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Frequently Asked Questions
DO I NEED TO GO TO TREATMENT OR DETOX BEFORE COMING TO HPR?
Prior to a medical assessment, we are unable to state what your treatment plan may be. We encourage you to call Helping People Recover with any specific questions so we can determine how to best advise or help you with your own personal situation.
DO I NEED TO GO TO A 12 STEP PROGRAM TOO?
In recovery, the more you can do to stabilize yourself during recovery the better. The principles in 12-Step programs are very useful. Expanding your sober social network is helpful too – the more people you know in sobriety, the easier it is to feel less “different.” That being said, since every individual has a unique set of circumstances, it is not mandatory that people go though these programs, but it is advised that you experience them before making a decision. Our doctors and counseling will be able to create personal life strategies and remove barriers to your sobriety and give you individual attention in a private setting.
HOW LONG DO I NEED TREATMENT?
In short, everyone is different. We realize that many people’s goals involve just “physically” feeling better, but one must consider whether they are better prepared to handle the past stressors and challenges that can disarm a person’s recovery. The length of time has a great amount to do with the compliance of the patient. If the patient takes the medication as needed, has clean urine screens, attends counseling, and follows direction, the MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment) process can be more abbreviated and effective.
WHAT DOES COUNSELING TEACH?
A counselor is not so much a teacher as perhaps a "guide." Of course, certain skills will be shared but the counselor is there to help the person develop enhanced capability in overcoming potentially disarming obstacles. Assistance in re-framing strategies and looking at situations with a new perspective is key. Since it will be the same world you enter back into, it is imperative to see it in a new light. A wise counselor tries to offer flexible concepts more often than new techniques. Our counselors have obtained specific training and schooling in aiding people dealing with addiction and understand the needs of the recovering individual.
IS A COUNSELOR LIKE A SPONSOR?
A Sponsor’s role is mainly to be a representative of a specific recovery program and to share their experience, strength, and hope while assisting in completing the journey associated with “step work.” A counselor’s role embraces much more of the person’s psychological and addiction-related needs and is there to adapt the skills of improvement and progression to the needs of the individual. The counselor works on not only sobriety, but also in the facets on one’s life that insures recovery which may expand beyond the scope of a 12-step program. The skill sets offered go beyond the exclusive parameters and beliefs of a sole program outline. A counselor has had extensive training in the skills needed and clinical experience that give them a more well-rounded understanding of addiction. A sponsor is a valuable support in other areas of your recovery pertaining to a 12-step program.
DOES A COUNSELOR HAVE TO BE IN RECOVERY TOO?
Not necessarily. Some counselors have utilized their specific journey through addiction as a valuable resource in being able to help others-mainly as they have a deep compassion for those they serve as as well as first-hand experience with the effects or withdrawal from certain substances. Unlike sponsors, counselors do not share their stories as motivators but they use their training to help guide those they serve. Whether or not the counselors, doctors, or other addiction professionals directly or indirectly have a “past” with addiction, know that most who get into the field have some internal motivation for helping those they serve and are very passionate in what they do.
WILL MY COUNSELOR MAKE ME DO STUFF I DON’T WANT TO DO OR BE MEAN?
A counselor’s job is to move you forward and not to be a bully! At times this can consist of advising you on overcoming fears and obstacles that may be holding you back. It is through overcoming fear and discomfort we grow. Through trust of your counselor you should feel that anything asked of you or presented to you is in your best interest. Although compassionate, your counselor will not enable backsliding or weaknesses either. It is a counselor’s duty to guide you with the promise of everything being presented is to achieve your greater good. You must come together to achieve your recovery goals and work as a solid team! Sometimes, the best won awards require the most strenuous efforts!
IS MAT (MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT) EXPENSIVE?
It is less expensive than the habits that got people where they were. It is less expensive than rehab or a hospital stay. It is less expensive than a funeral, divorce, and at what cost can you recover the respect of those around you? In all seriousness, it is an investment like anything else to improve our lives. Upon an initial assessment, it is wise to discuss fees as well as your goals to make sure you are comfortable in your path. Since different people have different resources available to them, we can give you your own quote when we speak with you and advise you accordingly. (See our "Policies" section for more details.)
IS MAT (MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT) SUCCESSFUL?
In recovery from addiction there is no fool-proof method. Sadly, the statistics show that many do relapse into old behaviors often falling further each time especially without proper recovery help. Recovery can be a lifelong struggle for some. In evaluating many areas of your life, and not simply the addiction itself, you may find there are other facets of your life that intertwine causing you conflict you may not be aware of. The more work you do with others who care and support you the more successful you can become. It is up to you to continue with the skills presented to you to be the most prosperous.
MAT aids in reducing the extreme physical discomfort that is often the main factor keeping people on opiates. By greatly diminishing the physical pain involved in ceasing opiate use, one is better prepared to work on some of the other coping skills that permeate recovery in many areas of life. This is why we recommend counseling in tandem with the MAT services provided by our doctors. If we are able to help you feel better, to have better coping skills, and to help you develop more healthy ways of dealing with some of the past disruptions, you are much, much better equipped for success. But the bottom line is, you will get out of it what you put into it!
At the end of treatment, we assist our patients with a “transitional phase” to aid them in tapering the medication as well as arm them with other strategies, trigger identification strategies, and other life skills to add leverage to their success. We work on reducing and physical and psychological discomfort stemming from ceasing MAT. At this point we will have plenty of insight on what can best be done to prepare our patients with long-term recovery.
WHAT IF I RELAPSE?
Unfortunately, it happens. You simply need to pick yourself up and evaluate where you were tripped up. Being honest with your treatment team is essential for us to help reduce the risk of future occurrences. Relapses vary in the depth and duration, and getting back into the guidance and care of capable hands is imperative. Frequent relapses, lack of medication compliance, or disregard for care and guidance may be an indicator that alternative methods or ongoing professional help should be sought such as inpatient treatment. We always encourage people to feel that they can contact us when they feel that their sobriety is threatened as well as after a stumble. The sooner one reaches out, the better the outcome will be.
HOW DO I GET IN TOUCH WITH A MAT (MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT) DOCTOR?
Simply pick up the phone and call us! We will do our best to connect you with a doctor to begin your journey to recovery and wellness. Our schedule books up quick so call today and speak with one of our representatives and we will get some brief information to see how we may be able to help you change your life!
DOES HELPING PEOPLE RECOVER OFFER FAMILY COUNSELING SESSIONS?
Yes, we do and we recommend that the family be involved in at least one initial session and one later session towards completion. More contact may benefit some families with ongoing challenges or education needs. The more informed and supportive the family is, the greater the possibility of long-term success. Addiction is a “family condition.”
DOES HELPING PEOPLE RECOVER DO GROUP COUNSELING SESSIONS?
At this point, we have found that individual counseling works well for our patients and allows us to streamline their recovery by being able to address personal needs and circumstances. We know some prefer this type of counseling, but we currently only do one-on-one or with a patient's family included.
Anthony Anders, ADC, LCDC-III
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