One of the first push-backs we receive from conventional treatment programs, when we suggest that they address the biochemistry of addiction and relapse in their clients by adding bio-psycho educational groups, improving the nutrient quality of their food, and using supplements to quickly restore optimal neurotransmitter balance, is that they “can’t afford it”!
- They can’t afford to feed their clients more nutritious food because they are on a tight food budget.
- They can’t afford to train a staff member/hire a nutritionist to offer bio-nutritional classes to their clients.
- They can’t afford to train a staff member/ hire a nutritionist to provide individual assessments of the nutrient deficiencies in each client’s brain which are leading to cravings, early discharge and relapse – this then to be followed by targeted nutrient recommendations which often have the power to eliminate post-acute withdrawal and other craving triggers.
- Clients will squawk if sugar and simple carbohydrate snack and meals are limited or prohibited, and might go instead to another program which will cater to their sweet tooth.
In other words, they can’t imagine how expanding their therapeutic offerings in these directions, and changing the status quo could possibly SAVE them money in the long run, and possibly the short run as well.
But improvement of the bottom line is EXACTLY what we see in programs who do start to make these changes!
Well, let me start with a question. How many of the clients you have spent many marketing dollars to acquire, leave treatment early, thus depriving you of their continued insurance payments? Has this been a problem for you? What if I told you that many people leave early because they still have “starving brains” and simply can’t tolerate the intense physical and emotional discomfort this creates! When these clients get sufficient protein throughout the day, (but they have to be taught to do so!) and use targeted amino acid therapy to very quickly (aminos work within 20 minutes) relieve the symptoms of neurotransmitter depletion, they stabilize and can more quickly get down to the work of treatment. Therefore, they STAY!
What about the clients who are “brain dead” for the first 3 weeks of a 28-day program? They can’t sleep or they sleep too much. They are foggy, can’t concentrate, and don’t remember anything from one group to another. They are depressed, anxious and feel pretty hopeless. Finally, around day 20, the fog begins to clear and they manage to engage with exactly 7 days worth of treatment before they are out of the door. 7 days of treatment really is not enough for most people, so they relapse and come back for another round of the same thing. Or they think that YOUR program didn’t work, so they will try someone else’s.
What about the clients who are in such distress that they sneak in drugs, or take up all the time and energy in a group trying to process their distress, when this same distress could actually be relieved by an amino acids, or protein-filled meal, rather than talk therapy or more medication?
And in today’s health-conscious world, being able to offer this approach as a treatment bonus, may indeed bring in more clients, who are wondering what makes your program truly different from all the other “evidence-based” programs out there.
Imagine the difference: rather than clients being brain-dead for 3 weeks, by the end of Week 1, they are (almost) bright-eyed and bushy tailed, clear-headed, not craving, and ready to fully engage. Wouldn’t that be a great encouragement to your staff (reduce burn-out) and new clients?
So, are you wondering right now how on earth do I find the money, the time, the staff and the where-with-all to make these changes? We want to suggest that client retention and improvement happen so quickly, using this full approach, that your program may indeed find itself MAKING money within a few weeks. Programs make money by reducing early discharge, increasing length of stay, and retaining clients for long-term residential and step-down options.
I wonder, how many extra client days would be needed to cover the $2,995 cost of investing in the Level 1 Certification Program? How many extra filled-bed weeks would cover the cost of an extra, fully trained staff member to offer a robust, nuanced Amino Acid Therapy and Nutrient program to every client from the day of their admission? Of course, it does take time to fully train an existing staff member and bring them up to speed. However, to fill that gap, there are many already trained Certified Recovery Nutrition Coaches in various geographic areas, or available on-line who would be happy to take this on, and even help to train your staff.
Mark Styles, our Collaborations Director, used to be responsible for client retention in various treatment programs in the UK. He is standing by to help you brainstorm the exciting possibilities for your program’s future. Please do set up a call with him at 347-669-5105.