SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., Jan. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Sovereign Health, a national behavioral health system, announces a new editorial in the Los Angeles Times from Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Tonmoy Sharma. The editorial, "Why the hard work starts on the day you finish rehab," focuses on long-term recovery management for patients following the completion of an addiction treatment program. To read the full article, click here.
As noted in the editorial, acute care for addiction without long-term recovery management is doomed to fail, according to Dr. Sharma. "Addiction is a chronic, relapsing, remitting illness, but it's treated with episodic care," he said. Treating addiction "like an infection that can be cured" keeps people from recovery and creates false expectations that treatment can be finished. Dr. Sharma advocates continuous care and monitoring for addiction, much as chronic conditions like asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes are managed.
Changing the care model for people with addiction begins with changing the way people talk about addiction, according to Dr. Sharma. "Do we say that a diabetic who has unstable blood sugar has relapsed? No. And if a diabetic has a piece of cake and his blood sugar gets out of control, he is not shamed." He added, "We need to get rid of the language of guilt and shame that makes people feel like they have failed. They haven't failed; their treatment has failed."
Dr. Sharma dismissed the notion that people with addiction can "graduate" or become "alumni" of addiction treatment programs. "Addicts need lifelong treatment," he said. "Terms like 'alumni' imply that it is over. [Recovery] is hard work, and it does not complete." He compared the end of a residential addiction treatment program to moving from the intensive care unit in a hospital to another floor. "It's only the beginning of a lifetime of recovery," he said.
Recovery management also includes active monitoring. There need to be "swift and certain consequences" when a patient either fails a random test or doesn't show up for one, notes Dr. Sharma. "We need to find out why they didn't come, what's happening, and then intervene quickly by bringing them in for a tune-up instead of waiting for them to hit rock bottom." As. Dr. Sharma explains, recovery management needs to be tailored to the individual, taking the person's job, home, family and sources of support into account.
About Sovereign Health
One factor that differentiates Sovereign from other treatment providers has been the company's ability to offer separate mental health and addiction or dual diagnosis treatment programs at its facilities. Patients seek the services of Sovereign Health to receive treatment for mental health issues, including trauma, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Sovereign also offers treatment for cognitive deficits and eating disorders. For more information, visit www.sovhealth.com.
SOURCE Sovereign Health