It certainly isn’t breaking news that we are in the midst of a lot of change and uncertainty with the ongoing pandemic. The ripple effects of COVID-19 have rocked the substance abuse treatment industry which has led to devastating consequences. We were already facing the opioid epidemic and an increased need for substance abuse treatment programs when the Coronavirus hit last spring. As the pandemic unfolded we saw a rise in mental health concerns for individuals as they navigated isolation, the loss of work, and challenging relationships at home. We also saw a rise in drug and alcohol use, including a rise in relapse rates.
Despite a crescendo of need, programs were forced to slow or stop their services due to a call to keep individuals safe in the face of the pandemic. As states shut down and stay at home orders were put in place, programs had to start turning away individuals in need. Many of those programs have struggled to reestablish their services. According to the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), about 20% of its provider members have had to close their facilities either completely, or partially (Quartz).
At Bridging the Gaps, we have walked through the uncertainty of this pandemic along with other programs. We have experienced numerous challenges transitioning onto a Telehealth platform and then converting back to full residential services. Thanks to our dedicated staff, we are running our full program including our residential treatment, day treatment, IOP, and outpatient programs. We have been fortunate to bring our staff back from furlough to support a growing client census.
As we have worked diligently to respond to the ever changing conditions this year, we have kept our eyes firmly fixed on the future. Our vision, “to get to the roots of addiction and build a bridge to wellness,” has been a guiding light during these uncertain times. We have done our best to keep our clients safe from the virus while also providing a safe haven from substance abuse.
We are dedicated to uphold our mission of optimizing recovery from the grasp of addiction through exceptional quality of care using integrated best practices. There is no status quo in our approach; our programs, facilities and process continuously evolve and improve to deliver the best care and quantified outcomes that we can provide. To that end, we have taken this year to improve and grow our program and services.
We are pursuing our re-accreditation with CARF. Originally scheduled in June, our site survey is now set for October via Telehealth. The CARF accreditation process focuses on ensuring not only that an organization meets the needs of the persons served and their families, but also that the agency remains dedicated to a continuous cycle of performance improvement. Maintaining our accreditation helps us to ensure the highest level of care for our clients.
We are also working on program development. We have a team of clinicians who are designing a comprehensive family program that we are hoping to roll out by the end of 2020. This program will provide intensive care for family members of addicted individuals. Addiction impacts entire families – our dream is to provide a greater level of support and healing for the entire family system.
It is no small undertaking to work toward our re-accreditation and develop new programs while navigating a challenging social and economic environment. However, we see that the need is greater than ever for high-quality substance abuse treatment. With grace, we hope to weather this storm and continue providing a safe haven for those who need it.
If you, or a loved one, are looking for treatment, please reach out to our admissions counselors at 540-535-1111.