By U.S. ArmyJanuary 28, 2016
Madigan Army Medical Center opened a new substance abuse residential treatment facility here on January 21.
The 28-day voluntary program provides inpatient drug and alcohol substance abuse treatment to active-duty servicemembers from the west coast of the United States, Hawaii, Korea and Japan.
"This facility hopefully is going to change lives; it's going to give people an opportunity to make themselves all over again," said Col. Michael Place, the Madigan commander.
A recent Army-wide Health of the Force survey revealed that two percent of active duty Soldiers are diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder. Another "healthy percentage" of Soldiers who aren't diagnosed also struggle with addiction, said Maj. Gen. William Fuller, I Corps deputy commanding general.
"If you don't treat this, it can ruin people's lives, wreck their careers, and it's also a real risk for the health and safety of our whole force," said Fuller, noting that the RTF will increase Soldiers' readiness.
Prior to the opening of the Madigan RTF, servicemembers who needed residential substance abuse treatment were referred to civilian facilities. While the centers provided quality care, the separation from families and chains of command was detrimental to servicemembers, said Fuller.
"We're going to bring all of those folks back into the fold, and then incorporate as we often do the families of those servicemembers that are oftentimes the critical linchpin to their success," said Place.
Madigan was referring nine servicemembers a month to civilian facilities, said Place. The Madigan RTF can now treat 12 patients at a time, and will increase its capability to 18 patients by 2017.
The RTF program focuses on evidence-based interventions for reducing substance use, using a team approach to develop each patient's recovery plan. Patients receive a full spectrum of services, to include medication treatments, motivational enhancement therapy, relapse prevention services, spiritual counseling, and physical, occupational and recreational therapy.
While the program offers individual and group therapy, it also recognizes the importance of units, families and communities in supporting servicemembers' sober lifestyles after treatment. To that end, the RTF offers 12-step recovery models and conducts rehabilitation meetings with command teams. It also encourages patients to involve their families in their recoveries and offers families therapeutic support as well.
Active-duty servicemembers who would like to participate in the Madigan RTF program must first get referred through service-specific programs for alcohol and drug treatment, such as the Army Substance Abuse Program.