First Slice of Cheese: Treatment

Memo to Self: “In the times that I’m strong … “

“Treatment is an undergraduate education in recovery concepts and a safe place to heal.”

Anyone considering treatment for themselves or a friend or family member should start by reading this pamphlet from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


For the doctors and pilots entering Professional Health Programs, there are a number of things that need to get done in treatment. (I am grateful to Paul Early, MD and Navjyot Bedi, MD for the information provided in their presentations at the 2013 and 2014 HIMS Seminar)

Slice of Cheese 1 (Treatment) - What we did at Le Mont:


We required our residents to 1) graduate from residential treatment, or 2) undergo detox and be cleared by an Addiction Medicine Specialist as well as enroll in an intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) while living in the house. With some exceptions, those who had graduated from a residential program prior to living in our house had a greater understanding of recovery concepts, practiced good recovery habits more frequently, lived in the house longer, and were generally more stable in their sobriety.

Individuals seeking recovery need support, but their families need help, too. Good treatment involves the family, and provides education, counseling and ongoing support for family members, too. Attending treatment center Family Programs, connecting with local parent support groups and/or Al-Anon , and seeking professional help from a family therapist are all ways for a family to receive the support they need as the family itself enters recovery along with the person in early sobriety.


Resources for Families:


Families Anonymous


Hazelden Betty Ford Family Program


National Institute for Drug Abuse: Where can family members go for information on teatment options?


The book Inside Rehab by Anne Fletcher was a watershed publication that questioned some of the long-held beliefs about traditional treatment.


Although I don’t agree with everything that appears on the website, it does have a review/comments section for many of the major (and majorly expensive) treatment programs throughout the United States and abroad. It can be found here.


An alternative to the traditional method of getting a family member to formal treatment is the CRAFT model (Community Reinforcement and Family Training).