MORE ON THE VALUE OF RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT
Extensive research validates the rationale for long-term (3-6 months) residential treatment as an appropriate intervention for people with long and chronic addiction histories. The longer an individual remains in treatment, the better chance their opportunity for maintaining a lasting recovery afterwards. Several months in treatment in a modified therapeutic community afford participants the opportunity to examine and modify layers of behavioral patterns formed over many years during addiction. The peer relationships that develop between participants provide quality social and therapeutic value. Professional group and individual counseling facilitate movement towards the resolution of significant though sometimes hidden issues, often involving family members.
Concurrent with social and psychological healing, time in treatment affords participants opportunity to resolve a range of health issues. Many individuals enter treatment with knowledge of their HIV positive status, AIDS diagnosis, or having tested for Hepatitis C, and can start, re-start or continue treatment. Education, testing and support for both of these conditions, which disproportionately impact drug users. All treatment participants are scheduled for standard physicals and lab work for information on health status, sometimes indicating chronic illnesses such as diabetes, then addressed with medication and monitoring. Symptom patterns that may indicate acid reflux or hypertension are addressed. All women receive timely pap smears and mammograms. Resources are made available for those needing dental work or vision services through local non-profit and county organizations.
Residential treatment effectively prepares participants for re-entry into productive community living. At recovery-appropriate stages, education, skill development, job training and readiness and employment search are initiated. These are vital components to each participants plan for independent living.
However, probably the most meaningful orientation participants receive in CRI-HELP's programs is the thorough introduction to 12-step programs, including Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. One's routine involvement in 12-step meetings, sponsorship and step work renders an identity of belonging, through which his or her newly initiated recovery can thrive. All clients of CRI-HELP attend daily step study, maintain routine sponsor contact, and participate in community 12-step meetings seven days a week. Cri-Help, Inc. further coordinates a network of alumni and community volunteers who support clients' recovery through mentorship activities including visiting them at the PFLEGER and SOCORRO facilities, transporting them to meetings and, if appropriate, sponsorship in 12-step programs.