effective length for inpatient opioid addiction treatment. As we said, different individuals may have a different experience and require a different treatment plan. This is one reason why personalized recovery plans are so important.
Fletcher advocates it is incredibly important for treatment to move away from the default month-long model. 28 days is not going to work for everyone, and it would seem one of the biggest hurdles for those in the addiction treatment industry is convincing the insurance industry that the old “Minnesota model” isn’t always enough. 28 days may be enough for some people to make a beginning, but long-term recovery can be seriously influenced by more time learning about factors such as:
There are so many facets of recovery, it makes sense that the more time you have to learn them the more confident you can be in your ability to manage your recovery.
Make Time for Recovery
Besides the fact that giving people more time in a controlled environment can give them more time to focus on their recovery plan, there is also the element of dual diagnosis. While the 28 days model of treatment may have helped back in the 1950’s, we’ve learned a lot in the past 60+ years about addiction and other issues that co-exist.
Many people struggling with addiction are also having to battle with conditions pertaining to mental health disorders. Knowing what we know now, we see mental health disorders and addiction should be addressed simultaneously. If you ignore one, it can cause a relapse into the other later on. Various forms of mental illness can exist along with an addiction, including:
So for some, establishing a full diagnosis and then effectively engaging in the recovery process can take more time.
In the end, we should be making more time for individuals in need of treatment. Unfortunately, it can be an uphill battle with insurance companies. Some programs do exist that are extended inpatient programs, but these facilities still face resistance from insurers. At this point, it is about making the most out of the time you can get. Holistic drug treatment programs like Palm Partners emphasize the importance of exploring every area of recovery in detail, and design personalized recovery plans to make the time most efficient. Insurance companies may try to limit the opportunity, but the opportunity is still a real chance at real change.
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Author: Justin Mckibben
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in New Orleans, LA: Opportunity
New Orleans, LA isn’t just a place people go for Mardi Gras, it is a vibrant city with real people in a connected community. So even though there is a slight reputation as a party destination, there are still people who need help escaping substance abuse, and there are always people willing to help.
Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA is available for those seeking help with substance abuse or addiction. Make sure you do your research to find what programs cater to what is most important to you, because the choice of a Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA should be based on your personal needs and circumstances. You should always keep in mind that Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA also the offer a variety of levels of care to choose from, including programs such as:
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in New Orleans, LA: Initial Assessment
After you’ve completed an initial detox phase, the next step is to go into treatment and start therapy and learning how to work on continued sobriety. Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA typically provide a specialist to work with you on the various points or concerns outlined in your recovery plan.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in New Orleans, LA: Therapy
There are individual therapy sessions as well as group therapy sessions. Most treatment centers include various 12-step meetings on a regular basis and get you acquainted with the recovery community around you once you have reached a certain level of care. In treatment, you learn coping skills and how to live your life without drugs and alcohol. Anyone can become confused or over-whelmed by asking recovering alcoholics or drug addicts about Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA and how they personally overcame their substance abuse because they may give you different and appealing approaches. Some popular suggestions are listed as:
Despite all the different possible suggestions you may receive, successful recovery has got to be tailor-made for each individual. A great deal of diversity exists in the degree of dependence among drug users, and the programs designed for Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA can provide several levels of care.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in New Orleans, LA: Rehab Process
Knowing the extent of your recovery program is vital to achieving permanent sobriety. Any Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA should offer the following services:
- Safe environment
- Lessons on healthy living
- Experienced Staff
- Continuing recovery plans
- Relapse prevention
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in New Orleans, LA: Continued Recovery Plans
Once the treatment center has determined that you are ready to leave inpatient rehab, a drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA will set you up into an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). IOP is where you continue therapy and group sessions, but you are provided more opportunity and freedom to seek work and live off the rehab grounds.
IOP Gives the individual the opportunity to set themselves up for success upon completing treatment, and provides them with a little structure and sober support in order to maintain while slowly leaving the comfort zone of the facility.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in New Orleans, LA: Halfway House
Most individuals go into a halfway house once they have finished in-patient treatment. A halfway house offers more stability than being on your own, but still gives you a lot of freedom. You will be required to have a job, go to meetings, pay rent, clean and do chores, be drug tested, get a sponsor and work a program. You know you are in a good sober living environment when they want you going to meetings and working a program of recovery.
To successfully stay sober, I had to get involved in the recovery community and make choices based off of what would support my sobriety. It’s important to connect with others around you who are in recovery and have a strong support system, and having a halfway house gives you a chance to make friends with people in recovery while in the real world.
Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA provides the programs to help set out the stepping stones to get you started living a peaceful and happy life! If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction and is looking for Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA please call 1-800-951-6135.
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Author: Justin Mckibben
One terrible reality of drug or alcohol addiction is that not everyone who suffers from this disease survives it. Not everyone who needs treatment will get treatment, and not everyone who gets treatment will stay on the right path after leaving an inpatient program.
