Even when it’s the right thing to do, calling a treatment center for yourself or your loved one can be scary. You’re calling a complete stranger to help you tackle one of your biggest problems- a problem that could cost you your life, or the life of your loved one.
What if the person on the other end of the line doesn’t understand? What if they judge you and your addiction? What if they try to force you into a treatment center?
While these fears are valid, they are often misguided.
“There are plenty of misconceptions about addiction treatment when people are calling in,” explains TJ Pass, corporate trainer and certified family interventionist at Vertava Health. “A lot of times people want to involuntarily commit their loved one, and that’s not what treatment is. Treatment isn’t prison, you’re not going to be locked up and you’re not going to be staying at a hospital. Everyone that’s on our campuses wants to be there.”
After breaking down some of the common misconceptions about addiction treatment, TJ goes on to explain what actually happens when someone calls an addiction treatment center looking for help.
Treatment Specialists Identify The Problem
“When the phone rings, we have to identify the situation and find out what the needs are,” says TJ. To do this, treatment specialists will ask a series of questions including:
- Are you calling in for yourself or a loved one?
- If you’re calling for a loved one, do they know that you’re making this call?
- Tell me what is going on?
- What has pushed you to call us today instead of last week?
- How long has this problem been going on?
“We spend a lot of time trying to understand the situation,” TJ mentions. “We do this so we’re able to make a good referral in order to maximize someone’s ability to overcome their addiction.”
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Treatment Specialist Find Out What Resources Are Available
Once a treatment specialist feel like they have a good idea of what’s going on with the person on the other end of the line, they’ll begin to uncover what financial resources are available to help the person calling in.
“We have to find out what financial resources the person on the other end of the line is working with,” says TJ. “Treatment centers can get kind of expensive, so is insurance going to be a factor in picking a program? How much money is available to help yourself or your loved one find treatment.”
While money might seem unimportant in the face of a disease like addiction, it’s large factor for many people seeking treatment for themselves of their loved one. This is why Vertava Health has a team dedicated to talking with insurance companies to determine what’s covered under insurance and advocate for the best possible coverage by the insurance provider. Regardless of finances, treatment specialists work with a large network of treatment providers to ensure that everyone calling in can receive help.
With the mental and emotional stress that addiction places on a family or individual, this is one less thing they’ll have to worry about when seeking treatment.
Treatment Specialist Get To Know The Prospective Client
“We’re really going to get to know them,” explains TJ. Treatment specialists will go through a handful of questions to dig deeper into the life of the person on the other end of the line. A treatment specialist wants to know things such as:
- What kind of legal problems are you facing?
- What type of detox symptoms are you having?
- What kind of prescriptions are you taking?
- Have you been to treatment before?
- What has or has not worked for you in the past?
“All of this information is taken before a treatment specialist will even mention a facility,” TJ remarks. “We do this because we want people to we’re here to help. We’re not a robot, we’re not reading off a script, we just want to find out what’s going on so we can give you your freedom back after addiction.”
Treatment Specialist Recommend A Treatment Facility
After a treatment specialist has made a connection and has a good understanding of the case, they are able to recommend a treatment facility based on all of the information they received.
“Look, I’m not going to send someone with mobility issues to our 80-acre campus when he could go to our 10-acre campus where everything is in close proximity and there’s an elevator,” TJ explains, “A recommendation also accounts for drug of choice. We have preferred programs for opioids versus stimulants.”
Once a recommendation has been made, things can move pretty quickly. TJ has seen clients call in and be on their way to treatment in as little as three hours, but this isn’t the norm.
“The majority of people that end up going to treatment will be on their way to one of our campuses of another facility within 24 hours,” he explains. “Very rarely is it longer than 48 hours.”
Treatment Specialist End A Phone Call With Compassion
“When we start to end a phone call, we want to make sure that we’ve made the connection. We have their phone number, they have our phone number, they know my name and they know that we’re going to be contacting them back within the hour once our team had taken a look at your pre-admission form,” says TJ.
He goes on to explain that getting someone into treatment is typically a two phone call process. Once a treatment specialist calls back, the hope is that the person on the other end of the line will be getting information about when and where they’ll be going to treatment.
However, this isn’t always the case. Not every phone call ends with someone in treatment. In fact, most phone calls don’t. At Vertava Health, treatment specialist only put a small percent of those who call into one of their campuses- but that doesn’t mean the caller hasn’t received help.
“To define the word help in our industry is very difficult. I can’t hang up the phone just because they didn’t go to our facility and say we didn’t help them,” TJ explains. “We treat everyone with the exact same compassion regardless of whether or not they go to treatment.”
But the job of a treatment specialist doesn’t always end after a phone call does. “The end of the phone call is never the end of our job. We might hold someone’s hand all the way through a different facility- it just depends on the connection that was made.”
Throughout each step of the process, TJ emphasizes the importance of connection. “We all understand the pain that goes along with this disease, and we can sympathize with it,” he explains briefly.
As someone living in recovery himself, TJ knows that this compassion and understanding can’t be taught. Instead, it comes from personal experience. “Every one of the treatment specialists in our admissions center has been directly affected by addiction, whether it be themselves or their loved one,” he mentions.
This personal connection to the disease of addiction make the treatment specialists at Vertava Health an easy shoulder to lean on, and an even better resource for those struggling.
“Before the phone rings, we have a mindset to help folks and a heart of compassion,” TJ finishes, “I promise we’ll find a solution together.”