Caron staff members Cheryl Knepper, MA, Erin Deneke, Ph.D. and Christopher O’Reilly, MA, in conjunction with Dr. James McKay and Dr. Robert DuPont publish An Initial Evaluation of a Comprehensive Continuing Care Intervention for Patients with Substance Use Disorders: My First Year of Recovery in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.
Caron embarked on a My First Year of Recovery pilot curriculum specific for adolescents/teens in collaboration with Dr. Robert DuPont. The pilot is meant to support teens and their families upon discharge from inpatient treatment, while also connecting with and providing education to pediatricians as part of a teen’s circle of support.
Caron collaborates with Dr. Robert DuPont to incorporate outcomes data from My First Year of Recovery into Pediatric Addiction Training. Caron’s Pediatric Addiction Training program equips pediatricians to spot alcohol and drug abuse, intervene when necessary, and prevent the cycle of youth addiction. It is free and available to pediatric residents, fellows and physicians. The training is overseen by Nicholas Pace, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, and Harris Stratyner, Ph.D., Regional Clinical Vice President of Caron Treatment Center’s New York Recovery Services and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Individuals’ health care providers and other concerned parties (i.e. lawyers, employers) were added to My First Year of Recovery participants’ circle of support. This gives a participant’s home health care provider the opportunity to become familiar with the recovery program before their patient transitions back into their care. And, it gives Caron the opportunity to help educate primary doctors about substance use disorders and recovery management.
Caron introduces My First Year of Recovery to young adults. A special curriculum was developed to meet the unique needs of the young addicts.
Caron completes the curriculum for a second year in the program. Alumni and their families are now able to stay engaged with My First Year of Recovery for 24 months after treatment. The curriculum was tailored to the needs of alumni and their families as they transitioned into a second year of recovery.
Caron implements a higher standard of credentialing requirements for all My First Year of Recovery Care Clinical Specialists. Each clinical recovery specialist must hold a master’s degree or be working toward a master’s degree. This new requirement is unprecedented in the industry and allows Caron to provide a higher level of support to alumni and their families.
Caron’s My First Year of Recovery program was introduced to adult alumni. It is the first in the industry to combine care management, a recovery library, online networking with peers, random urine drug screenings and an interactive circle of support, which includes the family, outpatient providers, and third party representatives such as employers, probation officers and professional monitoring boards.
My First Year of Recovery also launches a curriculum to help families continue the recovery process and improve overall wellness. Alumni and families accessed a daily dashboard, which showed their progress throughout the program.
Caron broke the mold again when it challenged the industry to improve alcohol and drug rehab outcomes by collecting data that was not self-reported. Although we had gained some valuable insights, we were no longer satisfied with self-reported outcomes. We felt an obligation to our patients and their families to do better.
Caron collaborated with Robert DuPont, MD, founder of the Institute for Behavioral Health in Washington D.C. Dr. DuPont’s research (conducted with a physician monitoring program) adheres to a highly respected model, achieving 78% continuous sobriety rates.1 Along with Jim McKay, Dr. DuPont helped Caron adapt the model into one that could be used by non-licensed individuals.
To develop this new platform, Caron made a significant investment in new technology, developing a unique curriculum, and hiring clinically-based Recovery Care Specialists to facilitate the program. Philanthropic efforts were put in place to help underwrite the cost of this investment.
Caron partnered with Jim McKay, PhD, a leader in the measurement of outcomes in the field of addiction treatment from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. McKay assisted Caron in developing a new survey tool that allowed for improved data collection and reporting.
Caron’s Recovery Care Services are introduced and made available to all alumni. The program entails monthly outreach calls to all Caron alumni to measure abstinence rates and provide ongoing recovery support. The calls include both alumni and family members for one year. Approximately 15,000 alumni per year were called by Caron.
Caron invests in staff and software to develop a program that will monitor abstinence rates in the first year following treatment at Caron.
In the late 1980’s through the early 1990’s Caron was part of a consortium of drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers that pioneered outcome studies with alumni. The group implemented an outcomes tool as a standard measure of collection. The study was conducted by an outside agency and utilized a random sampling of patients. Data was collected through regular phone calls to alumni with a particular focus on abstinence rates and attendance at 12-step support groups. The outcomes were self-reported.