Question: How long is the average stay in treatment?
Answer: The average length of stay depends on the individual’s needs and varies depending on those needs and the particular program the individual is enrolled in. In residential treatment, we typically work with individuals between 21 and 30 days. For extended care, the program is approximately 30-90 days and for outpatient treatment we see the individual around 6-8 months.
Question: What is the success rate of your program?
Answer: We have been interested in how well Fountain Centers’ patients do after they leave treatment. Since 2012 we have been asking about the success of our patients who have completed residential treatment. One way to measure success in treatment is whether patients use alcohol or other drugs (AOD) after they are discharged.
We learned that at one year after discharging from residential treatment, slightly more than 50% of Fountain Centers’ patients report not having used AOD during that time.
Although we are not certain of the factors associated with continuous abstinence at one year, our results are quite telling about the power of participation in support groups (for example, AA or NA) and having a sponsor. Those who do not participate in 12 step support groups are much more likely to use AOD than those who do at every time interval we asked this question. At 12 months, we estimate that over 50% of those who reported participating in a support group maintained continuous abstinence compared to approximately 10% of those who had not. In particular, younger participants (those less than 30 years old) seemed to benefit more from support group participation.
In a similar way, having a sponsor was also associated with a greater likelihood of abstinence at every time interval that we asked about this. At 12 months, approximately 60% of those who said they had a sponsor maintained continuous abstinence compared to 40% who did not; and we found that older participants (greater than 30 years of age) benefited more from having a sponsor than younger participants.
The most dramatic association we found was between continuous abstinence and having both a sponsor and participating in a support group. For those who did both, the likelihood of continuous abstinence is estimated to be at least one year. Those who did neither were estimated to have a duration of continuous abstinence of less than three months. Our results must be regarded with caution – we are relying on self-report data, we were unable to locate many former patients as time progressed, we are using statistical models to estimate our outcomes. Nonetheless, these results provide us with some information about how Fountain Centers’ patients are faring after discharge from residential treatment and things they are doing that support abstinence.
Question: Who are you accredited by?
Answer: All of the Fountain Centers programs are licensed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and are accredited by The Joint Commission.
Question: What qualifications does your staff have?
Answer: To be eligible to work at Fountain Centers, an individual must report two years freedom from chemical use problems as well as pass a background check. Staff qualifications vary dependent on the position. A counselor must be qualified by the state law to practice as an alcohol and drug counselor and at minimum possess a Bachelor’s degree.
Question: Will I be involved in the treatment program as I support a family member or loved one?
Answer: We consider family involvement an essential part of our treatment program. We believe it is critical for people in early recovery to have positive support systems in their life. We know that addiction impacts not only the individual, but the family too and therefore working on forgiveness, communication skills, building trust and understanding the issues that may interfere with recovery for both the addict and the family member is addressed while the patient is still in treatment. In both our residential and outpatient programs, we offer a family education program to help families to better understand what addiction is and the healing process. We strongly encourage family participation as well as other supports a person may see as a positive attribute to their recovery program (for example, sponsor, clergy, employer, etc.).
The patient’s counselor will work with the patient to identify supportive people in their life to be involved in helping them through treatment. Once these individuals are identified, an “Information Questionnaire” will be sent to each person asking for feedback on the individual in treatment. This information is utilized to help understand the concerns for the person and plan for the treatment plan and recovery plan. In addition to requesting this feedback, identified individuals will be invited to family education day and group therapy involving the patient and family (as identified by the patient and counselor). During family education, family members learn about the disease of addiction, the importance of self-care and how to cope with this illness. Family members will be encouraged to prepare assignments for the first family group involving the patient. You will receive more information on how to get involved in the family portion of the program as your loved one settles into treatment.
Question: How long before I am admitted can I talk to family or have visitors?
Answer: During the initial period of treatment, which lasts three to five days, patients are on “therapeutic observation” and phone calls are limited. Letters of support are encouraged and can be received at any point during the treatment stay.
Question: Can I smoke while in treatment?
Answer: We do allow patients 18 years and older and residing on the adult residential unit to smoke if they choose to, however, we strongly advise individuals to consider participating in a smoking cessation regimen during their time with us in order to ensure the most optimal healing. We understand that this is an important decision that only the individual can make, however, we also know that by making this decision to quit the use of all mood-altering chemicals, a person is increasing their chances for long-term success. There will be several educational programs as well as information on some medical options to help quit. All residents in our adolescent residential program are not allowed to smoke even if they are of legal age.
Question: I am interested in medication assisted treatment using Suboxone. Is that available at Fountain Centers?
Answer: We do have a provider in Albert Lea that will work with our patients at Fountain Centers and take appropriate Suboxone referrals. There are several factors the care team will take into consideration when making a referral for Suboxone, such as referral support for the medication assisted treatment and discharge plans.
Will my mental health needs get addressed?
Answer: In our residential programs, we have a mental health professional on staff who can meet with you to address mental health concerns. We identify how mental health and substance use problems often times occur together and affect each other, and these issues are integrated into your treatment plan. We coordinate mental health services with providers in the community in which you reside to ensure that your mental health needs are also being met in the place where you reside.
In our outpatient programs we discuss your mental health issues and concerns with you at admission and during the course of your treatment. We work with you to identify how mental health and substance use problems co-occur and affect each other, and these issues are integrated into your treatment plan. If we believe that your mental health concerns warrant attention from a specialist, we provide you with the contact information of a local provider and, if desired, work with you to arrange an appointment.
Question: How much medication should I bring and what if I run out of my medication while I am in treatment?
Answer: Please bring enough medication to cover the entire treatment stay (approximately a 30-day supply). Should the medications run out during the treatment episode, the patient is responsible to obtain a refill. This can be done by having someone bring in the refill or utilizing the pharmacy at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea. The patient will be responsible for the payment of the medication.
Question: I have been using for a long time. Will I go into withdrawal and is there medication for withdrawal?
Answer: Withdrawal is a possibility when a person has been ingesting mood-altering chemicals. Our nursing staff will be monitoring for signs and symptoms of withdrawal and they are trained to recognize when an individual is in need of additional assistance with medication. If warranted, medication will be provided to ensure safe withdrawal.
Question: What is the difference between outpatient and inpatient treatment?
Answer: Seeking care for chemical use issues involves a continuum of care. Outpatient and inpatient treatment are two of many ways people can get the help they need to live a healthy and productive life. Outpatient treatment involves the individual continuing to participate in community living (preferably in a safe and sober living environment) and attending group and individual therapy sessions at a nearby Fountain Centers location. The typical program content includes group therapy sessions two to three times per week and often involves education on commonly abuse drugs and the harmful effects, life skills; identifying goals, family education, and recovery skills including relapse prevention training.
Sometimes the disease of chemical dependency has progressed to the point where there are concerns for a person’s safety if they were to stop using chemicals on their own, they are not living in an environment that is helpful to changing their lifestyle and they are struggling to make decisions that involve a healthy way of life. These individuals are often identified as needing a more structured level of care, where we can monitor and care for withdrawals and provide a safe place to live, eat and sleep while developing healthy living skills to be functional in the community again.
Before participating in either of these programs, completing a chemical use assessment is the best way to identify which level of care is needed. Let a professional help you determine that by contacting a Fountain Centers location and setting up an appointment.
Question: Do you offer services for gambling addiction?
Answer: While we understand that compulsive disorders often go hand-in-hand and the whole being must be addressed in order to establish an effective recovery program, we will typically refer to services outside of our programs to specifically address a gambling addiction.