Princeton, (PressExposure) September 29, 2008 -- The 19th Annual National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month in September shines a needed spotlight on the challenge of addiction as well as the treatment options that can transform lives, enhance recovery and generate hope.
One New Jersey treatment center, The Retreat at Princeton, (www.retreatatprinceton.org) is putting people on the road to recovery with an approach far different from traditional rehab programs. The Retreat at Princeton is located on the main campus of Princeton House Behavioral Health, a unit of Princeton HealthCare System.
While traditional programs rely almost exclusively on group therapy and strict adherence to the 12-Steps program of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), The Retreat utilizes a more broadly-based or integrated treatment approach. This model makes use not only of group therapy and AA meetings, but also intensive individual psychotherapy and other techniques to get at the core psychological issues underlying the addiction and motivate patients to make lasting change.
This innovative approach is getting results. A recently conducted study of patients who completed treatment at The Retreat showed a significant drop in drug and alcohol use together with substantial reductions in anxiety and depression.
Researchers evaluated Retreat patients at key times in the recovery process: once at the start of treatment, again upon discharge, three months later, and again at six months post-discharge. Using standardized assessment tools for evaluating substance abuse treatment, the researchers gathered information about various areas of clients' lives, including physical health, drug and alcohol use, family/social relationships, and psychiatric problems.
Notably, at the three month and six month follow-up points, the study revealed a significant decrease in alcohol and drug use, as well as in each of the life areas typically related to substance use. The study also showed a significant decrease in symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Retreat Clinical Director Dr. Arnold M. Washton, PhD, said that the traditional inpatient rehab model, with its emphasis on group rather than individual counseling, was designed to serve large numbers of patients as efficiently as possible. While people can do quite well in that type of treatment, Dr. Washton said others require treatment that focuses not only on their addiction, but also on the psychological and emotional issues intertwined with their addiction in order to avoid relapsing over the long term.
Accordingly, The Retreat is designed around the philosophy that the key to successful treatment is getting patients to address the psychological conflicts and other longstanding issues that are intertwined with their addictions in a personalized, sophisticated treatment program with a range of therapeutic options, including individual psychotherapy, group therapy, medication, professional coaching, and family counseling.
âWe view substance abuse as a self-medication problem. People who develop problems with alcohol and drugs are using these substances as coping tools,â said Dr. Washton. âThe Retreat gives people an opportunity not only to stop their substance use, but also to see what those underlying issues are and to practice new coping skills that will make relapse less likely.â
The Retreat offers an excellent value for its customized, intensive treatment. In addition, The Retreat's new, short-term inpatient option is now covered by many types of insurance â a recent development that is expanding access to treatment to greater numbers of people.
In the year since it was established in a 14-bed wing of Princeton House in Princeton Township, The Retreat has attracted patients both locally and nationally. Patients have attended the program from outside the tri-state area, including Maine, North Carolina and California. Not only geographically diverse, Retreat patients also come from many walks of life: corporate CEOs and clergy members, stay-at-home moms and carpenters, college students and healthcare professionals. These adults all share one thing in common -- if it werenât for chemical dependency, they would otherwise be functioning in their daily lives.
Another unique feature of the program is its degree of medical oversight. The Retreat's affiliation with Princeton HealthCare System's University Medical Center at Princeton enables the program to serve people whose addictions are accompanied by other co-occurring medical problems that require ongoing attention.
About Princeton House Behavioral Health and Princeton HealthCare System Princeton House Behavioral Health is the behavioral health unit of Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS), a leading provider of healthcare services. A respected nonprofit, community teaching system, PHCS offers compassionate care supported by advanced technologies and an outstanding medical staff. Over 99% of our physicians have achieved board certification, the hallmark of professional excellence. Through our affiliations with academic institutions, we are setting new standards in diagnostic and treatment protocols and achieving successful clinical outcomes for our patients. Princeton HealthCare System is Redefining Care through our commitment to delivering an exceptional level of clinical care and individualized caring for each and every patient. Visit us at http://www.princetonhcs.org and http://www.princetonhcs.org/princetonhouse.