Maryland Addiction Recovery Center: A Snapshot
In the midst of the nation’s current addiction crisis and a number of recent news stories detailing the failings of addiction treatment due to the actions of several unscrupulous operators nationwide, we here at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center felt necessary to clarify some information about us. Who is MARC? What is our clinical philosophy? What programs do we offer? What do we believe is the most effective approach to combating addiction through treatment and recovery services?
Who is Maryland Addiction Recovery Center?
MARC is a dual diagnosis addiction treatment center. We are made up of our management team, seven full time Master’s level therapists (including our clinical director), three admissions staff, our medical team that includes our psychiatrist and nurse practitioner, a medical services coordinator, 16 residential mangers and a holistic services staff that includes a personal trainer and yoga instructor. MARC offers two (2) comprehensive programs: The first is a long-term extended care residential model of treatment that is able to be accessed by patients nationwide. Our residential extended care program is a long-term, clinically-driven model that includes a continuum of care that lasts between 6 to 9 months (or longer) and has patients stepping down through less intensive levels of clinical care as they begin to reenter regular living through higher education or the workforce while still in a treatment environment. The extended care residential program is typically the next step for patients after completing a traditional 28 day residential or inpatient program but can also act as initial treatment for patients after a detox that have been to multiple residential programs previously and are more appropriate for and in need of our long-term community integration type of treatment model. The second program is a comprehensive intensive outpatient program (IOP) for local Maryland residents appropriate for that level of care. The MARC IOP program can be appropriate as treatment for certain patients dealing with substance use disorder or dual diagnosis issues or can also be appropriate for patients leaving an inpatient level of care in need of further treatment returning to their homes, families and careers in the Maryland area. We offer day and evening IOP programs and each one includes weekly individual therapy sessions, group therapy, family therapy and psychiatric services.
MARC Clinical Philosophy
We recognize addiction as a chronic, progressive illness that requires long-term treatment in order to achieve sustainable recovery. MARC recognizes that simple, traditional treatment and interventions may not be the answer for all patients and therefore a treatment program must be developed that is comprehensive and robust in order to meet the individual needs of patients and families. Addiction is not simply substance use but rather it stems from underlying causes and conditions that in turn drive behaviors, attitudes, self-esteem, emotional regulation, situational and environmental reactions and the way an individual sees themselves and their place in the world. Therefore, we address and treat addiction not simply by educating patients on substances but more so by addressing underlying causes and conditions, mental health issues, family systems, trauma, gender and sexual identification issues, attitude, behaviors, life skills and motivation and purpose. This is done through a framework of challenging patients and their pathologies through creative clinical interventions in order to give them a corrective experience and set them up for a path of success in recovery and a new outlook on themselves, their relationships, their purpose and their place in the world. Family involvement throughout the treatment process is vital in order to support the family unit, restructure unhealthy family coping mechanisms and dependencies, aid them in their own recovery journey and move the system from a state of dependence to a healthy system based on interdependence.
Effective Approach to Addiction Treatment
We believe that longer-term treatment equates to better results and recovery outcomes. We define “recovery outcomes” and “success” not simply as sobriety but rather quality of life. This is done through a long-term model where all decision-making is done in the best interest of the patient and patients move through the continuum based on their own individual clinical progress. We do not believe in “time frames” or “time restrictions.” Nothing is done by time. There is nothing magical that happens in addiction treatment after “30 days” or after a “12 week program” or “90 days.” Evidence supports the belief that 90 days is the minimum time frame that a patient suffering from substance use disorder should be engaged in treatment in order for their brain to heal. Again, this is the MINIMUM amount of time, according to research. However, as treatment cannot be a “one size fits all” approach, the fact remains that different patients are in need of different approaches and time frames. So all progress made in our programs are individually based on a patient’s needs and progress.
We also believe that family involvement in treatment in order to address, treat and reconstruct the family system is vital for successful addiction treatment of the identified patient. Therefore, a patient’s family is regularly involved in a patient’s treatment throughout the entire treatment stay (from post-admission through discharge and even afterwards), including treatment sessions, family sessions, phone calls, coaching, support and referrals to outside providers that may be able to help the family unit on additional issues they may be dealing with and are in further need of help. We believe a family system finding help and healing gives the addicted patient a higher chance of success and therefore we support and coach every family to enter on their own recovery journey. To supplement the family work done here at MARC, we often collaborate with outside therapists, psychiatrists and other practitioners that work directly with the family members of a patient as well as offer a free parent support group in conjunction with Caron Treatment Centers (www.caron.org) that meets weekly.
