What is Integrated Care Addiction Treatment?
Integrated care addiction treatment is a coordinated approach to healing multiple diagnoses. Through it, a patient can receive care for their whole person—body and mind—which helps achieve better outcomes for addiction treatment. Without integrated care, some patients have been shown to be more likely to relapse or end treatment.
Many people suffering from addiction also endure co-occurring disorders that require mental health and often medical intervention. The presence of more than one mental health disorder or medical problem can make the treatment of addiction more complex. Integrated care has emerged to handle these complications.
Because addiction treatment becomes tangled by multiple mental and physical concerns, the outcomes are poorer without integrated care. Before what you’ll see is a comprehensive approach, patients needed separate health systems to care for their body, their mind, and their addiction.
Integrated care for addiction is proving more effective, and addiction treatment centers have started to recognize the downfall of separate health systems for helping patients. Nevertheless, many still rely on multiple clinics and hospitals to treat those with co-occurring diagnoses and conditions. Indiana Center for Recovery, however, uses the proven integrated care model.
Dual Diagnosis, CODs, and Addiction
A crucial component in treating addiction is understanding that the person could be carrying the weight of addiction as well as mental health or medical issues. Some professionals see those suffering from depression coping with drugs or alcohol, and they may see the same with another patient who has anxiety, PTSD, or chronic pain.
More than that, dual diagnoses for people with addiction can appear in a huge number of possible combinations. When it comes to mental health, conditions often fall into common categories: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, and eating disorders. Other categories exist, such as psychotic disorders, but some are more likely to co-occur with addiction.
In truth, addiction combined with a co-occurring diagnosis (COD) is far more common than people realize. Statistically, a significant number of people with a substance use disorder (SUD) also have a mental health condition. Despite how common it is, dual diagnosis remains a relatively new consideration.
Recovery and addiction treatment centers that before helped only mental health, only medical, or only addiction conditions must now rethink their approach. Research tells them that the traditional method is insufficient for those who experience multiple disorders. Indiana Center for Recovery follows an evidence-based integrated model.
Why Does Integrated Care Work?
Each year, our knowledge of addiction builds as we see how it affects the brain and the body in specific, predictable ways. As this data has grown, scientists, doctors, and clinicians see that mental health and substance abuse are closely enmeshed. One is often the cause of the other.
Seeing this, the collaborative care model becomes intuitive: a person needs to be healed of both their addiction and treated for their mental health issue at the same time. Without this coordinated effort, there is a lower success rate for keeping patients sober and safe from relapse during recovery.
Reports often show that only a small percentage of those with a dual diagnosis are treated with an integrated model for both conditions. This is a huge concern that integrated care addresses at providers like Indiana Center for Recovery to promote permanent recovery. The approach is backed by hard, scientific evidence.
The Science of Integrated Care for Addiction Treatment
According to SAMHSA, 9.8 million people needed the help of an integrated care model from being diagnosed with a mental illness as well as a substance use disorder as recently as 2018. Today, with growing numbers of people diagnosed with an addiction-related disorder, we need systems of treatment that work. Here is what the Surgeon General and prominent researchers have to say about its effectiveness.
Integration beats the alternatives.
Healthcare systems with a traditional structure (separating care) create obstacles to treating patients effectively, especially those with interacting and interwoven conditions. More facilities that integrate care like Indiana Center for Recovery are needed to treat substance use disorders.
Integration helps each diagnosis.
Both the treatment of addiction and mental illness are enhanced by integrating systems of care like screening, medication, assessment, and interventions. Evidence shows that because both or all the conditions interact in a way that impacts health. Integrated care helps address these complex relationships and improve the outcome of addiction treatment.
Integration opens treatment access.
Sometimes, someone with a substance use disorder will enter a healthcare system for other reasons than because they have a problem with drugs or alcohol. They do not fully intend to heal themselves totally for personal reasons, but integration can help discover, encourage, and assist these people with easy, simplified access to care.
Authorities like the Surgeon General are calling for more coordinated care because of the prevalence of addiction. There is an urgent need for healthcare systems—especially general, popular centers—to interact with specialty addiction treatment organizations, especially if recovery services are unavailable from within.
Integration increases recovery quality.
In states and counties where integrated care exists, scientific data shows that the effectiveness and efficiency of treatment are improved in mainstream healthcare systems that use an integrated model. With the improved quality of care as well, centers and practices are moving toward extending their treatments to address substance use.
Integration is more attainable.
With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other legislation, insurance coverage for mental illness and substance use disorders has become stronger and more inclusive. Some of the requirements of these new federal policies mean that insurers must cover substance use disorders in many cases—and, this comes alongside their mental health and medical coverage.
In effect, the ACA has made it more possible for those suffering from addiction and mental or medical illness to attain total treatment without insurance obstacles. Since costs can keep otherwise willing, needful individuals from getting help, these changes represent an acceptance of integrated care addiction treatment.
Integration personalizes patient care.
Integrated care places high standards on organizations and centers to follow for successful dual diagnosis and addiction treatment. They must coordinate clinicians, screeners, administration, psychiatrists, nurses, and more to address the unique needs of each patient.
