The intake process is a brief interview either by phone or in person that collects very basic information and ensures that the services being requested are congruent with the agency's mandate. Scheduled appointments are offered in the central St. Catharines office and in satellite offices located throughout the Peninsula including several schools. In addition to scheduled appointments, the St. Catharines office offers a 'walk-in' service Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.
The assessment consists of a psychosocial interview and administration of standardized questionnaires that identify the client's concerns, areas where change is desired and strengths that will aid in the change process. The assessment format combines the constructs of appropriate 'stage of change', motivational interviewing and solution-focused therapy. An individual treatment plan, incorporating the province's admission and discharge criteria, is developed for every client outlining the client's desired Behaviour Change Goals and strategies for achievement. Referrals are made to agency-provided services as well as a myriad of external resources for addiction specific and related concerns. Ongoing coordination and support are provided through case management services.
Clients who are appropriate for and agreeable to briefer, less intensive treatment are referred to agency-provided counselling/treatment services. Educational and counselling interventions are delivered in individual, group and family sessions employing stage appropriate, solution-focused and cognitive-behavioural therapies.
Family Treatment (as defined by the client)
Any person who is impacted by a family member's substance use/gambling, is welcome to attend treatment, with or without the person of concern.
Early Treatment is a group-level program designed to assist people awaiting more intensive treatment. It meets on Thursdays from 9:45am to 12 noon. As a preparation stage intervention, it is intended to engage clients in a treatment process, to provide an opportunity to become acquainted with a group setting, and to offer an introduction to relapse prevention strategies. In addition, it is intended to support clients as they stabilize in their own community and build a support network and to ensure that they are sufficiently detoxified to begin intensive treatment. The group also seeks to ensure that clients have realistic expectations of themselves and the treatment process before moving on to the next stage. Clients must attend at least two (2) sessions before moving on to further programming.
The Day Treatment program is an intensive treatment intervention designed to assist individuals experiencing significant substance abuse problems. The format is broad-based and uses a LifeSkills® model that has a educational and programming reference. A significant element of the program is spent in group process/group therapy activity.
Day Treatment is a closed program and is three (3) weeks in duration, running Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The program is repeated on a cyclical basis, with fifteen (15) cycles annually. To enter the Day Treatment program one is accessed through the Intake/Assessment phase of service.
Although intensive treatment is an integral part of recovery for many people experiencing difficulties with substance use, it must be recognized as only the initial step towards a chemical-free lifestyle. During recovery, a person may be undergoing substantial changes, while many facets of his/her life remain the same. He/she must continue to cope with many of the same stressors and problems that were present while he/she was abusing chemicals. This situation can often lead to relapse if there is not sufficient support to guide the individual and help him/her cope with the stressors of everyday life. The Aftercare phase of recovery addresses these needs.
To be eligible for Aftercare services, a person must have completed the treatment phase within three (3) months of the intended start of Aftercare. Treatment services can have been provided at any group-level treatment centre. It is not a requirement to have attended the Day Treatment program. Preference is given to residents of the Niagara region, but clients from outside the area may be accepted. The commitment expected is a minimum of eight (8) sessions, although many clients remain for up to one year.
Aftercare groups are conducted on a weekly basis and are one and one half (1 1/2) hours in duration. During a client's involvement in Aftercare, individual counselling is available on an as needed basis. Aftercare services are provided in both co-ed and gender-specific formats. Admission is determined by client preference and by identified recovery goals which will be discussed during the intake/assessment phase of service. Successful termination from Aftercare is by mutual agreement between staff and client, when the client no longer requires this level of support to continue recovery efforts effectively.
Addictions Supportive Housing Program (ASH)
The ASH program is for those in recovery, with a goal of abstinence, who have experienced multiple entries into treatment, to live in communal, abstinence based homes, with the support of an Intensive Addiction Case Manager. To qualify for the program the applicants' primary concern must be substance use, they must be capable of living independently with support, and have been unable to obtain or maintain stable housing without support. To be placed in an ASH house, the applicant must complete a comprehensive assessment and follow through on all recommendations made as a result in order to stabilize their recovery.