Addiction is a chronic, progressive disease that should be treated as soon as possible. It may seem manageable at first, but substance use disorders can get out of control quickly. As a substance use disorder grows, it can take over multiple aspects of your life, including your physical and mental health, relationships, and finances. Since addiction can come with serious consequences, it’s important to address it quickly.

Treatment must be readily available when you need it for it to be effective, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends. California Highlands Vistas’ goal is to get you into a treatment program within 24 hours of your decision so that you can begin your recovery. However, taking the first steps in addiction treatment can be intimidating.

What is involved in the admissions process? What can you accept from your first few days in addiction treatment? What should you bring? We understand that you may have a lot of questions, so we will answer some of them here.

When you start treatment, you’ll go through an intake and assessment process that helps you find the right treatment approach for your needs. The first steps in treatment are important for forming a recovery plan that’s designed to address your specific needs. You can learn more about the admissions process and what treatment will be like. We’ll also cover paying for treatment and navigating insurance coverage.

How Does Treatment Begin?

One of the hallmarks of substance use disorders is denial. Even as the disease creates problems in your life, you may struggle to see that you have a problem. In many cases, friends and family members urge a loved one to get help before the addicted person believes they need it. But whether you realize you need help or if you seek it out to appease loved ones, you may start in several ways. You can start treatment by speaking to your doctor, talking to a therapist, or contacting a treatment center directly. Talking to a professional can give you some direction as to the level of care you might need and what your first steps in addiction treatment will look like.

Treatment Usually Begins with an Assessment Process

If you’ve been in active addiction, you may need to start your treatment with a medical assessment. Addiction can lead to medical complications. For instance, many people who enter treatment for substance use problems are malnourished. Chemical dependence can cause medical complications, too. Drugs like alcohol and depressants can be dangerous during withdrawal. Opioids can cause extremely unpleasant flu-like symptoms.

Addiction treatment isn’t only medical; it’s a holistic process that addresses multidimensional needs. During your first steps in addiction treatment, you may go through a biopsychosocial assessment. This assessment usually involves an hour-long conversation with a clinician that’s intended to determine your biological, psychological, and social needs. Substance use problems often come with mental health problems that need to be addressed during treatment.

In the early stages of addiction treatment, you’ll make a personalized addiction treatment plan with the help of medical or clinical staff. Each week, you’ll meet with your therapist to assess your treatment plan and how you are progressing through it.

Ideally, you will begin treatment with a treatment plan within 24 hours of seeking help for a substance use problem. However, in some cases, it may take longer, especially if you go through federally funded treatment programs.

What to Bring to Treatment

California Highlands Vistas provides inpatient treatment, which means you will need to prepare for a trip by packing certain items like clothes and toiletries. Through inpatient treatment, many of your needs will be taken care of as part of your treatment program, but you will need some things from home. Plus, you will be able to bring some personal comforts with you. There are also several items you should not bring to treatment, especially anything that may threaten the safety or sobriety of the people around you.

Of course, you will need to bring clothes, and you’ll need enough for one week. Even if you stay longer, your clothes can be laundered throughout your stay. You will also need toiletries and personal items needed for daily hygiene. In high levels of care, you will receive round-the-clock medical treatment. But in lower levels of inpatient and residential treatment, you may want to bring a book or a magazine or other personal entertainment you can enjoy in your downtime.

As you’re preparing to come to treatment, you may speak with the admissions team members at California Highlands Vistas. They can help you prepare for treatment and make sure you have everything you need to take your first steps into addiction treatment.

What Should You Bring to Addiction Treatment?

When you’re preparing to enter addiction treatment, you’ll need to pack several items to bring with you. You will also need certain items for the admissions process and your travel to the facility. Other items will be necessary throughout your stay. If you are worried that you might be missing anything, feel free to call California Highlands Vistas to go through a checklist of things to bring.

