First, realize that treatment is two things: detox and education. That's about it. It's complex, but that is what happens in a nutshell. The patient gets the booze out of their body safely and with little or no withdrawal symptoms, and then learns about the disease and how to treat it with the goal in treatment of self-diagnosis--believing they have the disease and must do what's necessary to properly treat it.
IF YOU HAVE AN EAP -- ENGAGE THEM -- AND GIVE A COPY OF THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION TO THEM. IF THE TREATMENT IS OUTPATIENT INSTEAD OF INPATIENT, THEN THEY SHOULD STILL FOLLOW THE EQUIVALENT POINTS LAID OUT BELOW.
You can review a number of selected tip sheets and checklists for supervisors that offer solid ideas for how to manage an employee by visiting http://handoutsplus.com - search alcohol, supervisor, or alcoholism.
(For the EAP or Hired Counselor working with management on contract)
Touch points for communicating with the patient, treatment professionals, and company supervisor:
- Generally these touch points require updates and motivational assessments from the addiction treatment counselor: Get status reports after admission, after detox, middle of intermediate care, discharge, starting day of aftercare, completion of aftercare, and any point within the next year where the follow-up program (there should be one, or you should ensure one exists) discovers that the patient has moved below the four-day-per week participation in Alcoholics Anonymous.
- You should be notified 24/7 (a release of course is requested and signed by the patient) with regard to the patient's ruminations related to leaving AMA (Against Medical Advice)-- both AMA Ideation and actual AMA. When a patient begins talking about leaving against medical advice, a series of intervention steps occurs. Unfortunately most addition treatment program do not understand dynamics of motivation and leverage and therefore each employee from nurse, counselor, volunteer, doctor, or even the janitor may take a crack at re-motivating the patient to stay. Unfortunately, each of these attempts reinforces the decision to leave. The first person to make an attempt at re-motivating the EAP client (or employee from the company) should be you-the EAP or other consultant working for the company as a liaison. You can communicate leverage from the employer--generally assurance that the employee will be fired if he or she leaves treatment (we are assuming a formal referral to the EAP with a last chance agreement was involved in this sort of admission). If you are called last instead of first, the patient will have already practiced their "pitch" to leave and your job of convincing them to stay will be made more difficult. Use this EAP Handout Tip Sheet for following clients post discharge from your EAP office.