Addiction: We KNOW What the Problem is, but Where are the Solutions???
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We KNOW there is an addiction epidemic, we KNOW more lives have been lost from overdose deaths than the Vietnam War. In fact, there has even been a positive change in the way society views substance use disorders (SUD). We’ve identified the problem, but we have yet to find solutions that truly work.
Change is hard. We can all get comfortable with the status quo…even if it is not working well for us. Many times we even settle for less because it feels familiar. As more and more people are impacted by SUDs, they are forced to rethink what it means to be an alcoholic or an addict. We have seen an increase in funding for treatment and research, and an uptick in activism. There is no one-size-fits all solution, but the addiction treatment field tends to keep treatment in the same traditional boxes. SUD treatment that has always been covered by insurance, is traditional and used for decades can feel safe and reliable. However, we do not have the luxury of “reliable” at this time; when it comes to addiction treatment- we NEED innovation and to strive for excellence. Many embrace innovation and even welcome it in the tech field, social media, cell phones, apps and communication. Similarly, as our awareness and compassion for SUDs expand, our treatment options also need to change. We need to transfer our openness to certain forms of innovation to the field of addiction treatment–because the present treatment models are not working for everyone.
The In-Home Addiction Treatment (IHAT) model was started in 2011 by Aware Recovery Care in Connecticut, and has expanded to New Hampshire and Maine. This model was initially controversial in that others in the addiction treatment field were unsure how this model fit into the current levels of care offered (residential, intensive outpatient, outpatient, etc.), may have viewed it as a competitor and/or were unsure how a program could treat clients in their home. However, the IHAT model is the logical innovation given the increase in relapse rates for clients who are discharged from residential programs to their home or struggle to get sober in a home environment at the outpatient level of care. IHAT does not intend to replace other forms of care, but to collaborate and offer a new treatment solution that creates and improves the family, clinical, social, environmental, spiritual and wellness support systems for clients.
The In-Home Addiction Treatment Institute is working to increase accessibility to innovative solutions that meet the unique needs of people with SUD. Through research about the IHAT model and the creation of high-stakes certification exams and rigorous training for providers, the Institute is providing new and effective solutions for those who need it most. Given the documented success and full insurance coverage by some for this model, the goal of the Institute is to create standardization and accessibility for addiction professionals around the country. The IHAT model is the new generation of addiction treatment. We want to share this solution with providers so that they have access to the necessary tools to most effectively help those with SUD who need it most- WHERE they need it most…at home.
By Sarah Allen Benton, LMHC, LPC and Sara Kaiser, BS, LPN