Hill Recovery

An Ethical Compass

 Bud Clark - Saturday, November 05, 2016

Navigating the Maze of Addiction Treatment

Drug Treatment Center Temecula

By Carey Davidson, MAC, CIP, ICADAC, CAI

At two years sober, I thought I had all the answers. I was heavily involved in my 12 step program and felt incredibly confident in my recovery. I started to gain notoriety in the recovery community, and when people were in crisis, they knew I was a solid resource to whom they could turn for help. I was, and still am— passionate about confronting the disease of addiction. “Why not?,” I thought. So, I did it. I printed up cards and called myself an “Interventionist.” It was easy. I recalled when applying for my real estate license, I was required to be finger printed and participate in a background check. However, all I needed to do to guide vulnerable patients and their often desperate families through this life-threatening disease was print up a card. Without the proper training and certification, I had only one tool— my own recovery experience. I placed many people in treatment, but I’ll never know the extent of damage I may have caused families along the way. 

Luckily, after a couple of tough cases in a row, I realized my approach, while legal and extremely common in the field, was not in the best interest of those I served. Families depended on me to guide them and their loved ones into recovery. The course of their lives would be significantly impacted by my guidance, and the work I had done in my personal recovery program ‘could never substitute for the formal education and clinical training I knew I needed’.

Consequently, I enrolled in the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies, where on the first day they inform you: “If you are looking to get your Masters in the 12 steps, you’re in the wrong place.”

To fulfill my passion to helping others I went back to school and earned a Masters Level degree in addiction studies and counseling, which included rigorous academics and more than 1,200 clinically supervised hours working with patients. I dedicated myself to education because, although my passion for this field hadn’t changed, my responsibilities to struggling families extended far beyond a simple desire to help people. If I was going to offer myself as a credible resource to the vulnerable, I had to become a trained professional with a solid clinical background.

One key difference between a trained professional and a layperson is that a layperson works solely from personal experience and a professional works from an empirically-evidenced theory.

The Families of those in Need

While I can never “undo” what has been done, I have had to own some difficult truths as I’ve moved forward in the field. I now find myself hyperaware of the many untrained interventionists around me who, unfortunately, continue to do harm.

Family can be the most powerful and motivating force in an individual’s life. Those traits, amplified in crisis, can be a family’s greatest asset or liability. There are those in this industry who capitalize on this vulnerability in an unethical manner. It is essential families are able to place their trust in capable, educated, and accountable specialists.

However, because the behavioral health field is so vast, multi-faceted, and unregulated, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Let this article serve as an ethical compass for you to use when navigating the treatment world.

Questionable Treatment Placement Practices

The point at which your life, or life of someone close to you becomes too unmanageable to handle alone feels unprecedentedly vulnerable and frightening to most families. You want to trust anyone who promises a treatment or, in some cases, even a miracle cure. Because you want so desperately to believe what these self-proclaimed “professionals” say, your judgment can understandably become impaired.

A Surge of New Professions

It is crucial everyone be aware of the many questionable treatment placement practices that currently exist in the U.S. The 2008 Parity Act and Obamacare made treatment for mental health and substance use more accessible for millions of people.

Consultants, patient brokers, marketers, treatment placement specialists, and other creative professions surged, often, without formal training for those espousing these titles. While these workers are called different names, they serve the same function: to put “heads in beds.” They are people who, through one method or another, receive kickbacks for getting a patient into a particular facility. These so-called professionals make their money directly by placing someone into a specific treatment program who pays them a “bounty,” a “marketing fee,” or “reward” for “placing” the person with them. “Patient Brokers,” in effect, broker lives for cash.

Interventionists and Treatment Professionals

My intent is not to discredit the challenging and indispensable work of interventionists (or anyone else working in the field). After all, I am one. I married one. However, it is crucial to know there are individuals without any formal behavioral health education, certification, license or clinical training who claim to be “interventionists” or “addiction specialists” that “work” in the addiction field. This is dangerous. Just because a person has been through recovery and/or has watched every season of Intervention on A&E, it does not follow they are qualified to be an Interventionist. While unfortunately legal, it is as reckless as watching Grey’s Anatomy, buying an ambulance, and calling oneself an EMT.

When considering employing the services of an interventionist, or ANY TREATMENT “PROFESSIONAL” involved in recommending a treatment program and involved with patient care, questions must be asked to ensure you find yourself in capable, educated, and ethical hands.

