Frequently Asked Questions
Through ARCA’s Inpatient Treatment Programs at MIRA and Outpatient Treatment Programs, the staff at ARCA have treated individuals just like yourself. Below are some of the frequently asked questions that are posed by patients.
How Does Your Treatment Program Differ from Other Programs?
We consider addictive disorders to be a chronic medical illness with a strong behavioral component. Any request for help should be treated as an emergency situation, and ARCA provides same-day appointments and medical treatment. We medically detoxify patients to provide relief from withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, body aches, cramps, nausea, restlessness and irritability. We seamlessly transition you to anti-craving medications to block the cravings for alcohol or drugs. ARCA utilizes one of the most effective relapse prevention therapies in all of our programs, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. ARCA provides a comprehensive, medically-based approach to the treatment of addictive disorders. Your treatment team will include physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, and therapists. Our treatment program is prescribed specifically to the individual needs of each patient. That is why we offer an Inpatient Residential Treatment Program, an Outpatient Treatment Program and a Transitional Living Program — a three-level approach to recovery. The ARCA Inpatient Residential Program will ensure your care is continued even after you are discharged. You are encouraged to enter the ARCA Outpatient Program to continue your road to recovery. You will have peace of mind knowing that ARCA will continue on your journey with you as long as you need us.
What Can I Expect at ARCA?
You can expect a caring, well-trained professional team offering you state-of-the-art individualized treatment from day one to the end of the program and thereafter. Each member of our team works with you to achieve your goal of long-term recovery. You and your family members have access to our treatment team at the treatment center on weekdays and over the phone or by e-mail 24 hours a day. Choices, flexibility, privacy, compassion and our knowledgeable staff make all the difference.
Medications are critical during the detoxification process. The ARCA approach considers ‘cold turkey’ detoxification as inhumane, which may compel the patient to discontinue treatment. The detoxification medications provide relief from the withdrawal symptoms, and protection from potentially life-threatening effects like seizures. Medications are equally critical to blunt the cravings that can reoccur during treatment. When cravings are effectively controlled, the patient becomes more engaged in long-term recovery through individual, group, and family counseling.
What are some of the Medications Used in the ARCA Program?
The medications used by the physicians at ARCA are all FDA-approved and have proven to be highly effective and safe. Medications including Naltrexone, Acamprosate, SUBOXONE®, VIVITROL®, CHANTIX® have been specifically approved for the treatment of addictive disorders while other medications like Ondansetron, Topiramate, Amantidine, Buspirone and Modafinil, although not specifically approved for the treatment of addictions, have been found to effectively curb cravings.
Do I Need to Take these Medications for the Rest of My Life?
The medications used presently are radically different from the older medications like Antabuse and Methadone. The modern medications used by ARCA are either non-addicting or have a very low abuse potential, and are generally taken for a three to six month period – long enough for the brain to heal from the effects of the alcohol or drugs. Some medications can be taken for a longer period of time to protect patients from relapsing.
How Do You Measure Success?
Addictive disorders impact the patient and the patient’s family in multiple ways. Measuring success is not just helping patients get off the alcohol or drugs. At ARCA, we measure success by looking at several parameters including sobriety, family and social relationships, work and educational functioning, and developing support in recovery.
Does ARCA Work with Insurance Companies?
We work out-of-network with most Health Insurance and we work in-network with some Health Insurance, depending on the level of treatment or program selected. ARCA’s Inpatient Treatment Facility at MIRA is Accredited & Certified by The Joint Commission and is now accepting all Major Insurance for Inpatient Services.
Science, Knowledge and Compassion
ARCA combines science, knowledge, and compassion into each Inpatient Residential Treatment Program at MIRA to aid you on your journey back to a sober life.
Healing the Brain, the Body, and the Mind
During ARCA’s Inpatient Residential Treatment Program at MIRA, every patient will be evaluated by the medical team and the medical detoxification will greatly reduce or eliminate the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that can force patients to relapse. Effective treatment of the physical symptoms allows the patient to move to the next critical step of behavioral changes. A team of psychiatrists, therapists, and counselors will work with you so that you can build the skills to regain and restore control over the destructive behaviors associated with alcohol or drug use. You will also have access to exercise equipment, nutritional counseling, and other wellness programs and activities.
Going Beyond Addiction Treatment
Smoking has no place in the treatment of chemical dependency and addiction during an effective inpatient residential treatment program, and smoking should be considered substance substitution. Our facility is strictly non-smoking, and we will offer you help to quit smoking. Our services include auricular therapy and nicotine replacement. Our approach to treatment does not subscribe to the conventional belief of not treating smoking while you are in treatment for alcohol or drug use disorder.
Anticraving Medications like Vivitrol are the Cornerstone of Treatment
Not all anti-craving medications are created equal. We strongly advocate the use of non-addicting medications like Naltrexone during treatment, and especially when you return. The introduction of the monthly injectable form of Naltrexone – VIVITROL – is the strongest protection from relapse when you return home. Followed up with ARCA’s Outpatient Treatment Programs, the Inpatient Residential Treatment Program at MIRA is most effective when coupled with Vivitrol injections.
How Long Should You Stay in an Inpatient Residential Treatment Program for drugs and alcohol?
We strongly believe in providing an individualized, inpatient residential treatment program. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment program. The comprehensive approach of medical detoxification, anti-craving medications, psychiatric therapy, and behavioral therapy allows patients to return home in periods ranging from 10 to 20 days. We will not rush the discharge nor prolong your stay. The appropriate discharge planning will be done to make a smooth transition into an aftercare program to begin long-term recovery.
