About Healing Hands
About the Healing Hands Program
Industry Leading Success
One reason for our industry leading success begins with our process of analyzing each incoming patient’s previous treatment failures, to better understand their needs and avoid the deficits in care they’ve experienced. We investigate the origins of each patient’s addiction to assure any “triggering” circumstances are eliminated in their healing journey. Several recurrent themes common to previous treatment failures include:
• A frequent lack of coordination between different phases in the patient’s addiction treatment which may include residential care, a transitional living arrangement, or an outpatient clinic. Healing Hands’ novel solution relies on an integrated system of care that offers patients a coordinated approach to all levels of care from in-patient detox to whatever level of care may follow in their recovery journey, whether it is residential care, a transitional living experience or outpatient clinic care.
• A major contribution to our patients’ success is our therapeutic choice to offer Medication assisted treatment (MATS) as part of our treatment protocol, relying on the medication as a powerful tool to assist in a patient’s disassociation from addicting drugs. We believe our close to 90% success rate (avoiding relapse or dropout) for our outpatient population is directly attributable in large part to our effectively administered MATS program, together with intensely personal counseling and peer support.
Why we include Medication Assisted Treatment in our treatment protocol
The Vulnerable First Year of Recovery
We have observed suboxone and related drugs allow a substance dependent person to withdraw from their opiate dependency with relative ease and little discomfort. Suboxone eliminates cravings for the opiate during the addict’s recovery period so the patient can function comfortably and feel normal physically, allowing them to concentrate on other aspects of their emotional recovery. It is well known the most vulnerable period in an addict’s recovery is during the first year of sobriety. Unfortunately, for long term opiate users, their brain has undergone changes that result in altered abnormal pathways that almost inevitably drive the patient back to opiates even after several months of sobriety. These abnormal pathways don’t revert back to normal for close to a year after opiate abstinence and so our experience has shown that by using suboxone for approximately a year, the brain has an opportunity to normalize these pathways, and at the end of the year, the addict has a much better chance to wean off the suboxone medication (if they choose) and lead a drug free life. Other recovered addicts simply choose to remain on the suboxone medication as long term therapy. Faith based and 12 step programs that don’t offer Medication assisted treatment are not able to provide as effective a shield against relapse in the vulnerable first year of recovery that stem from these altered brain changes.
Suboxone as a tool and not the cure
Healing Hands uses suboxone to initiate treatment for opiate addiction as a tool and not a cure, and a successful outcome requires the patient commit to participate in a counseling relationship that explores the reasons for the onset of the addiction and the forces perpetuating it. Early initiation of effective counseling by a deeply empathetic counseling staff allows the patient to begin to defuse underlying, unresolved emotional issues that have driven the patient to addiction. Healing Hands Addiction Centers has an array of quality counselors on staff who offer each patient the appropriate intensity of individual counseling in a nurturing environment, often as a complement to group therapy sessions, as well as family counseling when appropriate.
Novel Aspects of Healing Hands’ Successful Strategies
Our Philosophy on Healing
Healing Hands Addiction Centers has developed a philosophy that views addiction as a chronic brain disease* that has multiple components that require treatment in order to be successful:
a. With opiate addiction, there is a physiologic neurochemical component that affects multiple receptors in the brain and is caused by the offending opiates that initially result in causing a pleasurable response that soon degenerates into a dependency that requires use of the opiate to avoid withdrawal.
b. Addicts enter their addiction through multiple potential paths:
- peer pressure (most frequently as adolescents)
- poorly developed coping mechanisms that are inadequate to allow the person to deal with physical and emotional abuse and other psychological trauma (PTSD) they’ve experienced
- an escalation in use of opiates to treat an underlying chronic pain problem until the patient becomes addicted
- pleasure seeking behavior
Traditional and Novel Approaches
Healing Hands aims to alter the physiologic dependency of the patient on opiates using MATS therapy, while addressing the other components that lock the patient into their addiction using tools that include traditional Behavioral Health counseling to address past psychologic traumas, as well as more novel alternative therapies to facilitate healing of the mind and spirt that may include hypnosis, meditation, Reiki healing, prayer, sound therapy, physical therapy, acupuncture (primarily to treat chronic pain), and action therapy. Healing Hands recognizes the tremendous, largely untapped, healing potential of the brain in contributing to a person’s treatment of addiction and pain and is actively investigating a variety of ways to harness different alternative therapies affecting the brain to most effectively treat each individual’s unique circumstances.*
* Brain X: a proprietary combination that harnesses the forces of MATS therapy, behavioral health counseling and alternative healing practices including hypnosis, Reiki healing, meditation, sound therapy, aromatherapy, action therapy and massage into a synergistic psychic healing force that empowers the addict to heal their brain, their body and their spirit.
Another unique aspect of Healing Hands treatment is to provide holistic care to our patients – and this extends to the over 50% of our patient population who have an accompanying chronic pain challenge. Holistic care refers to the treatment of each patient as an individual who frequently has multiple related problems. We work with each patient, guiding them in healing their mind, body and spirit, as we address their physical ailments (chronic medical problems), as well as their emotional challenges. Chronic pain patients are evaluated to analyze the cause of their pain and a case management plan is then developed that may include consulting with interventional pain management specialists, or it may include exploring alternative, non-opiate modalities for pain management including physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation, Yoga, acupuncture, hypnosis, massage, Reiki, and mental imaging.
Management of chronic pain requires the simultaneous treatment of feelings of anxiety and depression that frequently accompany chronic pain and our coordinated approach to pain addresses all of these critical components.
Another novel aspect of Healing Hand’s care is a desire to empower the patient with a self-help method to reduce stress and anxiety that are frequent co-existing symptoms experienced by almost all substance use patients. Healing Hands uses a form of meditation, and we offer free meditation classes to all our patients to provide them with this tool. This process enables each patient to begin healing their brain that they were recently abusing with ingestion of drugs and to reverse that abusive process, harnessing the amazing healing potential of their brain in their recovery process. Advanced forms of meditation allow a patient to practice self-hypnosis as a tool in reinforcing a patient’s protective net against addictive cravings, and deeper forms of meditation have been described as a spiritual journey into another realm, often with religious connotations.