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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We understand that you may have many questions about mental health services. Hopefully you will find the answers you are looking for here. 

Select from the following questions about Substance Use or Mental Health Therapy. If you have questions that are not addressed here please contact us. 

 

 

What is substance use disorder?

Substance use disorder is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain. This disorder is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and continued use despite harmful consequences. American Society of Addiction Medicine

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What is substance use disorder treatment?

Drug treatment is intended to help addicted individuals stop compulsive drug seeking and use. Treatment can occur in a variety of settings, take many different forms, and last for different lengths of time. Because drug addiction is typically a chronic disorder characterized by occasional relapses, a short-term, one-time treatment is usually not sufficient. For many, treatment is a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and regular monitoring. National Institute on Drug Abuse

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How do I know if I have a problem with substances that could benefit from treatment?

Are you wondering whether you have a problem that could benefit from treatment? You may have begun to experience consequences related to your substance use. Your substance use may be changing the quality of your life and affecting your relationships with family and friends. Your work may be suffering, or you may have lost employment as a result of your substance use. You may have had involvement with the legal system as a result of your substance use.

There are specific criteria that are evaluated to determine whether you have a substance use disorder that could benefit from treatment. These criteria can be evaluated during an assessment with one of our counselors. Substance use disorders span a wide variety of problems arising from substance use, and cover 11 different criteria according to the DSM-V Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM):1

  1. Using a substance in larger amounts or for longer than necessary.
  2. Wanting to cut down or stop using the substance but not managing to.
  3. Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of the substance.
  4. Cravings and urges to use the substance.
  5. Not managing to do what you should at work, home, or school because of substance use.
  6. Continuing to use, even when it causes problems in relationships.
  7. Giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of substance use.
  8. Using substances again and again, even when it puts you in danger.
  9. Continuing to use, even when you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance.
  10. Needing more of the substance to get the effect you want (tolerance).
  11. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms, relieved by taking more of the substance.
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How do I enter treatment?

 

  • Reach out to us by phone, email or text to set-up an assessment.
  • You will meet with one of our counselors after completing a behavioral health index online, or at one of our locations which will give us a comprehensive understanding your experiences and condition.
  • The assessment will determine the level of care we recommend.
  • We will work with you to create an initial treatment plan and you will be assigned a primary counselor.
  • If you also have another mental health diagnosis (co-occurring disorder), we will connect you with one of our mental health therapists to provide a mental health assessment and integrate therapy into your treatment plan.
  • You will attend groups based on your level of care – intensive outpatient or traditional outpatient
  • We can refer you to a higher level of care if the assessment recommends detox or inpatient treatment. We will work with other facilities to secure you an admission and coordinate care so that upon your return you can begin outpatient
  • In your assessment we will discuss medication assisted treatment options.
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Why are groups part of substance abuse treatment?

The natural propensity of human beings to draw together or gather makes group therapy a powerful therapeutic tool for treating substance abuse, one that is as helpful as individual therapy, and sometimes more successful. One reason for this efficacy is that groups intrinsically have many rewarding benefits—such as reducing isolation and enabling members to witness the recovery of others—and these qualities draw patients into a culture of recovery. Another reason a group session works well is that they are suitable especially for treating problems that commonly accompany substance abuse, such as depression, isolation, and shame. NCBI – National Center for Biotechnology Information

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    I have never done group therapy before, what is it like?

    • Group therapy is an integral part of outpatient substance abuse treatment.
    • You will meet regularly with other clients and a counselor who will facilitate the group.
    • Each group will have a topic that will include information provided by the counselor, activities and discussion among the group members.
    • Over time you will get to know the other group members and be able to provide support, encouragement, experience and accountability to each other.
    • Our patients report that group is an effective toll to helping them learn about their disease and develop the tools to live a life based in recovery.
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    How long will I need to be in treatment?

    Substance abuse is a chronic health disorder. Evidence shows that the longer courses of treatment have the best results. Each client will have an individualized treatment plan and treatment lengths will vary. Clients may arrive after a stay in detox or an inpatient treatment facility.

    Our highest level of care is intensive outpatient. Clients who are assessed in this level of care, stay at this level until they can maintain abstinence and compliance with their treatment plan. The next level of care is traditional outpatient. Clients in traditional outpatient treatment also meet regularly for group and individual therapy for less time each day and at a decreasing frequency. It is at this time that clients will have begun to build a support system in the community to support their ongoing successful recovery. Following successful completion of this level of care as indicated by successful completion of the client’s individualized treatment plan. Many of our clients choose to remain in treatment in our long-term aftercare program that provides group therapy, individual counseling, medication and mental health therapy support as needed.


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      What medication options do you offer as part of treatment?

      Our medication assisted treatment program is a “Bridge to Abstinence.” We work with each client in the Bridge to Abstinence program to tailor a medication protocol that will ultimately lead to a life of recovery based in abstinence. Many of our clients arrive already free from their substance of abuse. In this case, Vivitrol is an option.