This means better chances for the person with a substance use disorder that may be fueled or exaggerated by the presence of another mental or physical condition. The greater success of integrated care addiction treatment comes from this personal approach and collaborative method.
How Does Integrated Care Work?
Integrated care is a team-centered treatment form. The group of treatment professionals assigned to each patient is led by a primary care provider (PCP). The team they lead includes all kinds of specialists including behavioral health managers, therapists, advocates, and psychiatrists.
Together, they create a plan for the patient with specific indicators of success for measurable, evidence-based treatment. In creating the plan, they use guidelines published by health authorities with best practices and procedures for approaching their clinical goals.
As they work through each measurable milestone of the plan, the integrated model holds professionals accountable to improve quality and secure better outcomes for those treated. To create the best outcome, it includes at least five elements of integrated care according to the APA.
With integrated care, primary providers and behavioral health professionals create shared plans according to the patient’s goals. While reaching these goals, patients are comforted by a consistent, familiar outpatient treatment location. The centered, shared approach creates better engagement and, therefore, better outcomes to treatment.
Patients who enter a traditional facility—for substance abuse, mental illness, or medical issues—are less likely to maintain consistent participation. Without their participation, residential treatment fails and outpatient treatment stops. But, coordinated teams keep the patient within a secure net of care that promotes their recovery and motivates them to help themselves as well.
Integrated care teams watch patient progress and engagement carefully to make sure that patients don’t start to slip back into relapse. By tracking and engaging patients who might be at risk, they help to keep you on the road to recovery. Both medical professionals and behavioral health specialists can address stalled healing.
In the traditional model, patients who lost engagement with their treatment and fell into problematic behaviors like alcohol abuse and opioid dependency may have done so because of the healthcare system’s design. Isolated treatments and lack of coordination can open the door to addiction’s grip.
Goals shape the residential stay or outpatient treatment plan for each patient with a substance use disorder and possibly another mental health concern. These goals are made measurable by choosing specific indicators of treatment progress. Specific tools help practices and specialists to analyze clinical reports on each patient’s activity.
When patients are actively progressing and changing as a result of EMDR therapy, for example, plans and interventions will proceed in a consistent direction while improvement continues. Otherwise, when patients show no improvement, a lack of engagement, or relapse indicators, plans are re-evaluated by the team to correct the course of treatment.
The integrated and collaborative model of addiction treatment is evidence-based. Credible researchers, respected authorities, and treatment experts direct care teams toward the most effective therapies for patients. They select the right clinical tools to approach and heal every condition presented.
Because integrated treatment focuses on the measurable and the proven, patients see more improvement in a shorter amount of time. As scientific evidence on addiction treatments builds, integrated care will gain more methods for helping people overcome their addictions, manage their illnesses, and heal their ailments.
In some cases, providers are rewarded simply for the number of patients or treatments they provide over a set period. This approach to evaluating a doctor, center, or healthcare institution encourages facilities and practices to see as many people as possible without emphasis on the quality of their care. Integrated care measures its success for patients much differently.
The integrated model demands that teams are assigned unique, accountable roles to play in the course of addiction treatment. Beyond this, care centers on the patient’s goals for recovery, and these goals strategically set the indicators of successful treatment. These indicators are continually tracked and developed alongside the patient’s progress. In other words, quality control is built into the integrated model.
How Does Integrated Care Help?
Integrated care models for addiction treatment improve your access to treatment, boost the outcomes of that treatment, and increase satisfaction with the experience. Practices and patients alike wish to enjoy this optimal form of treating people who, just like anyone, have a personal and complex health profile.
Integrated care attracts them because the coordinated, collaborative model has far-reaching and interconnected advantages over the traditional alternative. Patients are less concerned about stigma, more likely to stay focused on health, and almost surely going to feel more relief when the burdens of illness lift after each therapy.
Treating Causes and Avoiding Relapse
For substance use disorders and addiction specifically, integrated care is more likely to address the primary and contributing causes of the compulsive use of drugs or alcohol. Just as EMDR and talk therapies seek to find the core of the addiction’s symptoms, integrated care seeks to heal those causes with medical and mental interventions.
The conventional model asks providers to only consider the conditions in their range. It doesn’t involve observing how illnesses and conditions affect each other. That means that despite effective therapies in one area, another area may cause setbacks.
The pains of trying everything without any lasting sobriety can beat down even the most motivated patient. You can heal the causes and effects of a substance use disorder or addiction with integrated care because the care team keeps you going. In effect, your recovery becomes a coordinated effort. Everyone is invested.
Create Well-Being and Heal Addiction
You might suffer from addiction. Someone you love may suffer from addiction. Part of that suffering may stem from how healthcare systems, therapists, and psychiatrists have failed to integrate your care. They left you behind and let addiction back in.
Unlike these disconnected treatments, Indiana Center for Recovery offers a complete system for treating addiction and other conditions. Discover the importance of caring for the whole person, and contact us at (844) 650-0064.
Let’s get you or a loved one help with a few simple steps.