Mandatory Treatment

If you are faced with a drug or alcohol problem it might be time to seek help from a professional. This can also help your defense if the judge sees you have sought treatment for your addiction. If you can prove sobriety the judge may give you a more lenient sentence for your DWI stop. In some cases a judge may mandate treatment as part of your sentencing. Here are three options available — Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Inpatient Treatment or Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP). This is just an overview of some of the types of treatment that may be available.

Alcoholics Anonymous

AA is the commonly used name for Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization that began in Ohio. The goal of the group is to assist and support members who are suffering from alcohol addiction or alcoholism. Many towns in New Jersey have a local chapter of AA in their local community. This organization is not supervised or monitored by any one leading chapter; each chapter basically runs itself. However, all of the AA groups follow the same basic rules and structure in regards to how they work.

How AA Meetings Are Run

The local group will meets at the same time and location each week. The meeting is held in a quiet room void of interruptions. Each meeting will have a chairperson to start the official meeting. Only first names are given, but all new people are asked at the beginning of meetings to introduce themselves. The chairperson and others who are speaking will refer to themselves by first names only and will also state that they are alcoholics. After the chairperson reads the “Preamble” for the meeting, he or she will ask a member to read “How It Works” from the AA book.

Then, the 12 traditions are read aloud and the support group guidelines are reviewed for new members. These guidelines stress that what is said at the meeting remains confidential and that members do not try to fix each other's problems by giving advice or assistance. They are there to listen and not to ask questions. People will then be invited to share how they are feeling and may discuss a certain step of the twelve steps. After the formal meeting is over, the group members may informally interact, partake in coffee, or just visit with one another before leaving.

AA Meeting Details

There is no cost to join AA or to attend meetings. It is not an organization that recruits membership or asks members to raise money, participate in events, or even acknowledge each other in any way outside of the meeting. As stated before, only first names are ever used at a meeting and there are no records of who attended a meeting and when. If you do attend AA, you will receive a sponsor, who will assist you as you go through the twelve steps. The sponsor will be an AA member who has completed at least five of the twelve steps and has remained sober for at least six months. He or she should be available to you when you feel the urge to drink. You can call on your sponsor at any time for assistance. This is a volunteer partnership and your sponsor receives no compensation for assisting you on your road to recovery. You and your sponsor will exchange contact information and you are encouraged to reach out to him or her whenever you feeling yourself slipping.

AA Meeting Locations

Meetings are held at varied times throughout the day to accommodate different schedules and are often held in church basements, lodges or other types of halls that lend themselves out to meeting groups. Churches and other religious buildings will usually announce dates and times of AA meetings in their weekly bulletins to make people aware. You can also look online to find meetings in your area of New Jersey or call the AA hotline for meeting information. One of the things said about AA is that there is always a meeting somewhere and you can walk in at any time. So, the support is always there if you need it.

Outpatient Services

Most outpatient facilities will provide interested parties with a free, confidential assessment to determine if the program can meet their needs. Patients seeking enrollment in an outpatient facility should contact the specific facility to schedule an assessment. Many places in New Jersey will try to conduct assessments twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Many of these facilities are available on weekends and holidays to meet the needs of those being treated or seeking treatment.

The purpose of alcohol outpatient services is to allow the person with the dependency to receive the therapy and/or medical supervision he or she needs, while providing him or her with a schedule that allows work to continue, family obligations to be met, children to be cared for and school can continue, if need be.

Outpatient Program Basics

If you are participating in an IOP program, you will in most cases meet with your group three to five times a week for three hours a day. The minimum requirement for IOP service is meeting three times per week. Patients are more than welcome to attend more sessions if additional support is needed. Most IOP's have services in a “step down” format, with the most intensive part of the program at the beginning and then slowly decreasing as the person becomes more able to control or monitor the addiction.

Outpatient Program Costs

Most IOP facilities will accept health insurance, however the coverage may not be complete, depending on your individual carrier and plan. You would need to contact the facility where you are seeking treatment to see if your insurance is accepted. If it is not, ask them to recommend a facility where it will be accepted. If your insurance is accepted, then contact your insurance provider and ask them what percentage of treatment is covered and what needs to be covered by the patient. If you are suffering from an addiction problem that would make keeping track of this information difficult, you can identify a proxy to speak with your insurance company on your behalf. If you are covered under a parent's policy or a spouse's policy, then they can deal with the insurance company on your behalf.

Is Outpatient Treatment Confidential?

Participation in an IOP is generally confidential, unless you have been required to attend by a New Jersey court. Then, proof of your participation can and will be given to the courts. However, what you say in group sessions and meetings is kept confidential. When considering whether or not to attend an IOP, either under a court order or by your own personal choice, it may be sound advice to speak with an attorney about the levels of confidentiality or other questions you may have about the program. The New Jersey DWI Legal Team is here to work with you as you make this life choice to overcome your addiction and will provide you with a lawyer of experience who can guide you as you determine the next best step for you and your loved ones. Contact our offices today.

Inpatient Services

Almost all inpatient intensive drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs involve at least two steps. If you are going to reside in one of these facilities and suffer from drug or alcohol addition, your confidential assessment will determine whether or not you need to undergo supervised medical detoxification before beginning inpatient rehabilitation as a resident. In most cases, both of these programs need to be successfully completed for the rehabilitation to be complete.

Medical Detoxification

When you arrive at the facility, you will be met by a medical staff that will perform an evaluation. This is to generally assess your state of health at the time of your entry into the program and also to help the staff create your treatment plan. The medical team will plan out how to best deal with any withdrawal symptoms you are going to experience during your first days at the facility.

Withdrawal symptoms can range from moderate to extremely severe, depending on what type of substance abuse you are being treated for. While undergoing medical detox, you are supervised constantly by professionals. You may, during this time, be given non habit forming medication to treat your withdrawal symptoms.

The detox process typically takes one week to ten days in most cases, with some cases progressing more quickly and others a little more slowly. While you are in this part of the program, you will have little to no contact with family or friends. You will not have visitors in most cases. The primary purpose of the detox process is to prepare you biologically to be ready for the inpatient rehabilitation program that will commence when detox has completed.

Alcohol Abuse Inpatient Rehabilitation

The purpose of the rehabilitation program is to show you how to best avoid a relapse, to educate you on the facts about the disease of addiction and to allow you to talk with others who are going through similar struggles. This part of the program will also give you time to work through the emotional aspect of your addiction.

Patients in most facilities will participate in group and individual counseling, psychotherapy and a form of a twelve step program that the individual facility uses. While each recovery plan is personal, there is time for group discussion and activities. In addition, most facilities offer family programs and counseling, life skills and anger and pain management education. All of these programs combine together to provide each patient with the knowledge and skills they need to overcome their addiction.

Alcohol Abuse Inpatient Program Costs

As with outpatient programs, some of your treatment may be covered by your health insurance, however the coverage may not be complete, depending on your individual carrier and plan. As with an outpatient facility, you would have to contact the facility and your insurance company to determine what cost of the stay will be covered and what cost will be expected of you and/or your family members.

Need Advice?

The NJ DWI Legal Team can offer you advice and assistance when it comes time for you to select a program. If you have been ordered to receive treatment for drug or alcohol addiction by the New Jersey court system, we can assist you with finding a facility in the Ocean or Monmouth County area. Facing a drug or alcohol addiction can be both scary and overwhelming and is hard on the patient and the family.

An experienced lawyer is a good third party representative to navigate this process with you and your loved ones. Contact the office of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. at 732-372-0820 today.