Frequently Asked Addiction Questions
It’s important to know that no one is ever recovered. It is a lifelong process, it’s a journey for the individual to learn more about themselves, become more connected within their family, and have that process of therapy and counselling in place to help them make those changes. “Recovered” makes it sound like the journey is over and the changes that have occurred in a person’s brain are not going to change back. Those are things that the person’s going to have to deal with for the rest of their lives.
Yes, there is! Because there’s so many resources to help support people now and to be able to gauge that treatment to just that specific person.
It can be a very touchy subject but you have to assure the kids that this is not a bad thing and that this person is trying to get well. Mom and dad are trying to get help. This is an illness, this is a disease, this is something that a person will struggle with. And, they’re now trying to stop the hurt from happening again.
Absolutely! There’s a lot of options and supports for family members. Al-Anon, Nar-Anon to name two. They can also attend a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, to encourage and support their loved ones.
It really depends on the individual on how severe their problem is and what type of treatment is determined to be needed in order for them to remain clean and sober.
Rehab is affordable. Most major insurances have mandated coverage for drug and alcohol treatment and also there is county funding available for folks to get help.
Rehab is an opportunity for somebody to, in a safe place, talk about the issues that may have lead to their drinking or drug use and start coming up with the behaviors that they’re going to need to change in order to stay clean and sober.
The first thing AAR will do is check them out medically to make sure they’re okay and can participate in all the therapy programs.
You have two choices to make. One is to continue supporting the person, which could end up making things worse. Or, you need to make a decision about how to help protect yourself because their drinking or use is affecting you, too. The first step would be to give us a call at Allied Addiction Recovery to begin you on your journey for help.
Be absolutely honest with them about it. This is something that you’re seeing and you’re concerned about them. And, you don’t want to see things get worse for that person.
This is something for most people that develops over time, so what you’re going to see is problems with family, problems with work, and you start seeing more and more frequently negative consequences that occur specifically when somebody is drinking or using.
No. AAR’s philosophy is abstinence-based which means not using any mind-altering substances. If you are currently taking benzos, please talk with your prescriber about tapering off of them. We can’t write you a prescription for Suboxone (or equivalent) while you are taking benzos or test positive for benzos because of the risk of central nervous system depression that results in respiratory failure and possible death.
Best practices for medication-assisted treatment is between 18-24 months. Our goal is to begin tapering your dose slowly as soon as you and your therapist determine you are ready. We do not use Suboxone for long-term maintenance as our goal is to have our clients drug-free.
No. The only clients we treat with Subutex are those who are pregnant.
Yes! Do not be fooled by doctor’s that do not accept insurance and/or just write scripts for Suboxone or Subutex, offer Vivitrol injections, Naltrexone implants, etc. Medication alone is NOT ADDICTION TREATMENT. In PA, addiction treatment is highly regulated and only state-licensed facilities can provide addiction treatment. Taking medication without addressing a person’s addictive tendencies and learning strategies to manage the brain changes associated with addiction has a high failure rate. Medication helps stabilize a person, reduces cravings and increases the chances of maintaining recovery, but it is not a magic pill. The person will still need to work hard at recovery and personal change through individual and group counseling with experienced clinicians who will make a difference in your recovery.
If you are a new client, you will not be able to attend monthly. Individuals progress through addiction treatment at different rates. Your initial treatment level will be discussed and agreed upon during your intake. Keep in mind, research has shown unequivocally that good outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length and intensity. Best practices in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) using tools such as Suboxone is between 18-24 months. Drug-free treatment or MAT occurring for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness. Treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining positive outcomes. Eventually, a person can become a monthly client as they near the end of successful participation. If a person is in MAT, this includes gradual medication tapering.
Yes. Most health plans require pre-auths for treatment medications. More often than not, your health plan requires counseling in order to authorize the medication. As a client of AAR, we handle your treatment and medication authorizations.
Yes, as best as we can. Please discuss your schedule with your therapist.
In most cases, you will see the doctor during the first appointment as part of the intake evaluation. If this is not the case, we will let you know.
In many cases, yes. However, we cannot guarantee this until you are seen in the office and we complete your full intake evaluation.
Group length depends on the level of care you are placed into initially. How long you remain in each level of care depends on how well you are doing. As you progress through your treatment goals and you are stable enough to step down into a lower level of treatment, you will attend with less frequency. If you are struggling in a level of care, your level of treatment may increase. A general rule of them is the partial hospital program is four days per week for four hours a day, intensive outpatient group therapy is three times per week for three hours a day and outpatient therapy begins at once or twice a week.
Yes. AAR specializes in treating addiction. Seeing a generalized counselor is great, but our counselors are specially trained in addiction treatment. Even more important, if you are interested in medication-assisted treatment, most health coverages require that you are in treatment in order to have your medication pre-authorized. Through specific addiction treatment, clients learn how to deal with issues and control behaviors that can lead to relapse. If necessary, clients may also receive referrals to other social service agencies.
This is dependent upon the initial evaluation with our clinical team and based on the Pennsylvania Client Placement Criteria (PCPC). PCPC are a set of guidelines designed to provide clinicians with a basis for determining the most appropriate care. The intensity and frequency of group therapy is designed to meet the client with the level of care that was determined they need to begin their personal recovery transformation free of substance use.
Please bring your driver’s license or state-issued ID, your insurance card and a list of all medications/drugs including dosages whether they were legally prescribed for you or not. If you do not have a valid ID, we will not be able to see you that day.
On the first visit, you will need to report to our office 15-30 minutes prior to the scheduled appointment for paperwork completion, drug screen, brief physical exam and a clinical assessment by one of our highly-trained substance abuse therapists. You will need to be free of all opiates for 24 hours and be in moderate withdrawal to be evaluated by the doctor. In most cases, you will see one of our doctors the same day. You need to allow up to 2.5 hours to complete the intake process.
No. The stricter than HIPAA Pennsylvania drug and alcohol treatment privacy laws requires the person seeking treatment to schedule the appointment. You can provide transportation, but no one at AAR can talk to you about their treatment or even confirm if they are a client until your loved one signs a release authorizing AAR to exchange information with you. Even then, what we are allowed to discuss is very limited. Please feel free to call us if you want to learn more about the treatment options we offer and share that information with the person you hope to help. In addition, one of our staff would be happy to speak with you if you need ideas to help get a loved one into treatment.
If you or a family member are interested in treatment but do not have insurance, there are resources available. Each county in PA has a Drug and Alcohol office (D&A). The prospective client should contact their home county D&A office and explain that they are in need of treatment, but do not have insurance. The staff at the D&A office will then instruct the client on necessary steps to receive treatment. Clients also have the option of paying for their treatment out of pocket. Arrangements must be made with AAR’s office manager prior to your initial visit. County Drug & Alcohol Office Phone Numbers: Allegheny: (800) 553-7499 Beaver: (724) 847-6220 Butler: (724) 284-5114 Cambria: (814) 536-5388 Fayette: (724) 438-3576 Greene: (724) 852-5276 Lawrence: (724) 658-5580 Mercer: (724) 662-1550 Somerset: (814) 445-1530 Washington: (724) 223-1181 Westmoreland: (724) 832-5880