Professionals Program For Physicians

Our Professionals Program Is Designed To Take Into Account The Unique Challenges Doctors Face With Substance Abuse

Alcoholism & Drug Addiction Treatment Program For Doctors and Physicians

They’re some of the most respected individuals in society, and yet doctors often hear the old adage, “Physician, heal thyself.”

The disease of addiction, however, doesn’t have an easy cure. There’s no prescription that can be written, no diet change that can be implemented, no exercise course that can be started that will, on their own, “cure” a physician who’s struggling to hold it together externally but falling deeper into a pit of despair on the inside.

That’s where the Professionals Program at Cornerstone of Recovery can make a difference. Over the course of almost three decades, Cornerstone has earned a reputation as one of the best substance abuse treatment centers in the nation. Our Professionals Program caters to a range of workers in the medical field who have several things in common: easier access to prescription medication than the general population; demanding workloads that often mean long hours; a high degree of stress caused by treatment of individuals whose attitudes and behaviors are made worse by illness; and compassion fatigue caused by giving of themselves to others day in and day out.

Such stressors can take a deadly toll: Rates of addiction among the general population are estimated to be between 8 and 10 percent, but for physicians, the rate starts at 10 percent and may reach as high as 15 percent. And it’s not a new problem, either: In the late 1800s, Dr. William Stewart Halsted, credited as one of the pioneers of American medicine and surgery, was addicted to both morphine and cocaine. But because of the prestige the title of M.D. holds among peers and society in general, the problem is often not reported until it’s too late: A 2010 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that although 17 percent of the almost 1,900 physicians who responded personally knew of an impaired physician, only 67 percent of them reported that individual to the proper authorities.

The good news is that addiction treatment programs for physicians are often more effective than they are for the general population: A 2009 study by The Mayo Clinic revealed that physicians in recovery remain abstinent at a rate of 74 to 90 percent, and while some of that may be due to a determined effort to return to a rewarding career, we at Cornerstone believe that treatment in our Professionals Program provides something more.

At the heart of traditional 12 Step recovery is the idea that addiction isn’t about the alcohol and the drugs; it’s about the reasons individuals want to use those substances in the first place. Sometimes it’s to enhance pleasure, other times it’s to numb pain – both physical and emotional – but all of the time, it eventually stops doing either one and starts to slowly destroy lives, reputations and careers. Our goal at Cornerstone of Recovery is to stop that slide toward the abyss and return physicians to their families and communities as individuals who understand that self-care is as important as patient care.

As part of the Professionals Program, we’ll medically detox you, safely and slowly, from drugs and alcohol, and you’ll then be introduced into a community of peers from all walks of life. For the first time, you’ll be able to let down your guard and relax, allowing yourself to be the one who accepts care rather than giving it. We’ll help you unravel your identity from your career and find a place in your list of priorities for both, while at the same time addressing unique challenges you face as an addicted doctor. In addition to therapeutic processes designed to meet the needs of the entire treatment community, you’ll attend several Professionals Program groups every week, and in addition to local 12 Step meetings, you’ll be transported to Caduceus support groups designed specifically for impaired physicians. In addition, after treatment you’ll be enrolled in a specific Professionals aftercare group populated by individuals such as yourself who have returned to the field, and we offer both Professionals relapse prevention groups for you and family therapy groups for your loved ones.

Needless to say, our approach to treating addicted physicians is as comprehensive as the medical solutions you prescribe for your patients. Call today and ask to speak to Dr. Janet Hicks, Director of the Professionals Program, to determine if the Professionals Program at Cornerstone of Recovery is right for you – because you don’t have to heal yourself, by yourself. Let us help you do that.

About The Professional's Program

Alcohol & Drug Addiction Treatment Services

The Path To Recovery Starts At Cornerstone

Medical Detoxification can be a critical time in a patient’s journey toward recovery because the symptoms of withdrawal can be difficult to manage and potentially life-threatening. A team of certified, competent and caring professionals work together to ensure that we provide the best medical care for our patients. The Medical Director prescribes detox medications to keep the patient safe and reasonably comfortable.