Knowing that addiction impacts every aspect of an individual’s entire life and that addiction is not simply about substance abuse, we believe and incorporate several approaches to treat the mind, body, spirit as well as necessary life skills building and purpose. First, our clinical approach is created through individual, group and family therapy sessions, psychiatrist and medical sessions and holistic services including neurofeedback, yoga and group fitness. All group therapy is process-oriented so videos and lectures are not a cornerstone of the program. We believe in treating underlying issues that fuel addiction. We also offer a closed Grief and Loss group curriculum with the same patients being part of the group throughout the curriculum.
We incorporate psychotropic medications and other Medically-Assistant Treatment (MAT) therapies such as Vivitrol, Naloxone and Suboxone (only for outpatient basis on an opioid detox protocol) for those appropriate patients that need them in conjunction with treatment. We believe making an accurate diagnosis of mental health issues is key for all addiction patients (many of whom have never been correctly diagnosed due to being on substances) and thus a long-term model supports the time needed to baseline patients and then make an accurate diagnosis and treat appropriately once their brains and bodies are substance free. We have seen many young adult patients dealing with issues of entitlement, lack of motivation and life skills and that fall into the category of “failure to launch” so all patients, based on clinical progress, enter into our Vocational Program (a college/vocational/work reentry program) where they are taught necessary skills such as appropriate dress and behavior, resume building, mock interviewing, college search and application prep and then go out and apply to schools or jobs. They begin working or going back to school while still in treatment, so that they learn how to deal with new situations, stressors, responsibilities and issues in a safe clinical setting. Finally, we believe that community integration is necessary for patients in treatment, so they are given freedoms like passes with sober supports in order to go out into the community and apply the tools they have learned in treatment and are able to come back and process them with the MARC clinical team. Additionally, they are taken out to recovery meetings, social events, and team building activities as well as taken grocery shopping weekly in order to learn budgeting, cooking and cleaning that is supported and addressed with their primary therapist and the residential staff. Addiction recovery is a learning process, so we believe in giving patients enough freedom to go out and learn, make mistakes, stumble and succeed while still supported by a safe, comprehensive clinical environment. This treatment model, applied while in a real life setting, is both a good barometer of progress and great practice for the normal issues and behaviors of life that can often precipitate a relapse. Therefore, when a patient is ready to discharge from treatment, they have already dealt with stressful or dangerous situations and learned necessary coping skills. Again, a patient’s family is involved throughout the entire treatment process so that they may also learn how to support their loved one and set healthy boundaries that the entire family unit may ultimately move from a state of dependence to a state of interdependence.
A few more things…
As a whole, we believe patients and families deserve better than what many have experienced when seeking help for addiction. For far too long many treatment centers have taken a “heads-in-beds” approach, working only to get a patient through the door then neglecting their family and making aftercare an afterthought. Not working with other treatment centers or providers and taking any patient into a facility, regardless how clinically appropriate or inappropriate they may be. This has to stop. Additionally, we believe it is the roll of a treatment provider to make sure that anyone that calls looking for help is given the time and resources so that they may access treatment, regardless of their available resources. Yes, unfortunately we know that the more resources a person or family has will allow them greater access to care. This is just the way it is, no matter how unfair. However, that does not mean that someone calling for help should be dismissed because they have no resources, do not have insurance or only have state insurance. We believe it is then the job of a treatment center to spend time with that person and find them necessary resources. Not an outdated SAMSHA list but really take the time to learn about that person, their situation, their struggles and then to make a proper referral. This comes by both local and nationwide provider relationships.
Finally, we do not believe in cutting off access to treatment because a patient’s insurance company decides to cover only a certain number of days. We believe that if a patient or family calls a 30 day residential facility and are told the program is 30 days then it should be 30 days regardless of what that treatment center gets reimbursed by the insurance company. If the insurance company authorizes 17 days it is then the duty of the treatment provider to figure out how the patient will get the 30 days they were promised. Discharging patients after two weeks is unethical and must stop! We believe in standing behind who you say you are and what you say you will do, in telling parents and families and patients up front what all costs are, what the expectations are of both us as the treatment center and the patient and then holding to that. For far too long our communities have suffered at the half-measures and unethical behaviors of the addiction treatment industry. We believe that addiction treatment as an industry should be a leader in stemming our nation’s current addiction pandemic and not taking advantage of patients and families in crisis. We believe this simply because it’s the right thing to do.
If you or someone you know is in need of help because of drug and/or alcohol abuse or addiction, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at Contact us today. For more information on all of our drug addiction and alcohol addiction services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.
About the Author