What is the professional’s relevant education? What are their certifications? Does any board license them? How long have they been doing what they do? What qualifies them to make recommendations?

For example, if an interventionist is not able to identify and specifically describe what they do or the intervention modalities they believe would be most effective and why, do not hire them. If a person who is recommending a treatment center can’t give clear criteria as to why they are recommending a particular center, find out more. Ask if anyone receives any kind of financial compensation or incentives for referrals and/or placement.

Just because someone calls themselves a “professional addiction whatever,” does not mean their decisions are not financially incentivized. “Kickbacks” have become rampant in the intervention world and can prevent a person from being placed in a program that’s best fit for their needs. Kickbacks can be in the form of money, gifts, or anything that would encourage someone to recommend one program over another in exchange for compensation.

A Parallel Situation

Your doctor tells you he has discovered a potentially life-threatening tumor in your brain and surgery is required. You panic. You don’t know anything about neurology, let alone a good neurologist or neurosurgeon with experience in tumor removal. You want the best option available, so you ask your doctor to recommend the best neurosurgeon in town.

He or she knows of two neurosurgeons who specialize in the type of procedure that could save your life. One does a decent job, but has recently settled a malpractice suit. Due to the lawsuit, this surgeon’s referrals have decreased and he’s mentioned he would be willing to give your doctor a ‘cut of the profits’ for any surgery sent his way. The other neurosurgeon is highly respected — one of the best in the field. Her schedule is often full and services are in high demand, but your doctor has a good relationship with her and knows he can ask her to find time to perform the procedure.

Your doctor writes down the name and office number of the first neurosurgeon and tells you, with a reassuring smile, he’s the better option. You walk out of his office unaware your wellbeing was just compromised for financial gain. This scenario seems almost too ridiculous to take seriously, but why is that? First, this is a violation of Stark Law (starklaw.org). Second, it’s difficult to fathom a medical professional would compromise the quality of a life-saving decision because of money. Why is mental health and substance abuse any different if we are, in fact, treating a disease?

This happens to families every day. Most states do not have equivalent laws for non-professionals working in the behavioral health field, and those that do rarely enforce them.

Who is paying the Addiction Treatment Professional?

If someone offers their services at no charge, more often than not, this is a red flag. If someone isn’t asking you to compensate them for their services, this often means someone else is. They are fully employed, contracted, or financially incentivized by a specific facility, and they have a professional and monetary obligation or “motivation” to recommend clients to a specific program(s).

An independent professional depends upon being fairly compensated or will not mind telling you how they are compensated if it is other than by patients. A best practice would be to use independent professionals are compensated directly by the families they serve. Again, I implore you to do your homework. These questions may seem blunt, but a professional worth hiring will not get defensive, will answer directly, and will appreciate your asking.

Levels of Care

Addiction treatment has its own vocabulary, often difficult to decode and understand. There are so many acronyms it often sounds like you’re listening to a two-way radio in a police car: IOP, residential treatment, PHP, sober living, OP, extended care, transitional living, day treatment, peer driven care, half way house, gender specific, dual diagnosis, SA, NA, ACOA, trauma informed care, and the list goes on.

Even if you are in a best-case scenario and are sitting across from an ethical professional who is giving you excellent treatment options, it can still feel impossible to make a decision when you don’t understand the language. Furthermore, how can you accurately assess the quality of services when you have no frame of reference for what the baseline should be? The following is an overview of levels of treatment care. You can determine how they are differentiated in greater detail by researching the American Society of Addiction Medicine (www.asam.org) and identify the differences and approaches in each level of care.

Medically-Managed Intensive Inpatient Services:

This most frequently takes place in the “psych ward” within a hospital setting. If a person has had a suicide attempt, is found to be of harm to themselves or others and placed on a mandatory hold, or has experienced a psychotic break, this is where they will be admitted, stabilized and then transported to another facility.

Medically-Monitored Intensive Inpatient Services

Takes place in a residential treatment setting, provides 24 hour care monitored by nurses, physicians, and credentialed clinicians. In layman’s terms, this is what allows some residential programs to be able to provide a safe medical detox program on the same campus where they provide a residential program. Once a person has been medically cleared and clinically stabilized, they are phased down to the next level of care.

Clinically-Managed, High Intensity Residential Services

A 24 hour, structured environment. Again, changing levels of care does not always mean changing a physical location. It is entirely possible to have three levels of care provided within the same campus. The distinctive element to this level of care is that it is non-medical and clinically managed. The programming provided is focused on maintaining abstinence from substances, delivering intensive therapy, and developing the skills necessary to accept responsibility and promote positive character change.