Every single day men and women around the world are losing their lives to this insidious and devastating disease, and many in the field of alcoholism and addiction treatment work tirelessly to improve on available resources and policies. Now one family is doing their best to make a push for better treatment policies as well.
After losing their 24 year old son to a deadly heroin overdose, one Pennsylvania family started the Anthony’s Act petition. The Anthony’s Act petition is named after the young man who tragically passed, and the family is rallying for supporters in hopes of increasing the effectiveness of in-patient drug treatment programs, more specifically by pushing for longer periods of inpatient treatment to allow the maximum benefit.
On May 31, Valerie and Cris Fiore lost their son Anthony to a heroin overdose. Anthony had been in and out of several rehabs, but continued to struggle to stay clean for any considerable amount of time. However, the problems only got worse because the Affordable Care Act only provides a 30-day maximum treatment program. The family believes that because his time at inpatient was always cut so short he didn’t have enough time to recover.
In honor of their son, as well as other addicts who are struggling with drugs and alcohol, the Fiore family has started Anthony’s Act as a petition aimed at increasing the minimum length of inpatient drug and alcohol treatment programs to 90 days. Anthony’s father Cris Fiore said,
“One of the things that is so important about inpatient treatment that’s so important is it gets you out of that environment. You’re some place safe, secure and away from the things that were a bad part of your life before.”
While a lot of concern is centered on the idea that the drastic increase would come with a pretty expensive price tag, Anthony’s Act is confident that there could be as much as a 12 to 1 return on that financial investment. Anthony’s Act states that by attending an effective treatment for an extended period of 90 days, it would not only reduce the risk of a patients relapse by up to 73%, but it would also decrease the amount of drug-related accidents, including overdoses and deaths. Cris Fiore went on to say,
“The way the system works right now is 30 days or less,” he added. “And people are just going through rehab after rehab after rehab. It’s not working. Anthony…every time he came home he used that night.”
So far the Fiore family has already obtained over half of their target for the petition of reaching 10,000 signatures. The family has even encouraged supporters to tell their representatives that these changes need to be made, and that they should insist the Affordable Care Act must be amended to provide for a minimum of 90 days inpatient drug or alcohol treatment, while pushing for up to a maximum of 180 days per year. The family also asserts treatment should only be given at a facility certified to provide this level of care by the Secretary of Health of the state in which it is located.
While it is unclear how this petition will eventually inspire lawmakers and what compromises will be made to support these stipulations, it should be noted that treatment is effective in many cases, but there should typically be an aftercare program and continued recovery after treatment. Recovery from drugs and alcohol is not a quick fix or a cure, recovery is a life-style that most addicts and alcoholics have to work consistently for lasting sobriety.
It’s admirable that people are fighting for the best treatment possible through the Affordable Care Act, but people should also be aware that no matter how long you are in an inpatient program, you still want to work on your sobriety every day. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
I honestly had the absolute worst expectations for inpatient treatment of any kind. The idea of being in a rehab was so unattractive, and every time I imagined inpatient treatment I envisioned an asylum with grey walls and over-medicated mental patients shuffling down hall ways. In active addiction I also based a lot of my information on cartoons and movies. For some reason I thought I’d have judgmental nurses and live in constant lock-down between interrogation-like sessions with therapists, eat terrible food and sleep on a cot. When I got to treatment at Palm Partners I realized how ridiculous my over-active imagination had made things out to be, and how caring and comfortable it was to begin the process of getting clean and sober. So I’m excited to say I didn’t need a strait-jacket (size extra-crazy) and I can share the 7 surprising things I learned in inpatient treatment at Palm Partners.
- The Food is Actually Food!
When I thought of an inpatient treatment cafeteria, I thought of lumpy oat-meal, dry toast, cold coffee and dinner you could only get from a microwave. Upon reaching Palm Partners inpatient I was pleased to find they actually had a variety of meals that were both appetizing and nourishing. The food ranged from pastas and steaks, to ice creams and pizza, even in Detox.
- The Staff is Friendly and Supportive
My vision of evil nurses and twisted psychologists were a little much I’ll admit. Still I expected the staff to be judgmental and overbearing. The Palm Partners staff however was compassionate and supportive. Quite a few individuals actually took the time to sit one on one and talk about recovery, and some were able to tell me their experience and how sobriety had changed life for them. I made it a goal while in treatment to come back and work in the field of recovery based on the hope given to me, and the idea I could one day try and do that for someone else.
- Detox was Easier than Expected
When I was trying to detox from drugs and alcohol on my own, I was miserable in every way. Physically I would be suffering and mentally I would be strained. I had believed detox would be cold-sweats on a cot or an over-medicated daze. What I got at Palm Partners inpatient detox was a healthy regimen of medications specifically for my needs in monitored doses to help with withdrawal symptoms, and help me acclimate to abstinence.