      Vivitrol is a monthly injection of Naltrexone. Naltrexone inhibits the brain receptors affected by opioids or alcohol cravings. Evidence shows that clients who support their substance abuse treatment with monthly Vivitrol are more likely to sustain abstinence.

      If the client arrives and has been managing their withdrawal and substance needs with Buprenorphine, we will work with the client to create an individualized treatment plan. The client and our Nurse Practitioner will create a taper plan based on the person’s needs with the ultimate goal being a transition to Vivitrol and abstinence.

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      What about my family, they are very worried about my substance abuse? Or I am a family member looking for help for our family.

      Substance use disorder is a family disease, the choices and behaviors of those using substances affect all those around them. Our program integrates family into the treatment with family sessions with our patients and a family program that meets weekly in a group format. These weekly meetings provide information, education and a space to have facilitated discussions to help the family support their family member in the most appropriate and healthy manner. We also have mental health therapists that are available to provide additional support for family members. All are welcome to participate in are family program, even if your family member has not entered treatment.

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      Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

      We will verify your behavioral health benefits and provide you with a personalized insurance summary that will detail your coverage and the costs to you for treatment. You can also ask your insurance carrier about your behavioral health coverage questions:

      • What are my behavioral health benefits?
      • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
      • What is my copay? Co-insurance?
      • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
      • How much does my insurance pay for therapy or substance abuse treatment ?
      • Do I need a referral?
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      Is treatment confidential?

      The law protects the confidentiality between a client and therapist. Therefore, any information is only disclosed with your written permission.

      However, there are some exceptions to this rule required by law. Exceptions include:

      • The therapist must report any suspected child abuse, dependent adult, or elder abuse to the authorities.
      • Any threat of serious bodily harm to another will require that the police be notified.
      • If a client intends to harm himself or herself the therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. Subsequently, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may be taken.
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        MENTAL HEALTH FAQ'S

        Is therapy right for me?

        Seeking out therapy is an individual choice.

        There are many reasons why people come to therapy:

        • to deal with long-standing psychological issues
        • problems with anxiety or depression
        • in response to unexpected changes in one’s life such as a divorce or work transition
        • to seek the advice as one pursues their own personal exploration and growth

        Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges.

        Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.

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        Do I really need therapy?  I can usually handle my problems.

        Everyone goes through challenging situations in life. In other words, there’s nothing wrong with seeking help. Therapy is for people who realize they need help.

        Above all, you are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life. You are making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Additionally, therapy can provide long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools, you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome the challenges you face.

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         How can therapy help me?

        Therapy provides support and problem-solving skills. Consequently, it enhances coping strategies for depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks.

        Many people find therapy helpful in managing personal growth. In addition, Therapy can help with relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life.

        Therapists can provide fresh perspectives on difficult problems. And furthermore, they can help you find solutions.

        The benefits of therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

        • Attain a better understanding of yourself, your goals, and your values.
        • Develop skills for improving your relationships.
        • Resolve issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy.
        • Learn new ways to cope with stress and anxiety.
        • Manage anger, grief, depression, and other emotional issues.
        • Improve communications and listening skills.
        • Change old behavior patterns and develop new ones.
        • Discover new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage.
        • Improve your self-esteem and boost self-confidence.
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        What is therapy like?

        Every therapy session is unique. Therapy can help each individual with their specific goals.

        In  regular therapy sessions you’ll discuss primary life issues and concerns.. Therapy can be short term, focusing on a specific issue, or long-term. In addition, you can address more complex issues or ongoing personal growth.

        You may need to do some things outside of therapy sessions. For example, this may involve reading a relevant book, or keeping records to track certain behaviors.

        Above all, it is important to process what has been discussed and to integrate it into your life between sessions for the greatest effectiveness.

        People seeking therapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions. They are willing to work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:

        • Compassion, respect and understanding
        • Discover persistent patterns and negative feelings
        • Strategies for creating positive change
        • Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
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        Is medication a substitute for therapy?

        In some cases, a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Subsequently, working with a medical professional  can help you determine what’s best for you.

        However, keep in mind that long-term solutions to mental and emotional problems, and the pain they cause, cannot be solved by medication alone.

        Mental health therapy addresses the cause of distress and negative behavior patterns. Furthermore, It doesn’t just treat the symptoms. You can achieve personal growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.

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          Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

          We will verify your behavioral health benefits and provide you with a personalized insurance summary that will detail your coverage and the costs to you for treatment. You can also ask your insurance carrier about your behavioral health coverage questions:

          • What are my behavioral health benefits?
          • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
          • What is my copay? Co-insurance?
          • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
          • How much does my insurance pay for therapy or substance abuse treatment ?
          • Do I need a referral?
          BACK TO TOP

          Is treatment confidential?

          The law protects the confidentiality between a client and therapist. Therefore, any information is only disclosed with your written permission.

          However, there are some exceptions to this rule required by law. Exceptions include:

          • The therapist must report any suspected child abuse, dependent adult, or elder abuse to the authorities.
          • Any threat of serious bodily harm to another will require that the police be notified.
          • If a client intends to harm himself or herself the therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. Subsequently, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may be taken.
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