Addiction treatment: where to start? First of all, don’t be intimidated by the word “addiction”. The word has been loaded with negative connotations, but it’s a medical term. Someone who goes to a doctor for chronic pain treatment and is prescribed opiates for pain management can become addicted to the medicine. Basically, it makes no difference how a person becomes addicted to a drug ( and alcohol is considered a drug), the problem’s addiction and there’s treatment for addiction.
Many people start out with Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP), if they don’t need inpatient detox. In treatment facilities, we don’t make value-judgements when it comes to addiction. We see addiction as a medical problem that creates emotional and psychological issues that require medical treatment, group therapy and individual counseling. Not all people with an addiction problem go into formalized treatment, but it’s necessary for a great number who suffer from addiction. If person has tried to quit on their own, or with family support, or church, or a local support group, and it hasn’t been successful, then treatment is likely necessary.
There’s nothing of which to be afraid — all good treatment facilities treat clients with respect, dignity and honesty. At NewDay we offer a free consultation if the person’s unsure what they need. The free consultation’s simply to determine the next step. If the person decides they want to enter IOP, and if they have insurance or meet and agree to the financial arrangement, they sit down with a licensed counselor to start the Bio-Psycho-Social Assessment and the development of a treatment plan. NewDay is a private facility and we don’t receive funds from government, so we accept either insurance or self-pay. NewDay doesn’t shy away from talking about money. There’s been a misconception about addiction treatment when it comes to paying for services. For some reason, many people think all facilities are somehow funded by an outside source, therefore treatment is practically free. There are government funded facilities, but even at these facilities it’s based on the ability to pay.
I talk about the finances only because it’s good to know this before hand rather than get emotionally committed to go into treatment only to find out that a payment is involved. If someone doesn’t meet the financial requirements for treatment at NewDay, we’ll refer them to the right facility. It’s easier, though, to seek a government-funded program to begin with if a person doesn’t have insurance or the ability to make a payment plan. Money seems to always be issue in treatment if there’s a misconception up front. That’s why we’re honest about the financial aspect upfront. I will say this, though — if a person’s serious about treatment, and if they have to pay money out of pocket for their treatment, and if they recover long-term, it’s the greatest investment they’ll ever make.
Once a person has met all requirements, gone through orientation, made it through the assessment and a doctor’s visit to be cleared medically, then the person begins group therapy and individual counseling. In the next post, I’ll describe the treatment program in IOP. If a person has any questions about treatment and doesn’t want to come in, they can always call us — everything is confidential.