Ray Estefania is co-founder and Executive Director of Family Recovery Specialists (FRS). FRS provides an intensive outpatient program for adolescents and young adults who are dealing with substance abuse and addiction issues. We believe addiction is a primary, progressive, potentially fatal disease that can be successfully treated. Our program consists of education, individual counseling, group therapy, family counseling and random drug screening. We provide highly individualized and comprehensive services for addiction and recovery with a 12 step focus. This program includes education about the physical, emotional and social risks associated with substance use. Clients are taught refusal skills and other coping mechanisms in order to make better choices related to living a physically and emotionally healthy lifestyle free from chemical use. Parents are guided and supported to set clear limits and boundaries which promote better decision making and accountability in their children. Parents and participants attend a weekly multi-family group where issues of communication, conflict resolution and recovery are processed. Families are provided direction and supported in order to learn new, more effective ways of communicating and relating to one another.
Each patient undergoes a thorough bio-psycho-social assessment and specific substance abuse evaluation with a licensed professional counselor or addiction specialist. We assess the level of substance involvement and examine all consequences related to use. In addition, we explore the family situation to determine what other support may be necessary for recovery. Other co-occurring mental health issues are also examined and a referral to a consulting psychologist/psychiatrist is made when necessary. We have developed relationships with many professionals from other disciplines who can provide additional services as needed. It has been our experience, that over 60% of the individuals who abuse substances have an underlying mental health issue. The patient could be suffering from depression, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, oppositional defiance disorder or another disorder. If these underlying psychiatric issues are left untreated, the adolescent or young adult will be more likely to relapse with substances. We feel strongly it is important to identify these issues early in the recovery process to increase the individual’s chances of a successful outcome.
The program meets four times per week, Mon-Thu from 6:00 to 8:30 pm. Individual and family therapy appointments are scheduled at a time that is convenient for the client and family. All participants are encouraged to attend 12 step meetings in the community on their own. Parents are encouraged to attend Families Anonymous or Al-Anon meetings to engage with other families and obtain support and experience with 12 step concepts. The average length of stay is 2-3 months in the outpatient program but some individuals may require longer or shorter lengths of stay. Clients who successfully complete the outpatient program are entitled to a weekly one hour aftercare meeting for ongoing support. At the time of discharge, we make additional recommendations for aftercare which may include individual and/or family therapy, follow up with psychiatrist or other mental health professional. We can provide these additional services or in some cases it may be more appropriate to refer the client to another professional.
We also provide outpatient treatment for adolescents and young adults who are not chemically dependent but are at risk to develop more serious problems with substances. These teenagers are in the early stages of use, typically experimenting or abusing substances. Some experimentation can be a normal part of adolescent development but any substance use needs to be carefully evaluated to make sure it does not develop into more problematic use or addiction. The lack of maturity and brain development in adolescents puts them at higher risk to develop problems more quickly than adults. What can take an adult years to progress into addiction can happen in weeks or months for adolescents. These children require education, individual and family therapy in order to prevent their use from progressing to abuse or addiction. Parents are provided direction and support on how to set clear limits and boundaries, enforce consequences and improve their effectiveness as parents so their child does not have to develop a more serious problem with substances in the future. This program typically meets two to three times per week for approximately six weeks.
In the event a client is unable to remain abstinent in the Intensive Outpatient Program, we will make an appropriate referral to a residential treatment center, wilderness therapy program or therapeutic boarding school. We are familiar with most programs across the country and can assist you or your loved one to find the best possible placement. We provide placement and intervention services, recovery monitoring/coaching and aftercare coordination once an individual has successfully completed a residential type program.
Please take the first step and give us a call to set up an evaluation, so we may determine if our program can help your family. For more information you may check out the Family Recovery Specialists website at www.familyrecoveryspecialists.com.