Magazine article Addiction Professional

A Day Pass Is Not a Break from Recovery

Magazine article Addiction Professional

A Day Pass Is Not a Break from Recovery

Article excerpt

Patients in the day-treatment level of care with on-site housing at Hazelden Springbrook in Oregon have the opportunity to receive day or weekend passes from the center, but these absences are no vacations from recovery work. Instead, they constitute an important component of treatment and recovery planning, with predetermined goals and a highly structured schedule.

Clinical director Heidi Wallace says of the "therapeutic pass" opportunity, "I'm a really big fan of it."

An approach worth replicating

I first heard of this model as one of Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's strategies toward becoming a recovery organization--the topic of the opening keynote of Addiction Professional's recent summit on continuing care in Anaheim, Calif. It looks to be an approach worth replicating.

Nearly all of Hazelden Springbrook's day-treatment patients moved into that level of care from residential, where they would not have had the same chance to leave the premises. In day treatment, they have demonstrated the ability to progress under less supervision, but that doesn't mean all requests for therapeutic passes are rubber-stamped with approvals. Each patient seeking to be away for one or several days must state the intended goals of the off-site experience.

"We ask them, 'What are the recovery-focused activities they'll be participating in? What times will these take place? What [12-Step] meetings will they attend?"' says Wallace.

In another important element of the therapeutic pass, Hazelden Springbrook patients complete a self-assessment of their level of risk for relapse, overdose and other potential adverse outcomes. …

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