- Not Full of Crazy People.. Not Crazier than Me Anyway
My own stigma on rehab was that it was full of crazy people and degenerates. It didn’t take me too long to face the truth; ALL people are at least a little crazy. Anyone in treatment is no better or worse than me, and if I’m there I obviously have a problem just like them. In inpatient at Palm Partners I was surrounded by peers who were in fact normal people with lives of their own who had hit a bottom just like me, and I was able to identify with and even admire other patients.
- Comfort and Community
Instead of being shut off in a padded room or strapped to a hospital bed, living in Palm Partners inpatient was furnished with a community of apartments that were even better than most of the ones I ever rented myself. I cannot even remember the last time I lived in a complex with a pool, and definitely not one next to a volley-ball court! I even took up jogging around the grounds, and caught up on a few favorite shows with a few new friends.
- Holistic Healing
I had no idea that any treatment would include such diverse methods of educating patients, which is a big part of a holistic healing program. Some lectures were offered to teach about the different effects of substance abuse habits and behavioral addictions on the mind, body, and spirit. Instead of shuffling through halls I was inspired to actively seek understanding of my addiction and personality traits, given opportunities to receive different healing techniques like visits to an acupuncturist and chiropractor, and even taught yoga.
- Spiritual Experiences
Palm Partners also provided so many alternative avenues for expressing and exploring spiritual growth. The best part being that it was not limited to any specific faith structure. There were voluntary trips to church, the sweat-lodge, and meditation. Freedom to express interest in these areas was rewarding in so many ways.
The experience of attending inpatient treatment at Palm Partners was anything but what I had expected. It was truly a liberating and gratifying learning experience. The residence felt most days like a retreat compared to my imaginary asylum, and the staff is full of incredible people with a passion and talent for changing lives and building foundations for recovering addicts and alcoholics. The care and commitment that was put into my inpatient treatment had a lasting effect on my outlook and expectations on the rest of my recovery. Thanks to that experience I was inspired to get involved in the recovery community, to put more time into helping others, and to come back and give back to the community that has given me so much. I am blessed and grateful to now be part of something that works to change the lives of so many.
The Florida House on Thursday approved a bill, known as HB 479, which could lead to requiring specific certification of substance-abuse recovery facilities known as “sober houses.”
The bill was introduced by concerned local government officials whose constituents have been voicing concerns over the quality of such residences and the potential negative impact they have on property values.
Areas such as Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast are particularly affected because of the saturation of addiction treatment programs and their associated sober living communities.
The certification process outlined by HB 479 is a voluntary one and would include housing inspections and background screening for sober house employees.
The plan to regulate the sober home industry in Florida passed Thursday with an almost unanimous vote; House members voted 117-1 in favor of approval of the bill. The only opposing vote was cast by Rep. John Tobia, from Melbourne Beach.
Rep. Hazelle P. Rogers, D-Lauderhill, criticized the bill, stating that he felt that certification should be mandatory, rather than voluntary, for all sober houses.
“There has to be a way that we can work out the federal housing requirements to make certification for everyone,” Rogers said.
On the other hand, Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, pointed out that the voluntary terms could raise the standards of the quality of sober homes in the Florida.
“It’s voluntary, and hopefully that will drive a natural improvement among the sober houses,” Pafford said.
Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, said his only concern was that HB 479 would give local government the power to over-regulate sober homes.
“I wanted to be sure this was a ‘NIMBY’ situation where a community could say, ‘not in my backyard,” Rouson said. “That was all.”
Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, created the bill that will develop a registry of the sober houses that have receive certification by undergoing inspections and conducting background checks of its employees. The certification will be regulated and granted by the Florida State Department of Children and Families, which will be accepting referrals from inpatient drug treatment facilities.
Hager was moved to action in creating and presenting the bill due to the relatively recent explosion of sober homes across the South Florida region and that had no regulation, whatsoever. As a result, many of these sober homes became blemishes on their respective surrounding neighborhoods, bringing down property values.
This seems like a step in the right direction. Sober houses are a great resource for people seeking recovery from substance abuse and addiction, providing the much-needed support in early sobriety. There are too many so-called sober houses and halfway houses that are being managed by less-than-reputable people who are strictly in it for the money. The result: flop houses that are the exact opposite of sober houses.
A more expansive bill Senate bill by Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, required all sober homes to become certified but it was halted on Tuesday after failing to get a vote in Appropriations.
“When this first came up, it was about finding ways to get rid of sober homes.” Clemens said, adding that sober homes also were causing property values to plummet. “The legislation has evolved over the few years to how do we make them better, at least for the patients and a better environment for everybody.”
Hager’s bill was sent to the upper chamber.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.