Here are some items that you should have with you when you arrive at our facility:

  • Picture ID
  • Prescription card
  • Insurance information
  • Credit or debit card
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Contact information for your doctors or lawyers
  • Emergency contact information
  • Appropriate clothing
  • Cell phone
  • Journal
  • Reading material
  • Toiletries
  • Personal care items

California Highlands Vistas is in San Diego County, and it’s warm or temperate for most of the year. However, when you’re packing clothing, you should consider the time of year. Even in California, it can get chilly during the winter months, particularly at night, so you should pack comfortable clothing. Since recovery can be emotionally or mentally uncomfortable at times, you will want to feel physically comfortable in what you are wearing throughout the day.

You will need a credit or debit card during the admissions process, but you won’t need large amounts of cash. Inpatient treatment services should meet most, if not all, of your needs. When you have downtime, you may want to have personal items like reading material or a journal. Keep in mind that you will be sharing space with other people, and it’s important to bring reading material that’s appropriate.

What Should You Not Bring to Addiction Treatment?

While you’re going through addiction treatment, there are also some items you should leave at home and avoid bringing to treatment. Some prohibited items are apparent, like weapons, drugs, and alcohol. However, other items, like mouthwash, may be less obvious. Several typical household items and toiletries are sometimes used to achieve a high. These items may be more likely used by someone experiencing withdrawal and drug cravings.

Other prohibited items may make people uncomfortable, like lewd reading material or inappropriate clothing. It’s important to share space in treatment well. There are also some things you shouldn’t bring because you won’t need them in treatment. For instance, food will be provided through the treatment process. Beyond snacks for your trip to the treatment facility, you won’t need to pack food.

Other items you should avoid bringing to treatment include:

  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Weapons
  • Valuables
  • Jewelry
  • Large amounts of cash
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Perfume
  • Inappropriate clothing
  • Mouthwash
  • Other products that contain alcohol
  • Food
  • Inappropriate reading material

Paying for Addiction Treatment

The cost of addiction treatment can be intimidating, and it’s one of the most common barriers to treatment. Like other forms of long-term inpatient medical treatment, addiction treatment can be expensive, costing several thousand dollars. The cost of treatment may vary based on several different factors, including how long you spend in treatment, the time you spend in high-level care, the therapies you go through, and the medications you are prescribed. However, addiction is a disease, and it needs to be treated effectively. There are several ways to make treatment more affordable.

Addiction itself can threaten your financial stability and ability to keep a job. People caught in a cycle of active addiction often need to spend more time managing their substance use problems. Frequent intoxication may make it hard to stay employed, and you will start to prioritize finding and taking the drug over other responsibilities in your life. Long-term addiction can also lead to chronic medical problems that can also be expensive. Treatment is often necessary for the people who need it, but how can you make it more affordable?

Insurance is one of the best ways to make healthcare more affordable, including mental and behavioral health services. Most insurance companies offer coverage for mental health services and addiction treatment. But the level of coverage you receive will depend on your specific plan and the treatment and therapies you need. If you have a robust insurance plan, you may have to spend very little out of pocket. However, some insurance options may offer less coverage. Plus, federal insurance options like Medicare or Medicaid may offer you fewer options when it comes to choosing a treatment center. You can also go through private pay and financing if you want to pay for treatment on your own.

At California Highlands Vistas, we want to help you overcome the barrier of cost when it comes to addiction treatment. Here are some things to consider while you’re navigating payment options for addiction treatment.

Navigating Insurance

Since addiction is considered a disease, many health insurance plans cover it. Plus, legislation has increased the coverage insurance companies are required to provide for mental and behavioral health needs. Mental health parity laws and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have made it so that insurance companies that offer mental health coverage must offer a level of coverage similar to what they would for medical treatment. Most health insurance companies offer coverage for mental and behavioral health services. But each health insurance plan is different, and the amount you will have to pay out of pocket will depend on several factors.

The medications, treatments, and therapies that are covered under your plan will make a big difference in the amount you have to pay out of pocket. For instance, your insurance plan may offer coverage for addiction treatment, but it may not offer coverage for specific therapies.

