The screening part of a drug rehab program will possibly be the first-time clinical staff are in contact with a potential client. Addiction professionals must screen for drug addiction or alcoholism fast so that cases can be referred for more in-depth assessment to a recovery center such as the Great Oaks facility. Screening is typically done during the first phone call with family members or friends of the patient, often in the absence of the patient himself. Information gleaned during the screening provides a way for clinicians to evaluate the patient’s particular situation against pre-determined admission criteria, including the number of financial resources available to pay for treatment.
If screening reveals that a patient is not a good fit for a particular drug rehab program, either because the problem is too severe for the facility or of a specialized type not typically treated there, screeners will always refer the patient elsewhere for help. Addiction professionals who administer drug rehab initial screenings will often make a concerted effort to reassure people who are fearful, anxious, apprehensive, resentful, or ambivalent.
If an initial treatment screening reveals that the subject is a potential patient or client, screening staff normally escalate the case to an addiction professional who is qualified to handle a more thorough and comprehensive clinical assessment and intake. The assessment is generally completed as quickly as possible after the initial screening in order to determine the needs of the individual patient and whether he or she meets the program’s admission criteria.
Since each initial assessment should include a complete psychological profile, it may be necessary to contact family members, friends, or other health care professionals who are familiar with the patient. In addition to addiction issues, the assessment will also try to identify other physical, psychological, legal, familial, or vocational problems that could affect treatment and recovery. Over the course of the assessment, it is not uncommon for clinician and patient to develop a therapeutic relationship that can be useful during ongoing drug addiction or alcohol treatment.
When assessment reveals that immediate treatment for alcohol or drug use is necessary, the program must be able to receive the patient and start work quickly. Unlike some other medical disorders, active addiction is often a life-threatening or life-altering situation that requires immediate attention – an addict cannot wait weeks or months for help. The first step for most drug or alcohol rehab programs is a physical examination. This helps identify physical issues that need to be addressed during treatment or issues that make a particular drug or alcohol treatment facility inappropriate for a particular patient. The final admission step is to make the patient aware of program policies, expectations, schedules, and consequences of noncompliance.
Prior to enrolling a patient in a drug rehab program, a treatment plan must be drafted based on the patient’s stated goals, assessment findings, medical exams, drug tests, and psychological evaluation. An important part of the plan is memorializing measurable goals that the patient agrees to work toward during treatment. The plan is typically developed together by the treatment team and the patient and is updated regularly to reflect progress and/or newly emerging issues. A good treatment plan will ensure that both client and clinical staff know where the client is going and how she plans to get there. Many programs will require that the client sign a treatment contract, which sets consequences, in advance, for issues that may arise during treatment. Some contracts contain a list of specific behaviors that the client agrees to abide by.
Certain incoming rehab patients may require medically supervised withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. Given that most withdrawal programs are housed within a larger and more costly, inpatient or residential facility, intensive outpatient treatment programs that are able to offer such a service safely and at a reduced financial cost are rare and in high demand. At the very least, these programs must associate with a physician qualified to handle addiction issues and monitor withdrawal symptoms on a daily basis.
Aside from the core counseling-based therapies, many drug rehab facilities provide access to cognitive and behavioral treatment, acupuncture, biofeedback, art therapy, dance therapy, and equine therapy. While some of these activities may not actively address addiction in patients, they have proven useful in getting the patient into a mindset appropriate for substance abuse treatment.