There are a few different types of service providers for inpatient, or residential Recovery Treatment Programs.
Public Hospital services; these are usually of high quality, however, may have long waiting lists.
Privately owned centres. These are two types;
Non-accredited, non-hospital centres. These centres are of varying quality. Unfortunately, there is no governing body requiring these centres to fulfil any particular requirements. In other words, these centres are not officially answerable to any outside authority (apart from the state and federal legal authorities). As a recent 4-corners expose suggested, these centres can be hugely burdensome in terms of costs, and are not required to have any evidence base, or show any proof for any of their claims. They are also not required to have a duty-of-care to the level required by a hospital.
Privately owned hospitals. These centres are answerable to outside state and federal bodies, and are hence required to have particular standards which the community would expect from any hospital. If the patient has private health insurance, most of the cost of treatment is funded by the private insurance. There are two types of Private Hospital which run Recovery Treatment Programs.
General Private Psychiatric Hospitals. These are private psychiatric hospitals which treat a full gamut of psychiatric conditions, one of which is addiction (dependency). Malvern Private. We are the only private hospital in Australia which is dedicated to addictions. We do not treat any other disorders apart from addiction and its associated mental health issues.
Fortunately, Malvern Private has a number of features which distinguish us from other Recovery Treatment Programs, and allow us to provide the highest quality care;
Fortunately, we are an accredited private hospital. This means that for people with private health insurance, the vast majority of the cost is covered (the precise cost depends on the insurance company, and level of cover). If one does not have private health insurance, the price will be comparable to other private facilities. Please contact us for further information.
Most people suffering with dependency issues will have other psychological or psychiatric issues. Fortunately, we have the most highly trained staff to deal with mental health. We have two experienced Psychiatrists on staff, and there are Psychiatrists in 4 days every week. We also have highly trained Dependency Medical Specialists (Doctors), GPs, Nurses and counselling staff, all of whom have extensive experience with mental health issues. In other words, although we are primarily an addiction hospital and not a psychiatric hospital, we are very adept and effective in dealing with all types of mental health issues.
At Malvern Private we realise the pivotal role that families play in recovery. We are also keenly aware that people with dependency issues, particularly in early recovery, require time focused on themselves free from outside influences (even positive ones!). Hence, we take a balanced approach which manages to both involve families deeply in the care of their loved one, whilst giving the person the space and time they require to understand themselves and their recovery. Hence, family visits in addition to family education are core parts of our program.
Evidence suggests that the majority of people with a serious dependency will relapse at-least once during the course of their recovery. Unfortunately, like every other addiction treatment facility in Australia, Malvern Private does not have high-quality evidence for our success rates. By high-quality, we mean evidence based on data which is open to the public, and which has been peer-reviewed.
However, due to our commitment to evidence-based treatments, and raising the bar in recovery treatments, we are busy researching our success rates with the view to publishing our data in a peer-reviewed medical journal. Our goal is to be the first addiction facility in Australia with peer-reviewed, high-quality evidence for our success rates.
We do caution people with dependency issues and their families about facilities which tout success rates not-in-keeping with current evidence.
Dependencies are a prime example of a complex medical condition. It is complex in the sense that it has a complicated biological basis, in addition to many psychological and social aspects which form core aspects of the disease.
The biological basis teaches us that dependency issues are not reflections of 'weakness' in character. Even after prolonged abstinence, some people have a high risk of relapse. We know that many areas of the brain are changed in people with dependency, including areas associated with reward, memory, motivation, stress and higher-level functions (like planning, abstract thinking and problem solving).
They also have many associated psychological changes. These are varied, and include behavioural changes, cognitive (thinking) changes and deeper changes associated with core aspects of our humanity. In addition to the obvious behavioural changes such as repetitive use of alcohol or a substance, many people with addictions struggle with more complex behaviours such as self-sabotage and repeating destructive patterns in work and relationships. Similarly, the cognitive associations can be subtle, and may include self-deprecating thoughts or aggressive thoughts toward others. Finally, the humanistic associations include issues such as trust, faith, self-esteem, alienation, loneliness and emptiness, and a general difficulty sitting with emotions.
The social aspects of dependency are equally as important, and just as complex. The way that the person relates to others forms a core aspect of the dependency. Social groups can often be formed around the drug. Furthermore, the relationships themselves can often have a basis of mistrust and superficiality, and people with dependency issues often have to relearn how to have close and intimate relationships with others.
Our treatments are based on our understanding of addictions (see "what are addictions" above). We offer a broad yet integrated treatment approach, which focuses on all three aspects of addictions; the medical model, the psychological model, and the social model. Medically, we ensure the highest level of care during both the detoxification and early-recovery phases. Psychologically, we use both group and individual psychotherapy frameworks to deliver evidence-based treatments from a range of paradigms, including cognitive-behavioural, mindfullness-based, psychodynamic and acceptance-and-commitment therapy to name a few. Socially, much effort and focus is placed on both the community dynamic as a whole, and individual relationships to assist people with dependency in relearning the art of relationships.