The Fresh Start Program

The Fresh Start Treatment Program is unique in that it offers a high level of treatment combined with therapy approaches in an outpatient setting. This allows our clients to address their life responsibilities such as employment and childcare while in treatment.

Because opiate addiction is life threatening, chronic, and resilient, we use an intensive approach that includes weekly visits (group and/or individual psychotherapy, medication monitoring, and drug testing). During the induction phase, clients will see the physician more intensely and will begin individual psychotherapy in preparation for group therapy. In the induction/intake phase, clients will come twice per week. Once a comprehensive assessment is collected over multiple weeks, clients begin group therapy and are only required to come to WCC weekly. However, individual therapy can be provided on a second day as needed. Also, typically when clients have a setback of any significance, an individual session is set up to address this setback and to review the recovery plan for areas of vulnerability and to make modifications as needed. Our ability to respond clinically to setbacks allows us to avoid immediate referral of a client to a higher level of care. Our clients’ willingness to participate in additional treatment is a display of motivation for recovery, despite a setback.

The standard of care for treating opiate addiction is Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT). Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) combines therapy and medications to treat substance use disorders. At WCC, we do exactly that. We provide psychotherapy that routinely addresses a combination of addiction and mental health illnesses. Our team of highly trained physician, nurses, and counseling staff work in an integrated fashion to provide our clients with the comprehensive care that is required to achieve stabilization and then recovery.

As about half of our clients have some co-occurring mental health illness such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD. We carefully screen and treat our clients for these additional challenges.

We typically help clients progress from addressing the impact of their substance use on their life to making lifestyle changes to help regain frustration tolerance often lost with chronic opiate use. Because our end goal is total recovery, we support the pursuit of new life goals, as well as the development of social support systems. While medication is a key part of early recovery, we work collaboratively with our clients to meet their recovery goals in their Person Centered Recovery Plan (PCRP).

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Fresh Start Treatment Model

We use best practices such as Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Medication-Assisted Treatment such as Buprenorphine (Suboxone) to address the complexity of a client’s opiate addiction. These approaches have solid scientific support for treatment of addiction. They are easily adapted by clients and fit well with social support programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and SMART Recovery. At the Center for Compassionate Recovery, each client is assigned a treatment team to address a combination of addiction and mental health illnesses. Our team of highly trained physicians, APRNs, and psychologists work in an integrated fashion to provide our clients with the comprehensive care that is required to achieve stabilization and then recovery. As about half of our clients have some co-occurring mental health illness such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or ADD / ADHD, we carefully screen and treat our clients for these additional challenges. We help them address the impact their substance use has on their lives, and we empower them to make necessary lifestyle changes that will reflect the recovery they seek. Our end goal is total recovery and therefore we support the pursuit of new life goals as a core part of long-term recovery and development of positive social support systems. To accomplish our goals we use the following treatment practices:

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Person-Centered Recovery Plan

The PCRP is a method of developing and monitoring recovery goals specific to an individual client. These goals are developed out of the assessment process and are a collaboration between treatment team and client. Goals are linked to life ambitions to reinforce the connection between recovery and obtaining a desired quality of life. This approach furthers long term motivation beyond simply a fear of consequences related to use, typically found in early recovery.

PCRP’s are used routinely in individual and group therapy as “living, breathing documents”, not perfunctory paperwork and not cookie cutter in nature. This PCRP drives the care offered at WCC.

The single greatest tool at our disposal in the fight against addiction is the therapeutic relationship we foster with our clients. The culture at WCC is one of open honesty and we are free of judgment or punitive approaches. A relapse means we work harder work on the Person Centered Recovery Plan to avoid future setbacks. Clients are encouraged to talk openly in group psychotherapy and individual psychotherapy about any setbacks. Recovery plans are shared openly in group and there is trust and caring in the group process.

Individual Psychotherapy

All clients begin with individual sessions with our counseling staff, at which time a full psychological evaluation is complete. This helps us determine any underlying issues that may be fueling their addiction. It also helps us determine who the support systems are for the client and how they can be a part of the treatment process here at WCC as well as in their personal lives. Individual therapy is provided to address addiction and mental health disorders. We do a multi-session assessment to create a clinical formulation aimed at helping us understand the interdependent nature of addiction and mental health symptoms. We work collaboratively with our clients to determine any underlying issues that may be fueling their addiction and then work on solutions for recovery. Individual therapy is offered as a routine component of the program, based on clients’ needs and wants. It is also provided for those in times of distress.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a type of psycho-therapeutic treatment that helps patients understand the thoughts and feelings that influence behaviors. CBT is commonly used to treat a wide range of disorders including phobias, addictions, depression, and anxiety.

Cognitive behavior therapy is generally short-term and focused on helping clients deal with a very specific problem. During the course of treatment, people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behavior and emotions.

Groups are at the heart of the clinical model of the Fresh Start Program. Group culture is developed to allow open, honest, caring, and meaningful exchanges. Many clients with long term sobriety provide ideal examples of hope for new clients. Clients faced with setbacks may have already seen another group member go through this process and their coping skills help overcome this challenge. They draw strength from this process and no longer feel they are alone. Shame and guilt act as barriers to recovery. Practicing open discussions in groups helps alleviate the inner dialogue of shame and guilt. It also reinforces positive behavior that becomes a goal throughout the recovery process and beyond. With peer and clinical group support, a setback does not have to become a full-blown relapse. Members share their recovery plans in groups and gain personal insight from each other’s recovery process.

Medication Assisted Therapy

The standard of care for treating opiate addiction is Medication-Assisted Therapy such as with Buprenorphine (Suboxone). Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) combines therapy and medication to treat substance abuse disorders. While medication is a key part of early recovery, we work collaboratively with our clients to meet their recovery goals in their Person Centered Recovery Plan (PCRP). As goals are reached, this is a signal to begin tapering until discontinuation of Medication Assisted Therapy. Please see our Suboxone page for more information about Suboxone.

Your first induction appointment with the medical staff will review your health history, your usage history, and current presenting issues around addiction. After determining what dosage of Suboxone is most beneficial to you, the doctor will prepare a prescription that you will fill at our local CVS. You are required to bring the prescription back to our office so that we can administer your first dosage and monitor your first hour after taking it. Afterward, you will be required to attend weekly medication management appointments with medical staff. WCC does not write prescriptions for longer than a week at a time, so it is crucial that our clients adhere to their medication and therapy schedules each week.

Toxicology Screening

You will be required to provide weekly urine samples for review. We use weekly drug testing via in house urinalysis instant cups and laboratory analysis. We also randomly use mouth swabs as a secondary method for checking the accuracy of the urinalysis screening.