A Treatment Program that Follows You Home
The ARCA Inpatient Residential Program at MIRA is the culmination of over twenty-five years of close association and experience in the field of addiction medicine by Mr. Percy Menzies, the founder of the institution. The ARCA Inpatient Residential Program at MIRA envisions a treatment that encompasses the proven advances made in the understanding of the neurochemistry of chemical dependency and addictive disorders by offering integrated and individualized treatment programs designed to minimize the duration of Inpatient Residential treatment and maximizing the duration of Outpatient Treatment.
The ARCA Inpatient Residential Program at MIRA will have several clinical advantages that not only advance the field of addiction treatment, but may set a new standard of care. Read more below to further understand why we offer the type of inpatient residential treatment at MIRA that we do. The ultimate test of any inpatient treatment program is how you do when you return home.
The most vulnerable time for patients is the last few days of residential treatment for drugs and alcohol and the first few days and weeks of returning home. What makes returning home a vulnerable time? You are returning to the all-too-familiar landscape of past alcohol or drug use. Think of it this way—you are just a few days from returning home. Some of the old voices return that were caused by the chronic illness of alcoholism and drug addiction. You are surrounded by reminders, triggers, or “traps”: friends, places, times of the day, days of the week, music, smells associated with alcohol or drug use, feelings of euphoria and escape. All of these are powerful incentives to reignite cravings.
ARCA wants you to know that the skills you have acquired and experienced in the MIRA Inpatient Residential Treatment Program are an incredible jump-start to recovery, but it’s only the beginning. That’s why we encourage our patients to continue treatment in ARCA’s Outpatient Treatment Programs.
Following You Home
The recovery experienced in the inpatient residential treatment program has to be maintained when you return home. Every eligible patient will be discharged on an injection of VIVITROL. We will work diligently to match you with the right aftercare program that subscribes to the ARCA approach to treatment. We will work with your insurance provider and arrange for your monthly VIVITROL injections.
Whether this is your first time or fifth time in treatment, we promise you a treatment program that is scientifically proven, provided by a trained and knowledgeable staff, with the goal to help you achieve a lifelong recovery when you return home. Chemical Dependency and addiction occurs in the patient’s natural home environment, and the conditioning of the addiction is reinforced by the cues and triggers surrounding the patient every day. In the past, it seemed logical that the best way to extinguish the conditioning of the addiction was taking the patient away from their natural home environment for an extended period of time, usually one to three months.
During this time, the patient would learn new relapse prevention skills most often through the Twelve-Step approach. There is considerable scientific evidence that this episodic approach does not work well when patients return to their natural home environment, which is still filled with cues and triggers of past alcohol or drug use. This often leads to relapse, and yet this method of treatment continues to be the mainstay of many programs.There is a general agreement that alcoholism and drug addiction is a chronic, progressive, and relapsing illness, but the present treatment is episodic, experiential, and non-medical. Treatment recommendations are often based on the recovery experience of the treatment professional, who is in recovery themself.
Alcoholism is overwhelmingly treated through self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and the Twelve-Step approach. Currently, less than 3% of patients are prescribed anti-craving medications. Opioid addiction treatment is dominated by the acceptance of substance substitution treatment, using opioid-based medications like Methadone, which is administered in highly-regulated clinics. The use of Buprenorphine is gaining greater acceptance, which is a medication that can be prescribed in a physician’s office by a physician who has completed the required training to receive DEA exemption.
The relationship between the treatment community – those on the frontline helping patients achieve recovery – and the medical community is very tenuous, and characterized by mutual distrust and sometimes hostility. The chasm is largely due to the limited understanding of the causes of chemical dependency and addiction, and the exploitation of victims desperately seeking help with remedies and medications that cause harm. The treatment of chemical dependency and addiction remains on the outskirts of the field of medical science, with very little progress being made to bridge the treatment gap.Schools training social workers place little or no emphasis on pharmacotherapy to treat chemical dependency, and medical schools pay scant attention to properly training physicians to treat the immense problem of addiction afflicting our society.
Few long-term residential treatments have developed a program that successfully protects patients from relapsing when they return home. The coping skills learned during the long-term residential treatment program and the inner resolve of the patient to abstain from alcohol and drugs do not create a successful model of treatment. When a patient returns home and encounters the cues and triggers of past alcohol and drug use, these cues and triggers are magnified by the force of the deprivation effect experienced when the patient is away in a long-term residential treatment program. This phenomenon is often referred to as Conditioned Abstinence, and is recognized as a major contributing factor to relapse.
To overcome this problem, scientists working for the United States Federal Government developed the first non-addicting, anti-craving medication in the early 1970s called Naltrexone. This medication protects patients from accidentally using alcohol or opioids when they return home from a long-term residential treatment program. Long-term programs are effective during the medical detoxification, but not during the transition to anti-craving medications that assist in sustaining long-term recovery.
Outpatient treatment programs originated more recently, where patients receive treatment in their natural home environment. These programs allow patients to receive treatment in their natural home environment, and help the patient avoid long hiatuses from work or school. These programs were designed under increasing pressure from health insurance companies to reduce expenditures, but also proved to be effective treatment programs due to the advances in pharmaceutical science and addiction medicine.
The scientific advances in the understanding of the neurobiology of the brain in regards to chemical dependency and addiction have led to the development of a new class of pharmaceutical medications. These new medications are either non-addicting or have lower abuse potential than medications used in the past. Similarly, considerable advances have been made in behavioral health therapies. Yet neither these medications nor therapies have gained much traction against the Twelve-Step approach and substance substitution therapy. Our Inpatient Residential Program embraces these advances in pharmaceutical science and addiction medicine to provide a comprehensive approach to treatment.