We’re Open & Committed to Addiction Treatment During Coronavirus
With passion and vigilance, American Addiction Centers (AAC) remains open and committed to serving the millions of individuals struggling with addiction, while enforcing safety and prevention as a top priority in regards to COVID-19 (aka Coronavirus). Amidst the global health crisis, AAC is strictly following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization’s recommendations and taking as many proactive actions as possible to protect our current and future patients and staff.
AAC’s own lab will be conducting COVID-19 testing as an additional safety screening for patients admitted to its treatment centers across the country.
Who is eligible for the test?
- All patients admitting to our facilities.
- Current patients exhibiting symptoms and/or feeling sick.
A full list of the process, FAQ and information can be found here.
Our testing is 100 percent confidential and we maintain strict HIPAA compliance.
Vaccinated patients may not be required to isolate upon admission. All new patients will be asked if they have received their COVID-19 vaccination when they call our admissions center. If you have been vaccinated, please bring your vaccination card to the facility to present upon admission. You are not required to be vaccinated to receive treatment at Desert Hope Treatment Center or another AAC facility.
Overview of Our Approach
1. Overall Patient and Staff Safety:
Each facility has been tasked with establishing a Health Protection Committee (HPC). The purpose of the HPC is to ensure hygiene and safety measures are consistently in place and being followed at each facility, ensure a coordinated company response to any concerns and establish protective protocols in the event that the health of our patients or employees may have been compromised as a result of COVID-19. The HPC works directly and daily with AAC’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lawrence Weinstein to implement and enforce the most up-to-date procedures as the coronavirus information evolves.
Screening: AAC screens all patients prior to admission to determine personal travel history, potential exposure, potential contact with someone who has traveled to areas of concern, any direct contact by the patients with persons diagnosed with COVID-19, and any symptoms of illness. Those who screen positive will not be admitted to treatment. Those who screen negative will be eligible for admission.
Patients who request additional travel security can opt for a sober escort for door-to-door supervision and monitoring while en route to Desert Hope. Our Sober Escort initiative is designed to provide safety for potential patients, and all sober escorts have access to personal protective equipment (PPE) so they can assist patients in the journey to treatment following an intervention or decision to attend Desert Hope.
Ask about a sober escort when you call Desert Hope today.
3. Staff Monitoring:
AAC is committed to ensuring staff at our facilities are not infected with COVID-19 virus. Staff who have traveled to areas of concern, have been in contact with someone in these areas, have been in direct contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or shows any signs of illness are asked to follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, which dictates 14 days of isolation with no symptoms from the time of contact.
4. Facility Hygiene:
We are maintaining our already stringent cleaning and disinfecting processes throughout the day along with regularly scheduled deep cleanings and encouraging staff and patients to practice strict hand hygiene and avoid skin to skin contact. We are also closely monitoring the health of our patients.
5. Specialized Treatment:
Our therapists have been trained on the effects of anxiety related to COVID-19 and are running groups at facilities to address concerns.
Desert Hope Treatment Center updates:
We are offering telehealth outpatient rehabilitation services.
To ensure the utmost safety of our patients, our new clients are broken into cohorts as they are tested and cleared for treatment with peers.
- Cohort 1: Serenity (Admissions/Isolation) Upon admissions, new clients are given a PCR test and remain in in-room isolation for 24 to 48 hours until results are received. During this time, individuals receive teletherapy and wear white bands.
- Cohort 2: Hope (Observations/Quarantine) Clients who have a negative PCR test are no longer in isolation, but remain under observation for five days. These individuals participate in the standard treatment program flow and wear blue bands.
- Cohort 3: Courage (General Population) 5 to 90 days. These individuals have been cleared as non-high risk patients, participate in standard treatment programming, and wear green bands for the remainder of their stay.
*Note that Cohort populations DO NOT intermingle at any time.
This section last updated on 2/4/2021.
FAQs about Addiction Treatment & Coronavirus
- Am I allowed to leave my house to go to Desert Hope for treatment?
- Yes! Accessing behavioral healthcare is an “essential” activity, which means you’re allowed to leave your home to get treatment when you need it, even if you’re practicing social distancing or obeying shelter-in-place orders.