Clinically-Managed, Medium-Intensity Residential Services

This is also known as extended care and is used to bridge the gap from an intensive therapy schedule in a residential setting to an intensive outpatient program (IOP). It maintains a level of care, but with a lesser amount of therapeutic programming.

Partial Hospitalization (PHP)

If someone is enrolled in a Partial Hospitalization (PHP), they require daily monitoring. A person can participate in a PHP while also living in an extended care facility or sober living home. Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) requires nine or more hours of structured counseling and education services per week. Psychiatric and medical services can be scheduled in addition to programming but are used as needed. This level of care can be utilized at the same time a person is living in a sober living environment. It is best practice for this level of care to follow residential treatment.

Outpatient Treatment Services

To be designated Outpatient Treatment Services, clinical interaction falls to a level of fewer than nine contact hours per week.

Low-Intensity Residential Services

Low-Intensity Residential Services are better known as Sober Living Environments and were formally known as Halfway Houses. Clinical programming drops down to around five hours of professional addiction services per week. The main focus is reintegration back into work and society while maintaining a structured living environment. “There are many levels of care available to individuals in need, and they all offer different services. While there are many treatment programs — not all hold themselves to the same ethical standards.”

As you can see, there are many levels of care available to individuals in need of treatment, and they all offer different services. While there are many treatment programs.... not all treatment programs hold themselves to the same ethical standards, nor do they offer the same clinical regime or enforcement of standards, and regulations of marketing strategies are lax at best.

Basic Questions to Providers

An example: What is the treatment setting? Describe your physical plant or campus. Is everything in one place in a “campus” setting 24/7? If they are housing patients in one place and transporting them to a different location or “center,” the facility is likely getting combining IOP, or other levels of care, with an off-site sober living facility and marketing it as “residential treatment.” While many people get help this way, it is often not what a person expected when they agreed to seek treatment.

While this is not a complete list of questions to ask a treatment provider, it’s a start:

  • How is your program licensed? (Residential, IOP/ PHP or ?)
  • What is the length of the program?
  • What do you do for detox if needed?
  • Where are your services provided?
  • What is a typical day in your program?
  • What is your relapse policy?
  • What is your maximum patient capacity?
  • How do you work with co-occurring issues?
  • How many on your treatment team have Masters Level or above educations?
  • Are there medical personnel on-site 24/7?
  • What does insurance cover?
  • What is your cash pay cost?
  • If a client leaves treatment early, is there a refund for unused amount
  • What age group/gender do you serve?
  • How many one-on-one sessions does a client have with Master’s Level or above clinician per week?
  • Is the client expected to prepare their own meals (sober living level) while in treatment?
  • How often do you drug test?
  • Are phones and computers allowed?
  • Is there a family program? If so, please explain.
  • Do you have an MFT on staff (Marriage and Family Therapist)
  • Is there an aftercare program?
  • How does the treatment provider measure “success”?

Insurance>While treatment centers all have a cash price, some accept in-network insurance benefits while others either file out-of-network benefits on your behalf or provide you with a super bill (an itemized list of services provided and cost) at the end of your stay. Once a super bill is provided, the patient or policyholder can file for out-of-network reimbursement on their own behalf.

Each treatment center accepting in-network insurance has a usual and customary rate that determines part of your reimbursement. Usual and customary rates vary based on geographic region and are based on what providers in the area usually charge for the same or similar services. For example, if a treatment center offers in-network coverage and has a daily usual and customary rate of $375.00 - your reimbursement is calculated base on this rate. If your plan reimburses 80%, it will reimburse 80% of $375.00 per day. Out-of-network providers are not bound to usual and customary rates as defined by geographic region and can set their fee for services at whatever rate they like - although most (not all) stay close to the usual and customary rate for that reason. Let's say you are using an out-of-network treatment center and they have set the daily rate at $500.00 and your plan reimburses 20%. Your plan will reimburse for 20% of $500.00.

Whether you are using in-network or out-of-network insurance, the patient or policyholder is responsible for the amount owed that is not covered by your insurance.

In-network insurance can greatly reduce the cost of treatment. Most insurance policies require that a policyholder meet a deductible before the insurance benefits will take effect. Once the deductible is met and pre-authorization (if part of your plan) is obtained by the treatment center, in-network insurance can be used to cover up to 80% (in most cases) of the usual and customary rate. Once the deductible and out-of-pocket minimum is met, insurance can cover up to 100% of services at the usual and customary rate.