While receiving detoxification medications, patients also attend psychoeducational groups and experiential activities. However, detox patients are also given sufficient opportunity to relax and allow their bodies to begin the healing process. Patients on a detox protocol are monitored 24 hours a day and the typical length of detoxification is 3 to 5 days and may be longer depending on the severity of the patient’s withdrawal symptoms.

This unit is designed to support our patients as they enter treatment and begin to invest in their community of peers. An extensive battery of assessments is performed to identify the patient’s bio-psycho-social-spiritual strengths, needs, and barriers to recovery (such as chronic pain, dual diagnosis, trauma, or other co-occurring disorders). This comprehensive assessment process provides our medical and clinical teams with much of the information they need to build a treatment plan that is individualized for each patient.

Our NON-NARCOTIC PAIN MANAGEMENT PROGRAM offers solutions that eliminate and or reduce the dependence on medications to treat pain and improve treatment outcomes. We are able to reduce pain and improve the recovery process. We offer sound information and teach skills that the patient can use to improve coping, relaxation, mindfulness, nutrition, and much more. Some of the modalities we use are Reiki, Rubenfeld Synergy, Acupressure, Mindful Stretching, and Addiction Free Pain Management Education.

We believe healing occurs through direct experience. Experiential activities amplify the traditional therapeutic
modalities that are part of our milieu. Fitness, Meditation, Relaxation Therapy, Yoga, Spirituality Groups, Ropes Course, Mindfulness, Art Therapy, Drumming Circles, and community outings are some components of experiential healing at Cornerstone. Patients who participate in experiential therapies report reductions

Family Therapy is an integral part of all of the clinical programs at Cornerstone. Early on in the treatment process, we conduct a Family Questionnaire which allows family members and close personal friends to have input that impacts the patients treatment plan. When appropriate, there are Family Therapy sessions throughout the treatment process. These sessions are designed to work through relationship issues, enhance communication, educate the family about the disease of addiction and provide them with emotional support while their loved one is in treatment. Through this support, the family will gain knowledge about the treatment process and how they may be unknowingly supporting the addiction through co-dependent and enabling behaviors.

Family members will learn about how to engage in personal growth and change through various 12 step programs, so that the family can heal together trough the recovery process. Cornerstone requires that each patient complete Family Fundamentals, an intensive three-day family program designed to provide intensive education, group therapy, family therapy, 12 step meeting experience, and an opportunity to repair the damage caused by active addiction. Family members are strongly encouraged to attend the Family Fundamentals program along with the patient. Cornerstone also has a weekly family education group for family members and an ongoing support group for parents of young adults who are struggling with addiction or who have recently entered recovery

The Continuous Care Program upholds Cornerstone of Recovery’s treatment philosophy that chemical dependency is a chronic incurable disease that requires the consistent and continued attention of each patient for a lifetime. Recent scientific studies of the disease process have determined that full remission from active addiction does not occur until an individual has experienced at least 18 months of continuous sobriety, long after most intensive treatment programs have concluded.

In response to this knowledge, the Continuous Care Program provides services for a period of at least 18 months following treatment, to ensure that each patient has the opportunity for professional support throughout the early stages of their recovery. During this time, patients are encouraged to practice the skills and tools they learned and developed in treatment as they find their way back
into their home, work, and social environments. They are able to talk with Recovery Coaches and therapeutically
process the ups and downs they experience in sobriety. Active participation in the Continuous Care Program is vital in establishing a lifelong, solid recovery plan.

The Support Living Facility (SLF) provides a safe environment for patients to continue to learn and practice self-management and interpersonal relationship skills while solidifying their recovery program. It can take several months for individuals to become comfortable enough in their recovery to successfully move away from the environment where they got sober. The SLF Program allows men and women to experience some of the freedoms they will experience after treatment while they are supported by thier peers, staff, and a sober environment. Staff monitors the community through regular contact, group therapy, spirituality groups, relapse prevention groups, drug screens, and random checks of the living quarters. Eventually, the patient is allowed to retrieve their cell phone, to leave the premises, operate a vehicle and obtain employment. The minimum length of stay is 2 months (while the individual concurrently is in the IOP Program). Patients often choose to stay in SLF longer while they continue to build their recovery network and become more comfortable with the life changes they’ve made.Typical length of stay varies from 2 to 6 months, depending on the patient’s clinical needs.


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