$11M for NC rehab raises concerns

By Taylor Knopf, NC Health News & Aneri Pattani, Kaiser Health News

DURHAM, N.C. — An addiction treatment facility, highly regarded by North Carolina lawmakers, sits in a residential neighborhood here and operates like a village in itself. Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers, better known as TROSA, hosts roughly 400 people a day on a campus with rows of housing units, cafeterias, a full gym and a barbershop.

The program, which began in 1994, is uniquely designed: Treatment, housing and meals are free to participants. And TROSA doesn’t bill insurance. Instead, residents work for about two years in TROSA’s many businesses, including a moving company, thrift store and lawn care service. Program leaders say the work helps residents overcome addiction and train for future jobs. Of those who graduate, 96 percent of individuals remain sober and 91 percent are employed a year later, the program’s latest report claims.

Impressed with such statistics, state lawmakers recently allotted $11 million for TROSA to expand its model to Winston-Salem. It’s the largest amount in the state budget targeted to a single treatment provider and comes on the heels of $6 million North Carolina previously provided for its expansion, as well as $3.2 million TROSA has received in state and federal funds annually for several years.

Keith Artin is the president and CEO of Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers, better known as TROSA. The program provides free treatment, housing and meals to residents who work for about two years in one of TROSA’s many businesses, including a moving company, thrift store and lawn care services. Photo credit: Taylor Knopf

This latest influx of taxpayer dollars — coming at a time when overdose deaths are surging and each dollar spent on treatment is crucial — is drawing criticism. Advocates, researchers, and some former employees and participants of TROSA say the program takes advantage of participants by making them work without pay and puts their lives at risk by restricting the use of certain medications for opioid use disorder. Although those who graduate may do well, only 25 percent of participants complete the program — a figure TROSA leaders confirmed.

“If I had known about this funding, I would have been the first person on the mic to [tell lawmakers], ‘I don’t think you all should do this,’” said K.C. Freeman, who interned at TROSA in 2018 and later spent two months on staff in the medical department. “You can’t look at the small number of people who had success and say this works. It’s not the majority.”

The dispute over TROSA’s funding comes amid national conversations about how to allocate billions of dollars available after landmark opioid settlements with drug companies. Two flashpoints in the North Carolina debate may provide a window into heated conversations to come. First: Are work-based rehabs legal or ethical? And second: Should every facility that receives public funding allow participants to use all medications for opioid use disorder?

Work as treatment

Work-based rehabs are widespread across

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Factors on which Choice is of a Rehab Center Depends

Alcoholism is characterized by the inability to manage drinking habits due to emotional and physical alcohol dependence. The symptoms of alcoholism include continued consumption of alcohol despite legal and health-related issues. An alcoholic might start his or her day by consuming alcohol, suffering from guilty consciousness, and a desire to minimize the amount. 

There are several alcoholism treatment programs. Factors such as drinking frequency, medical history, and prior alcohol use play a critical role in seeking a treatment program that meets your needs. Inpatient treatment programs are appropriate treatment options to assist alcohol addicts in recovering from dependency and keeping sober after that.

Nonetheless, if one notices the early signs of alcohol dependency, an outpatient program may provide the necessary treatment. However, if you have been struggling with alcohol dependency for many years, an inpatient treatment facility like Denver Rehab may offer the appropriate recovery option.

An outpatient or an inpatient program notwithstanding, recovery starts with detoxification. If one has become alcohol dependent, he or she may experience withdrawal symptoms if he or she stops drinking abruptly. That is why it is important to ask your doctor to help you detox safely. 

The inpatient alcohol treatment facility is considered an appropriate way of treating alcohol dependency. It involves admission to an alcohol recovery facility for the entire treatment period. In a facility such as Denver Rehab, you will access expert services the whole day; this allows you to rest easy, aware that any assistance is within reach. Additionally, inpatient centers have a schedule that comprises breakfast, counseling sessions, therapies, and many other programs for the day.

Any alcoholic can look for help from a certified treatment center like Denver Rehab. However, the choice of treatment in a program is dependent on factors like:

  • Age – People who are more than sixty years old are more affected during the detoxification stage. Withdrawal symptoms can cause other issues that are life-threatening if not addressed accordingly. Inpatient recovery centers provide care that the elderly require to recover from alcoholism.
  • Mental health – A patient with a recurring mental health condition might need a specialized recovery plan. Inpatient treatment centers have health professionals who specialize in dealing with such cases separately. Additionally, most recovery facilities offer treatment programs that assist alcoholics in coping with various real-life situations preventing recurrence of the state.
  • Substance abuse – Mixing alcohol and drugs can lead to dangerous interactions. A patient who wants to recover from alcoholism should seek professional medical help. Treatment experts will closely monitor their clients and relieve any severe withdrawal signs and offer services through each and every step of the process.
  • Medical history – Experts recommend inpatient alcohol treatment for addicts who have had liver, respiratory, or heart conditions. If any treatment process interferes with any existing condition, the service providers can conduct the necessary interventions. 
  • Mode of payment – Inpatient recovery programs often involve three, two, and one-month programs, depending on the individual’s case. Regardless of the patient’s duration in an inpatient rehab center, recovery
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