Out-of-network insurance works in a similar way to in-network, although out-of-network providers can choose to not file on your behalf and simply provide you with a super bill that you can use to file at the end of treatment. Pre-authorization for services is still required for most plans and cannot be obtained until a person has entered a treatment program. Out-of-network insurance usually reimburses at a much lower rate than in-network insurance and often has higher deductibles and out-of-pocket minimums.

Addiction and recovery impacts the life of an addict and everyone that is around them. Sadly, it can become Caveat Emptor, or “Let the Buyer Beware,” when it comes to navigating the world of addiction treatment.

Find a qualified professional to help you. People do get better from addiction; the right treatment and treatment provider can make all the difference in the world. Do your homework, and ask the right questions. It can truly be a matter of life and death.

Carey Davidson is a Board Registered Intervention Specialist and Certified Intervention Professional. He holds a Master’s Degree from the esteemed Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies. Carey is President of the Network of Independent Interventionists, sits on the Board of Certification of Addiction Counselors, and is a member of the Association of Intervention Specialists. Carey is trained in all models of intervention and practices only proven addiction intervention methods, implementing the best combination of techniques for each individual intervention. His focus is on helping people that care about someone struggling with substance abuse. Contact Cary Davidson at 800-219-0570 and visit www.hayes-davidson.com.

Sober Living Home's Warnings

 Erin Hill - Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Source Kansas Cafferty, LMFT:

If they are true to form sober living homes they will not be connected to a treatment program of any kind. The ones that are are not true sober living. They put up an outpatient center and use it as a hub for treatment. In effect this is a way for people to avoid the costly and difficult process of passing the licensing requirements for residential treatment. Sober living homes are protected by disability laws that are intended to protect peer to peer environment, not those in which professional services are occurring. The argument to be made, is if the "outpatient center" dictates who lives in the sober living, or how they are to conduct themselves in the sober living i.e. designs the interventions, including consequences for behavioral problems, then are they not providing treatment in these locations? Treatment which requires a state licensed facility. The best way to figure it out is to look at the staff section of their website. If they have a physician, therapists, counselors, etc (all licensed and certified professionals or paraprofessionals, then they are not sober living, they are a treatment center masquerading as a sober living home)

I am all for sober living homes. I am not for what is called Florida Model treatment centers which is a more accurate description of the problem occurring throughout southern california, but especially in Orange County. This sets up a dynamic where people with very little professional training, if any at all, can set themselves up to bill medical insurance for the services they provide in so called sober living homes. This actually amounts to insurance fraud if the "sober living" is included for "free". It is not actually free. It is free to the consumer because the cost of a "non-medical" or "non-professional" service is being passed on to the insurance company. Many of them are also tied into laboratories where they send urine for big money. Sometimes referred to as the "golden stream," because of the profits being made on it. Much of this is being done fraudulently. See United Healthcare v Sky Toxicology for a current case that has named several individuals and treatment centers in a multi million dollar suit. If the "sober living" home has a certification as a lab (Called CLIA) then is it not again providing a medical service that is not protected by disability laws that provide for sober living homes to exist?

What I am saying is that there is a lot of ready, FIRE, aim happening in these types of town halls. The blame gets put on sober living homes which most of these are not. Most sober living homes make a modest profit and are designed with the best interest of those they attend. They are not volume conveyer belts designed to kick through as many addicts as possible that have a PPO plan. The largest defining factor is this: If it is primarily being paid for by medical insurance, it is likely not sober living. If it is being paid for only out of pocket expense, it is much more likely a real sober living. In Orange County, you have an unlicensed treatment center problem, not a sober living problem. Id like to add that I also support licensed residential treatment centers. They are a completely different animal with different levels of accountability, structure, and service due to the laws they adhere to with the state to maintain their licenses.

Alcohol, Drugs, and My Child

 Erin Hill - Thursday, August 11, 2016

Eighty-two percent of teens will have used some type of mood altering substance before they graduate from high school according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The challenges facing parents have never been greater and the resources to help fewer. Parents must somehow try to predict if their child’s use is simply a phase or if they will fall into that 15 to 20% of the population that is destined to experience ever-increasing problems. Likewise, teens are confronted with peers for whom “partying”, is the norm. While the indicators for predicting addiction are inexact, there are certain factors that can give parents a far greater ability of anticipating how alcohol or drugs may affect their child’s future.

