The field of alcohol and substance abuse treatment can be likened to that of the electric vehicle. The first electric car was built in 1828. Yes, you read that correctly, 1828. The evolution of the EV that has occurred over the almost 200 years since has been a rollercoaster. Gas-powered vehicles have always outsold their clean-air counterpart, but that’s due to many factors: more gas-powered options, big oil sabotaging electric efforts, horrible EV aesthetics… This doesn’t mean better sales equate to a better product, but not until the 1970/80’s energy crises did renewed interest bring about the need for more options. Between the dependency on a limited resource and the amount of pollution, it’s become more globally aware that the current model isn’t sustainable. This aforementioned interest didn’t really produce real results until the 1990s. Only after a lack of sustainability did the major car companies actually begin to hustle. And I find it lacking not to, at least, mention Elon Musk’s name and legacy. We’re talking about someone with zero ties to the industry, but saw a need and an opportunity. With a combination of new technology and innovation, we now have almost all auto makers competing to produce a brighter future, mainly due to one individual’s desire to disrupt the current system.
Today, the state of treatment in the recovery world is in need of it’s Tesla™. It’s been too comfortable with the status quo. Now, I’m not stating that my comparison isn’t without incongruences. First off, residential treatment isn’t a limited resource. Thus, the necessity for change isn’t necessarily dire, although it is still extremely important. I also can’t say the current “rehab” model isn’t effective. That would be a complete lie. The reputable and ethical residential treatment centers are indispensable. They contribute a very necessary and effective service. What I am presenting is there being a world of room for improvement. Mainly, in the realm of aftercare.
Enter Catalyst Recovery. Catalyst has created something transformative in regard to the future of substance abuse treatment. We have done more than just identify present issues and point fingers. We have developed a new method in which one can recover. Sending a highly trained Recovery Agent to accompany someone seeking assistance and incorporating telemedicine (online therapy), we have created a more effective aftercare model. It is beneficial to those looking for something in lieu of residential treatment and even for those traveling back home from their respective treatment centers. Being able to deal with the pressures of home life in real time with peer to peer support has been shown to be more successful than the current rehab model. The safety and security of a residential treatment center is very helpful, but at some point that individual has to return home to hopefully apply the newfound tools in the home environment. Why not eliminate the middle man?
Bringing rehab to the person is not a new concept, but we have truly developed the most comprehensive and innovative service to date. I would feel like a complete ass if I were to compare us to Tesla™, but I know we’re on the right track. One of the main goals we’ve had over the past almost 5 years has been to bring awareness of this remarkable service and more importantly it’s effectiveness. Up until now, there hasn’t been any licensing, regulations, or even a governing body overseeing the field of sober companions. Another goal we’ve had is to legitimize our particular service. The culmination of which was receiving The Gold Seal from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
For those unaware, JCAHO is what most major hospitals and healthcare organizations use to create the highest standard for patient care and safety. I urge everyone I know to research this accrediting body. The process for anyone receiving JCAHO’s Gold Seal is detailed and lengthy. They review policies and procedures, client/employee files and how they are stored, company finances/budget, human resources standards, and outcome measurement. The latter speaking to the effectiveness of each service and also an exceptional tool for improvement. They also survey each facility to inspect proper safety and maintenance. From fire extinguishers to emergency exit maps; from doorway clearance to bathroom signage. Catalyst is obviously without a facility, but that didn’t deter us from reaching out to the Joint Commission to see if we could begin a dialogue around bringing some much needed guidelines to this niche in the field. We wanted to create a standard for sober companions for no other reason than to improve the field.
We will continue to improve and advocate for others to join us in our fight to become more effective in helping those afflicted with this plight.