I believe that my therapist has helped me in a way no one else could. The staff here is like a family.

Aldie Programs > Pharmacotherapy

Aldie Counseling Center—
Providing medication assisted therapy.

The growth of heroin use in the suburbs in recent years precipitated a need to offer methadone treatment to clients unable to stop heroin or other opiate use any other way. The Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission chose Aldie to begin a pilot program of methadone detox and maintenance in Bucks County in January 1998.

Aldie utilizes a specific model of methadone treatment and other pharmacotherapeutic approaches that provide medication as one tool within a multi-modality setting of comprehensive substance abuse and addiction treatment. The program is regulated by state and federal law and by Aldie policy. Aldie also utilizes Buprenorphine treatment, but the client must meet specific guidelines and must understand that counseling is an important part of treatment.

Aldie's Pharmacotherapy Program has received full three-year accreditations by CARF, "an indication of your organization's dedication and commitment to improving the quality of the lives of the people receiving services. Services, personnel, and documentation clearly indicate that present conditions show an established pattern of total operation."

Admission is determined by criteria that meet federal guidelines, which include that the client must be at least 18 years of age, and must be able to document opiate addiction of at least a year. It is recommended that at least one previous attempt at another type of treatment has been tried. Other criteria also apply – proof of identity, proof of residency, proof of income, etc.

All clients must complete a general drug/alcohol assessment (refer to Contact Aldie for Assessment). If it is determined that the client might be appropriate for medication assisted therapy, the client is then evaluated by the Pharmacotherapy Coordinator and is provided with a program orientation. Completion of lab tests and a physical exam by an Aldie physician are required before the client can start the program.

In the initial phase of treatment, the client is started on a relatively low dose of methadone to allow the body to begin adjustment, with the dosage increasing gradually to reduce the experience of withdrawal from opiates. It may take a week or two to stabilize the client on methadone. Clients are expected to stop all use of alcohol and other drugs, as these can cause respiratory depression and/or arrest when combined with methadone.

When the body is physically stabilized on methadone, efforts are made to assist the client in stabilizing therapeutic relationships in treatment, attending individual and group therapy, learning or regaining life skills, and finding new and more effective ways to cope with problems.

Aldie believes that addiction is physical, mental, and spiritual, and that recovery involves abstinence for the body, therapy for the mind, and spiritual growth for the soul.

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