Addiction Treatment Programs
Assisted Recovery Centers of America (ARCA) started about twelve years ago as a scientific, evidenced-based treatment center envisioned by its founder, Percy Menzies.
The ARCA addiction treatment programs are radically different than past addiction treatment protocols, and grounded in science.
For too long, patients impacted by addictive disorders had very limited addiction treatment choices, and the outcomes were shockingly poor. To add insult to the injury, the failure was blamed on the patients. ARCA offers Medical detoxification combined with appropriate anti-craving medications, relapse prevention counseling, and psychiatric services offer treatment in the natural home environment of the patients. This integrated addiction treatment approach is now referred as Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).
In the past twelve years, thousands of ARCA’s patients have successfully overcome addiction and put their lives back together.
It all started about three decades ago, while Mr. Menzies worked for the pharmaceutical division of the DuPont chemical company. It was a well-known fact that patients returning home from inpatient residential treatment for heroin addiction needed protection from relapsing. Naltrexone was the answer. This was the first non-addicting medication specifically developed for this purpose. The approval of Naltrexone in 1984 to prevent relapse to heroin addiction was supposed to herald in a new era in the treatment of addictive disorders.
The practical difficulties in using a non-addictive medication, and other ideological barriers, relegated this medication to a very narrow group of patients like physicians. A decade later in 1994, Naltrexone was approved by the FDA to treat alcoholism, and once again this highly effective and safe medication was ignored and rejected on the grounds that alcoholism is best treated in residential programs and through Twelve-Step programs and self-help groups like AA. It was not easy to gain traction over the established orthodoxy of shunning anti-craving medications and outpatient treatment.
This treatment approach garnered a lot of local, national and international attention when ARCA collaborated to open a clinic is South Africa. Another major breakthrough came when ARCA received the highest certification called CSTAR from the State for Missouri for MAT. ARCA works collaboratively with about six state-funded organizations and provides MAT to about 300 patients a month through their CSTAR program.
ARCA is acutely aware of the complex nature of the treatment of addictions, particularly in the early stages of recovery and upon completion of the formal treatment program.
There are patients, particularly young adults, who should be not return to an unstable home environment. ARCA opened a Temperance Home in St. Louis, Missouri for young male adults who can continue aftercare, find work, and live in a stress-free environment to maintain long-term recovery. Several more homes are being planned for the coming years.
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing illness that one will face their entire life. The brain disease is characterized by compulsive drug seeking that with prolonged drug use changes the structure of the brain and its ability to function. The changes in the brain can be long lasting and lead to harmful health consequences by impacting the normal functioning of the underlying organ if not treated.
Addiction requires professional treatment with medication and psycho-social treatment and not just support from community groups. As with any chronic medical condition (diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and asthma), addiction is treatable, preventable and if left untreated can create devastating effects, including death.
ARCA’s treatment approach is about creating an opportunity to allow the brain to heal with professional support, structure and treatment that is anchored in science and current best practices that will maintain abstinence and emotional health. ARCA’s program provides an engaging, supportive, predictable, structured and safe environment for patients to begin the healing and recovery process. This is initially accomplished with a safe medically assisted detox, education, self-assessment and developing coping strategies, self-care insight and interpersonal connection.
As treatment progresses, treatment focuses on implementing a variety of modalities to meet the patient where they are with their illness. The objective is to move ARCA’s patients through the paradigm of medication assisted treatment along with motivational and cognitive behavioral therapy as appropriate for the patient’s stage of change. This is accomplished with individual therapy, group/ family therapy, family education, nursing/medical assessment and care along with a life time of support, encouragement, structure, predictability and personal engagement to achieve emotional health.
As treatment progresses after detox, one objective is to move patients to anti-craving medications that are utilized to manage the cravings, a hallmark of addiction. Furthermore, an ARCA physicians (psychiatrist, internist, Advanced Practice Nurse) may determine medication is best to manage psychological symptoms of depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and mood swings. Such interventions are aimed at creating the emotional health that is necessary for long
Anti-craving medication taken consistently creates a bubble around the opiate receptors to assist in recovery targeting immediate physiological symptoms; this allows the necessary time the brain needs to heal. To effectively allow the brain to heal, one must manage their illness with a long term view in a structured, science-
Frequently Asked Questions
Through ARCA’s Inpatient Treatment Programs at MIRA and Outpatient Treatment Programs, the staff at ARCA have treated individuals just like yourself. Below are some of the frequently asked questions that are posed by patients.
How Does Your Treatment Program Differ from Other Programs?
We consider addictive disorders to be a chronic medical illness with a strong behavioral component. Any request for help should be treated as an emergency situation, and ARCA provides same-day appointments and medical treatment. We medically detoxify patients to provide relief from withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, body aches, cramps, nausea, restlessness and irritability.
We seamlessly transition you to anti-craving medications to block the cravings for alcohol or drugs. ARCA utilizes one of the most effective relapse prevention therapies in all of our programs, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. ARCA provides a comprehensive, medically-based approach to the treatment of addictive disorders.
Your treatment team will include physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, and therapists. Our treatment program is prescribed specifically to the individual needs of each patient. You will have peace of mind knowing that ARCA will continue on your journey with you as long as you need us.
What Can I Expect at ARCA?
You can expect a caring, well-trained professional team offering you state-of-the-art individualized treatment from day one to the end of the program and thereafter. Each member of our team works with you to achieve your goal of long-term recovery.
You and your family members have access to our treatment team at the treatment center on weekdays and over the phone or by e-mail 24 hours a day. Choices, flexibility, privacy, compassion and our knowledgeable staff make all the difference.
Medications are critical during the detoxification process. The ARCA approach considers ‘cold turkey’ detoxification as inhumane, which may compel the patient to discontinue treatment. The detoxification medications provide relief from the withdrawal symptoms, and protection from potentially life-threatening effects like seizures.
Medications are equally critical to blunt the cravings that can reoccur during treatment. When cravings are effectively controlled, the patient becomes more engaged in long-term recovery through individual, group, and family counseling.
What are some of the Medications Used in the ARCA Program?
The medications used by the physicians at ARCA are all FDA-approved and have proven to be highly effective and safe.
Medications including Naltrexone, Acamprosate, SUBOXONE®, VIVITROL®, CHANTIX® have been specifically approved for the treatment of addictive disorders.
While other medications like Ondansetron, Topiramate, Amantidine, Buspirone and Modafinil, although not specifically approved for the treatment of addictions, have been found to effectively curb cravings.
Do I Need to Take these Medications for the Rest of My Life?
The medications used presently are radically different from the older medications like Antabuse and Methadone. The modern medications used by ARCA are either non-addicting or have a very low abuse potential, and are generally taken for a three to six month period – long enough for the brain to heal from the effects of the alcohol or drugs.
Some medications can be taken for a longer period of time to protect patients from relapsing.
How Do You Measure Success?
Addictive disorders impact the patient and the patient’s family in multiple ways. Measuring success is not just helping patients get off the alcohol or drugs.
At ARCA, we measure success by looking at several parameters including sobriety, family and social relationships, work and educational functioning, and developing support in recovery.