Foundations – Atlanta
Atlanta is home to a world-class botanical garden, a stunning Civil War museum and a zoo full of giant pandas. The city also plays host to a unique and effective outpatient addiction treatment program. Foundations Atlanta has four convenient locations that offers intensive treatment to people with addictions and co-occurring mental illnesses. Visit FoundationsAtlanta.com for more location information.
At the core of the Foundations Atlanta model is the belief that addiction is a disease. It’s an assertion most experts in the field of addiction agree with fully. For example, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that relapse rates for drug addiction are similar to those experienced by people with chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure. Just as no one would blame people for those medical conditions, Foundations Atlanta believes that people with addictions shouldn’t be shamed or blamed for the problems they face.
Instead, they must learn how to manage their chronic conditions for the rest of their lives, learning how to keep symptoms under control while they go about their day-to-day activities. This belief pervades the treatment offered at Foundations Atlanta, and it can help people heal from their addictions without enduring trauma in the process. People who get help here feel supported and respected rather than judged or attacked.
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Dual Diagnosis Focus
Some cases of addiction may be the result, at least in part, of genetic or environmental factors. Other cases of addiction, however, spring to life due to underlying mental health conditions. The chemical imbalances these conditions cause can leave people vulnerable to the effects of drugs and alcohol, and the pleasant sensations the substances bring about can provide a temporary sense of relief from the very real pain of an (often undiagnosed) mental illness. Those who suffer from co-occurring addictions and mental illnesses can get better, but they often need very specialized help. In fact, according to an article in the journal Addiction, people like this who participate in a program that provides explicit dual diagnosis care cope better and participate in treatment more thoroughly than people who participate in standard addiction programs. The specialized help really can make a difference.
Foundations Atlanta provides structured care for people battling a drug or alcohol addiction along with a mental health issue. Therapy sessions provide education on both topics, and clients are encouraged to develop skills that can help them to keep both conditions under control. For some clients, specific therapy techniques are used in order to deal with a mental illness issue. Clients with post-traumatic stress disorder, for example, might undergo exposure therapy, so they can process their fears without leaning on drugs. Other clients may obtain pharmacological support, so they can correct the chemical imbalances that make them more susceptible to addiction. This customized approach that respects and addresses both addiction and mental illness can be an amazing help to people with a dual diagnosis.
Some addictive drugs can cause physical discomfort when people attempt to stop using them, including:
- Muscle cramps
- Tearing eyes
The use of certain drugs can cause psychological distress, including anxiety and depression, while other put users at risk of life-threatening seizures when people attempt to stop cold-turkey without the supervision of a trained professional. Any or all of these complications could cause people to abuse drugs again in an attempt to resolve their symptoms. These same people might be leery of entering a hospital, however, as they may not want to leave their families or the comforts of home behind them.
For people like this, the ambulatory detox program at Foundations Atlanta can be a big help. Those who enroll in this program continue to live at home while receiving care, but they are monitored by consulting medical professionals through a series of appointments, and medications are sometimes used to soothe discomfort. This approach allows people to achieve sobriety safely, all while keeping close ties with home.
Intensive Outpatient Programs
When detoxification is complete, the next phase of treatment can begin. Here, people learn more about how to maintain their sobriety throughout the rest of their lives, and the Intensive Outpatient Program provided at Foundations Atlanta can help people to learn and grow in a controlled and supportive environment.
The outpatient program is designed to allow participants to move from more intensive care to a more moderate program. Throughout the process patients participate in individual therapy, group therapy, drug screening and holistic offerings. The program also attempts to link people with community programs that can help them to find jobs, complete their education and more. It’s hard work, but it can be very rewarding, and the knowledge gained – about addiction and themselves — is invaluable.
Length of stay in an intensive outpatient program is a factor in determining long-term success. While it’s tempting to try to get through treatment as quickly as possible, this type of life change can’t be rushed. Fortunately, the surroundings at Foundations Atlanta are comfortable and warm, with the staff creating a safe, supportive environment where patients feel cared for and encouraged to heal. This ensures that each individual gets the most out of their participation in outpatient care and has the greatest chance of achieving lifelong sobriety.
The care provided at Foundations Atlanta is based on sound scientific principles, and therapy sessions are provided by trained mental health professionals. The work done in these sessions is intensely valuable to long-term healing, but sometimes people need more than talk therapy and medications in order to recover. They may also have deep psychic scars that need to be addressed or they may need to reconnect with their bodies after a period of abuse or neglecting their health. The holistic care provided at Foundations Atlanta is designed to do just that.
Holistic approaches allow people to step away from formal therapy and engage in treatments aimed at both the mind and body. Meditation, yoga and massage can allow people to relax naturally, while experiential methods like kayaking and adventure therapy help people discover new ways to experience joy in life without chemical enhancement. These methods may sound more like recreation than therapy, but they can be vital for people who need to heal. For example, in a study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, experts found that feelings of tension, depression and anger were reduced in people who took tai chi lessons. These are the sorts of negative feelings that can cause a boost in cravings for addictive drugs. An activity like tai chi or yoga can allow patients to learn to regulate their moods naturally, lowering the risk of a relapse. Studies like this demonstrate why holistic care is such an important part of the services provided at Foundations Atlanta.
Some holistic treatment offerings can help those who suffer from chronic pain. Ongoing medical conditions can lead individuals to use or abuse very strong narcotic drugs, and when these drugs are gone, the lingering pain can serve as a trigger for substance abuse and addiction. At Foundations Atlanta, the treatment team works hard to develop a comprehensive pain management program that can be used to bring relief when the holistic care program doesn’t provide quite enough assistance. Any and all options are on the table when it comes to pain management in this program.
Some patients at Foundations Atlanta may develop new pain during treatment, from a dental procedure or a new injury, for example. The administrators of the pain management program can work with these patients too, helping to relieve discomfort without jeopardizing recovery, imparting lessons that can help clients learn how to manage their pain properly in the future.
In addition to all of the components mentioned above, Foundations Atlanta also provides:
- Individual assessments at the beginning of treatment, so the care team can identify any roadblocks to a full recovery
- Intervention assistance for families that aren’t sure how to motivate a loved one to accept the help a program can provide
- Partial hospitalization for clients who need a little more monitoring
All of these additional components of care can allow experts to build a customized treatment program that can bring about real relief.
If you have questions about how treatment works at Foundations Atlanta, please call us. We can expand on any of the topics outlined above, and we can help you to determine if this is the right program for you. If it’s not, we’ll gladly help you find other options to better meet your needs. Call us today to find out more.