These criteria include:

  • Is there a significant family history of alcohol or drug abuse in the natural family?  The closer the history of abuse to the parents (especially the same sex parent) the greater the probability.  Addiction clearly has some basis in family DNA and genetics. Have alcohol or other drugs caused problems for family members on either parent’s side?
  • Has your teen had any past negative consequences related to substance use with a subsequent return to the use again despite parental discipline and or the pain of those consequences? Any return to a behavior, after experiencing pain, is an abnormal response and indicates how important the teen’s substance use has become to him or her. The types of problems include: school, health, legal, relationship, job or financial and constitute the clearest and most consistent indicator of future problems. How much or how often your child has used alcohol or drugs, is much less important, than what happens when they do use. Most importantly—do they go back again?

Abstinence Based Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

 Erin Hill - Thursday, August 04, 2016

Abstinence Based Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
and: Bifurcation of the Addiction Treatment Field

Addiction treatment has, for the last forty years, relied on various medications to enhance safe detoxification. Medications, like benzodiazepines (Valium, Klonipin, Ativan, etc.) allow physicians to, slowly, help the brain to achieve homeostasis and avoid life threatening seizures or delirium tremens. Other medications, like Disulfiram (Antabuse), have served to dissuade alcoholics from drinking by creating severe sickness if used in conjunction with alcohol.

More recently, after much resistance from the addiction treatment field, anti-depressants like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc. became acceptable to the addiction industry. Now, we see the emergence of medications like Campral and Naltrexone, with the promise of diminishing cravings. The point is that medications have been a part of “abstinence based” treatment for years. The ultimate goal, however was abstinence based. This philosophy was reinforced by 12 step programs like AA and NA, which often served as the personal recovery foundation for many management and clinical staff in treatment programs. A small group of treatment programs believed that, opiates were best treated with Methadone. An uneasy acceptance existed between these two schools of thought. However, Methadone programs were viewed as pseudo-treatment, and those on methadone were “considered not really in recovery.” All of this was about to change in 2004.

2004 ushered in an epidemic of opiate addiction. Medications like Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and others resulted in a flood of pain pill users admitted to treatment facilities, jails and emergency rooms. The truce gave way to open conflict and criticism. The addiction field formed into two adversarial camps, resulting in name calling and further division.

It was during 2004 that our own outpatient program decided to use Buprenorphine (Suboxone), receiving much criticism. We considered it patient centered treatment instead of program driven. Unfortunately, even today, ASAM reports that less than thirty percent of treatment programs offer medication assisted treatment. For us, the positive outcomes were irrefutable. Ironically Buprenorphine was approved and championed by the federal government. It was also demonstrated, in study after study, to work. As the DEA clamped down on the national spread of pain meds, addicts discovered that heroin was cheaper and easier to acquire. Thus, this current epidemic of heroin dependence.

Programs willing, in 2004, to use Buprenorphine MAT programming were few. However, they saw their recovery rates sky rocket with greater patient retention and found unique ways to use Buprenorphine, in conjunction with treatment; thus, enhancing outcomes from single digits, to high double digits. The inpatient programs were having their philosophical and financial foundations rocked, while many potential patients were now going into outpatient treatment or seeing individual Buprenorphine certified physicians.

Science caught up with the addictions industry. Ironically, organizations like the National Association of Alcohol Treatment Providers (NAATP) were threatening to boycott the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) because of their support of Buprenorphine and its confirmed success at helping to save lives. Simultaneously, the federal government and the most prestigious physician’s groups were in direct conflict with the largest inpatient treatment provider’s group, over a medication that was demonstrating to save lives and serve to help opiate addicts find their way to recovery. Then, the unthinkable happened. The Hazelden Institute directed by Marv Seppala, MD; bought the Betty Ford Center (both formerly staunch critics of Buprenorphine) and announced that they were going to begin to open Betty Ford Center outpatient programs and embrace medication assisted treatment, along with long term use of Buprenorphine. This proved to be a game changer, as both were key figures in NAATP.

Today, the field of addiction treatment is at another crossroads, as we begin to integrate science deeper and deeper into our field. We must acknowledge that abstinence from addictive substances can be enhanced by the schooled and studied embrace of medication enhanced recovery.

