by Kathy Golden, Director/Manager of Extended Care at The Meadows
Most people seem to come to primary treatment because they are sick and tired of being sick and tired. When they near the end of their primary treatment, the counselor starts recommending extended care. The client may think, "I can't do this. I have a job; I can't afford to spend the money. I don't want to spend more time away from my husband, children, family..." They feel the best they've felt, perhaps in many years, and can't imagine why they need to continue treatment. I always ask my clients to consider treatment as one little inch out of the mile that is life. Clients most likely have spent years developing acting-out patterns, being depressed, wondering why they are so reactive to things that don't seem to bother other people, being filled with shame that they continue to sabotage their lives.
I ask them: "Do you think you have completely addressed all of your issues in the space of 29 to 35 days? Do you believe that you have worked through all of the trauma issues that have developed throughout your life journey?" The "pink cloud"that most people have as they near the end of treatment soon dissipates as they hit the real world and the reality of their life journey. They may have changed, or at least begun to make changes, however their best friends haven't changed with them. Those co-workers they can't get along with haven't changed or been to treatment. Perhaps their family attended Family Week sessions and has good intentions, without the benefit of 30 days in treatment.
The benefits of extended care can be immeasurable. They provide the chance to continue to address trauma issues, solidify the best relapse-prevention plan possible, encourage necessary self-examination, and provide time to incorporate the tools learned in primary care so they become a new way of life- a life of recovery and health. Extended care allows a recovering person to transition into the real world through supported outside activities, outside 12 Step meetings, a relationship with a sponsor, Step work, limit setting, and structure development. Those with co-occurring disorders can benefit greatly from extended care; the extra time, support, and scope of an extended-care treatment process can make a significant difference.
Statistics show that, the longer a person can remain in extended care, the lower the probability of relapse. In a study by Castle Craig Hospital, 48 percent of those who completed a recommended period of continued treatment had "maintained unbroken continuous abstinence (from all drugs including alcohol and cannabis), and a further 14 percent were in a good outcome category, abstinent at the time of follow-up. The abstinent and improved outcome figures for this group of treatment completers was 62 percent. The results, therefore, for this group of clients who completed an average of 17 weeks in extended care are very good indeed."
Extended care at The Meadows helps a client develop a personalized treatment plan, continue trauma-reduction work, and settle into a new life of recovery. We recommend a minimum 90-day stay: 30 days in primary care at The Meadows and another 60 or more at Mellody House, Dakota, or The Meadows Texas. Each of these facilities addresses trauma reduction through use of Pia Mellody's model. Additionally, Dakota helps clients continue to address compulsive sexual behaviors, while The Meadows Texas provides a safe place for women to continue their recovery journeys.
The Meadows is pleased to announce that James Naughton, who previously worked as a counselor at The Meadows, is now Director of Extended Care. In this role James will now oversee our three extended-care facilities: Mellody House, Dakota and The Meadows Texas.
In James's words, he is "grateful and privileged to be a part of the extended-care team." He expresses his sincerest wish to be "that we continue to provide the best care to our clients."
James says, "The team members I speak of - counselors, psychiatrists, house attendants, nurses, maintenance and plant operators, and housekeepers - all contribute to a safe and contained environment that fosters healing for individuals who have suffered the deleterious effects of trauma. We are all equal and valuable elements in this milieu and, through our commitment and work with the clients, each of us contributes to the possibility that those we serve may discover healing."
You may read more about James's thoughts and experiences during a recent visit to one of our extended-care facilities, in this article from a recent issue of our Cutting Edge newsletter.
The Meadows Addiction Treatment Center is well established in Arizona, having provided inpatient treatment and workshops at its facility in Wickenburg for more than two decades. Now, The Meadows is pleased to announce its new Texas treatment facility, The Meadows Texas. Mental Health Weekly Digest announced on May 4:
"While The Meadows Addiction Treatment Center draws patients from all over the country and overseas, about 30 percent of patients are from the state of Texas. Therefore, it made sense to bring continuing-care services and workshops to the Lone Star State."
Bob Fulton, CEO of The Meadows, realized his vision of transforming a Montgomery residential home into a extended-care facility with a safe, supportive environment dedicated to embracing clients and their personal journeys in recovery. The Meadows Texas is now an eight-bed facility with two group rooms, where patients can receive "cutting-edge clinical care, as well as ancillary services including yoga, nutritional counseling, and recreational services."
The Meadows Texas is located on 55 pristine and secluded acres in the Sam Houston National Forest, Montgomery Township.
For more information see the (offsite link is no longer active) or visit The Meadows Texas.