Your deductible may also contribute to the amount you have to pay out of pocket. A deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay for healthcare coverage before your insurance starts to pay. If you have a high deductible, you may have to pay the full amount before your insurance starts to pay for treatment.

California Highlands Vistas accepts coverage from most private insurance companies. And your therapist and case managers will advocate for your needs in treatment. We can work with your insurance company to advocate for the treatment you need. Navigating your insurance plan can be challenging, so if you have questions about insurance coverage or eligibility, call at any time.

In-Network Insurance Plans

If you’ve dealt with health insurance before, you may have heard the term “in-network.” An in-network healthcare provider is a clinical, facility, or program that has a pre-negotiated relationship with your insurance company. Your insurance company may provide you with a list of in-network providers that it has likely negotiated a discount in exchange for streamlined claims processing. For that reason, in-network providers are usually less expensive, so it may be easier to get coverage and reimbursements.

California Highlands Vistas is an in-network provider with many insurance companies, including the following:

  • Anthem BCBS
  • Holman Group
  • Optum

Is an in-network insurance company necessary for you to receive treatment at California Highlands Vistas? No, we will accept coverage from most private insurance providers. Even if you don’t have coverage from an in-network insurance plan, you may still have coverage for treatment and California Highlands Vistas.

Addiction Treatment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

As you’re entering an addiction treatment program, you may have several questions about the process, especially if this is your first time in a treatment program. Learn more about addiction treatment and the admissions process.

What Is Addiction Treatment?

Addiction treatment is a complex process designed to address substance use disorders. Addiction is a disease affecting the reward center of the brain by causing powerful compulsions to use drugs or alcohol, despite serious consequences. Addiction may also come with other medical or psychological problems that also need to be addressed for treatment to be effective.

Treatment involves several levels of care based on your needs. High levels of care are reserved for people who have severe medical needs or significant psychological and social needs. Medical detoxification is in the highest category of inpatient treatment, and it may be used to treat people who are going through severe withdrawal symptoms or have other medical complications. Inpatient and residential services also involve round-the-clock care for people with high-level needs. As you progress through treatment, you’ll go to lower levels of care. When you can live on your own, you may continue to outpatient levels of care.

How Effective Is Addiction Treatment?

Addiction treatment is intended to stop active addiction and improve some of the problems it causes. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), people who attend and remain in treatment for long enough see reduced drug use and improved social, occupational, and social functioning. Still, relapse is part of the addiction treatment process for some people. Around 40% to 60% experienced a relapse after a period of sobriety. However, this is similar to other chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension.

How Does It Work?

Addiction treatment is a multidisciplinary process that addresses multiple needs. Urgent medical needs are often addressed first, but psychological and social issues are also important to address as part of the treatment process. You will receive a personalized treatment plan that includes therapies that are appropriate for your needs. Individual and group therapy sessions are common, and you will likely go through behavioral therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy.

What If I Relapse?

Relapse is a common part of recovery for some people, but it doesn’t necessarily mean addiction treatment has failed. While relapse is frustrating, and it may even be dangerous, it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve lasting sobriety. Many people achieve sobriety after more than one relapse. Plus, relapse isn’t inevitable, and you shouldn’t think of it as unavoidable. You will create a relapse prevention plan during treatment, and sticking to it may lead you to lasting recovery.

What Is Inpatient Addiction Treatment?

California Highlands Vistas provides inpatient treatment, which means the process will take place on-site with 24-hour services. There are several levels of inpatient care, including medically monitored intensive inpatient and inpatient and residential services. This level of care is reserved for people with significant needs. It may mean you need 24-hour medical care or that living on your own would threaten your sobriety.

How Long Is Treatment?

Treatment is a highly individualized process, and it should last as long as you need it. However, if you don’t spend long enough in addiction treatment, it may not be effective. NIDA reports that the ideal minimum amount of time in treatment is 90 days, but you may spend longer if you need to. Those 90 days may be in multiple levels of care, and you may not have to spend all three months in inpatient treatment.

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