It is important to note the key factors that allow Buprenorphine to be so effective and safe for opiate addiction. Buprenorphine creates no tolerance, produces no high, and rarely leads to overdose. It serves as a blocker on the Mu and Kappa receptor sites, while still eliminating the acute and post-acute withdrawal from opiates, where anhedonia often causes the relapse for so many patients. A secondary gain is that Buprenorphine produces significant pain relief for 0-6 pain levels and serves as a major source in reducing stress hormones like cortisol. Its sublingual administration makes its highly advantageous for patients who have had gastric bypass procedures or other esophageal disease.

We need, as a field, to define the parameters, goals and standards that define “recovery”. By splitting into warring camps, we’ve confused patients and diluted the care that patients legitimately deserve. Ultimately, the future of treatment will increasingly consist of medication assisted treatment, with the goal being abstinence, and life function enhancement. Too many people are dying, and losing loved ones in this epidemic of opioid addiction. We need more leaders like Hazelden and The Betty Ford Center, with a greater understanding that medication assisted treatment can, in fact, be the source of full functioning recovery. Saving lives must supersede filling beds.

Abstinence based medication assisted treatment is here to stay and will serve to continue to save thousands of lives. Additionally, outpatient treatment has proven its effectiveness by integrating families into treatment while helping their loved ones establish community based recovery connections.

Charles “Rocky” Hill, MA, NCAC-II, CADC II
Hill Alcohol and Drug Treatment

Methamphetamines Treatment

 Erin Hill - Thursday, June 30, 2016

Meth Recovery Treatment

Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant often referred to as crank, speed or meth. Those who abuse it are called “tweakers” for their tendency towards unpredictable, impulsive, irrational behaviors that often include paranoia, agitation and insomnia.Meth Recovery Treatment

Meth users are at risk for a myriad of health problems as the drug blocks the re-absorption of adrenaline in their brain. Using Meth is much like going out to a car, starting the engine, placing it in neutral and then revving the engine for three or four days. In the body, this often results in “speed bumps” (skin sores), rotting teeth, gastric problems, loss of weight and sometimes heart attacks or strokes.

Those under the influence will have dilated (enlarged) pupils or they may grind their teeth, stay up all night working on “projects” and eventually become delusional. Meth is highly addictive, as the user seeks to recreate the initial sense of power, energy, control and hyper sexuality from the first use. Ironically, with continued use, all these same sensations reverse and the addict is left hopeless and helpless. Meth makes you look old very quickly.

Although there is no “normal” withdrawal phase, meth users experience a profound sense of dysphoria and depression that usually drives their return to the meth in a futile attempt to feel “normal” again.

Normalcy returns only after a period of abstinence from the drug and concurrent release of repressed emotions. Being surrounded by others in recovery who can inspire the hope of a new life and the opportunity to feel love, joy and enthusiasm without a return to the meth.

The recovery rate for meth users, when provided with quality treatment services that address physical, psychiatric and spiritual issues, are as high as sixty percent. Without some form of therapeutic intervention, users spiral into legal, financial, health, job and always family problems.

Our recovery ranch provides a serene, safe place for users to reclaim their sense of self-worth, initiative and trust. Develop a peer support system that encourages recovery maintenance and an alternative to isolation and loneliness. The animals at the ranch, serve as a safe alternative to human contact. Most alcoholics and drug abusers feel better with animals than they do people. Bridging that gap is the outcome of the camaraderie created between all the residents, animals and humans.

Choosing the best recovery center

 Erin Hill - Monday, June 06, 2016

When you are looking for a outpatient rehabilitation for yourself or a loved one, there are many things to consider. Here are 10 important things to look for when searching for the right place:

  1. Facility staff: When touring a facility, talk to some of the staff – nurses, physicians, therapists, social workers, and so on. Ask questions and get a feel for the people who work there. A caring, dedicated, friendly staff will work hard to make your rehab successful. 
  2. Location, location, location: Successful outpatient rehab is much more likely if family and friends can easily provide support and to receive training as needed. Choosing a quality location as close to home as possible that loved ones can visit will positively impact your rehab.
  3. Facility Specialty:  Depending on your needs, you may want to choose a facility that focuses on one specific type of rehab.
  4. Facility Tour: If you are able, take a tour of the facilities you are considering. Get a feel for the physical surroundings, the staff, and the atmosphere of the rehab center.
  5. Provider Networks: It’s important to have the best coverage possible so you can take full advantage of your rehab experience. Make sure the places you are looking at are fully covered by your insurance to maximize your benefits.

You have choices for outpatient rehab in the Southern California area. Take the time to choose the right one for you in order to make your rehab more successful.