- Will I be safe at Desert Hope?
- Yes. We understand your concerns about your health and we’re here to reassure you. The safest place you can be during a pandemic is under the care of medical professionals. Our approach to patient safety is the most stringent in the country, and during this time we are taking extra precautions to ensure you’ll remain safe while you get the help you need.
- What are you doing to protect patient health during the pandemic?
- We are being extremely vigilant about protecting the safety of every patient who comes to our facility. This is our #1 priority.
Here’s what we’re doing to ensure that we protect your physical health during this time:
- Screening all patients on the initial intake, the day of travel, and upon arrival at Desert Hope for any signs of illness.
- Taking patient temperatures throughout the day and providing medical support to patients with doctors and nurses available 24/7.
- Extensive deep cleaning of the facility multiple days per day.
- Practicing all recommended social distancing measures.
- Separating and monitoring all new patients to limit potential exposure to illness.
- Offering a sober escort service to transport incoming patients to limit exposure at airports.
- Limiting who we allow into the facility (only “essential personnel” allowed—staff and patients only).
- Limiting daily admissions.
- Providing telehealth for all outpatient services to limit any unnecessary exposure to the virus.
We know you may be feeling a lot of anxiety about the pandemic, and apart from taking every health precaution, we are running groups at the facility to address COVID-related anxiety.
- Do you allow admissions from states that are “hotbeds” for the coronavirus?
- No. To keep our patients safe, we have implemented certain admissions restrictions for states with very high rates of COVID-19.
- Should I wait until the pandemic ends to go into rehab?
- No. At home, you are still exposed to COVID-19 when you do things like pick up your mail, go to the grocery store, or refill a prescription at the pharmacy. All the while, your addiction could be getting worse. The stress and isolation of living in quarantine may only worsen your substance use and any mental health symptoms from which you’re suffering. At Desert Hope, we are taking rigorous measures to limit any exposure to the virus while providing the lifesaving treatment you need.
Now is a good time to go to treatment because a lot of the world is at a standstill. Take this time to get the help you need to recover from your addiction. When things resume as normal, you’ll be in a much better place—clean and sober.
- Will I be able to see my family while I’m at Desert Hope?
- Generally, we allow family visits; however, while COVID-19 is a concern, we are limiting in-person visits. However, you will be able to call your family members so you’ll know they’re safe and they’ll know you’re getting the help you need. We know you’re concerned about missing your family while you’re away, but your family life can only benefit from you getting sober.
- Will going to treatment cause me to lose my job?
- There are legal protections for you to access the behavioral healthcare you need. If you wait to get help, you might lose your job due to the ramifications of your drug or alcohol use. If you get help now, you can come back to work healthier and perform better.
If you’re currently unemployed or furloughed, this the perfect time to get treatment. Once the pandemic ends, a lot of people will in competition for jobs, and you’ll need to be at your best to land a position or return to and keep the job from which you’ve been furloughed. You can only do so in the right frame of mind (and with the ability to pass a drug test, should you be required to do so).
- What can I do if Desert Hope is full?
- We will do everything in our power to get you into treatment. Our parent company, American Addiction Centers, operates a number of facilities across the U.S. We will help you find a facility that you can travel to and that has available beds. You’re not alone. Call us for help finding treatment now.
What you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community:
The CDC recommends daily preventative actions to help reduce the spread of respiratory diseases including:
- Avoid unnecessary handshakes, hugs and kisses
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick and stay away from others if you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touches objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing:
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
Our laboratory CEO Mark Calarco recommends the following immunity boosting measures:
- High doses of Vitamin D (10,000 units per day)
- Mushroom Complex supplements (for the immune system)
- Drink plenty of water and fluids
Evolving Procedures and Policies:
As information on the coronavirus continues to evolve, we are examining our procedures closely and updating our procedures and policies as necessary. We will remain open and look forward to continuing to provide critical addiction treatment and resources to the millions of people suffering from the disease of addiction.
American Addiction Centers is the leading provider for addiction treatment nationwide, specializing in evidence-based treatment and mental health care. Call us now for help – .