Addiction Rehab During the Coronavirus Pandemic Q&A
Am I Allowed To Leave My House to Go to Rehab 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.
The following information pertains to American Addiction Centers (AAC), a leading provider of substance abuse treatment with facilities nationwide. AAC remains open and committed to serving the millions of individuals struggling with addiction while enforcing safety and prevention as a top priority in regard to COVID-19 (aka Coronavirus).
Will I Be Safe at an Addiction Treatment Facility?
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.
Is COVID-19 Testing at AAC?
Yes. 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. All patients admitted to our facilities and current patients exhibiting symptoms and/or feeling sick will be eligible for the test.
- What are the benefits? Testing admitting patients, current patients, and staff will help protect the health and safety of all individuals associated with our facilities. Patients who are both asymptomatic and exhibiting symptoms can be tested for COVID-19 upon admission to AAC to reduce any potential spread within the facilities. We test only our own patients and staff, so your test is not with tons of tests coming from all over with the risk of getting lost.
- What is the process? A sample will be collected from the patient through a nasal swab. The results will be produced in 24 to 48 hours.
- Will I get a copy of the results? Individuals at the facilities will receive their reports through the LIS interface portal as they would with any other kind of testing. These can be reviewed with medical personnel at their respective facilities.
- Who will see my results? Our testing is 100 percent confidential and we maintain strict HIPAA compliance.
- How accurate is the test? As a leading lab in the country, our test accuracy is greater than 95%. One of the reasons why our test is more accurate and detects more positives/less false negatives than others is because we are looking for three different targets on the virus genome. Most labs’ tests are only looking for one.
- Will the test detect whether or not someone has already had COVID-19? No, this is not an antibody test and therefore cannot predict previous exposure.
- What happens if a current or admitting patient tests positive? Each case will be dealt with on an individual basis in accordance with each individual facility’s COVID protocol.
- Who pays for the tests? The test is billed through insurance if you have a health insurance plan. Typically, there is no co-pay or deductible for the COVID-19 test. We also offer private pay rates.
What Is Your Vaccine Policy?
You do not need to be vaccinated to get treatment at AAC. If you have been fully vaccinated, you may not have to quarantine when you arrive. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you are fully vaccinated 2 weeks or more after:
- You’ve had the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines
- You’ve had the single dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine
When you call our admissions center, we will ask you if you have been vaccinated. If you have, please bring your vaccine card with you to treatment.
What is AAC 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 our facilities 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 times 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 AAC Facilities 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 AAC’s facilities, 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 an AAC Facility?
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 be 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 a Local Facility is Full?
We will do everything in our power to get you into treatment. 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 our detox hotline for help finding treatment now.