Frequently Asked Questions for Families of Addicts
We understand this is a time of mixed emotions for you. Supporting your loved one as they enter an addictions treatment facility can be frightening. Below you will find answers to questions you may be asking.
Q: What happens after I leave?
A: Staff will take the patient up to the Addictions Treatment Center (ATC). Your loved one will then meet with a psychiatrist and an addictions counselor to complete intake assessments. The patient will meet with nursing staff for initial vital signs and a nursing assessment. Staff will search the patient’s belongings and personal items as a way to maintain safety. Items such as cell phones and personal electronic equipment will typically be removed and locked up, unless an order is written by the physician. The patient will then receive a tour of the unit and will spend time with their assigned staff, reviewing orientation material.
Q: What is a day like for my loved one?
A: On weekdays, the mornings consist of breakfast and a 3-hour group therapy session. Following this, the patients eat lunch and attend various therapy modalities (expressive therapy, meditation/mindfulness, yoga, drum, adventure group, family group). At 4:00pm, patients work on their homework assignments and engage in various RN-led groups (i.e. SMART Goals, Stress Management, Skills Before Pills). Next is leisure group at 5:00pm followed by dinner at 5:40pm. We end our day with exercise, recreation and time for homework until 10:00pm. Patients are expected to have “lights out” at 11:00pm nightly.
Weekends consist of meals, group therapy (psychoeducational group, spirituality group, health promotion group), exercise/recreation, treatment videos, visitation/phone calls, homework, leisure group, 12-step meetings and an optional church service.
Q: May I call and speak to my loved one?
A: Patients are allowed 10 minute phone calls each Sunday from 4:00 pm-7:00 pm and Wednesday from 4:00 pm-7:30 pm. Phone calls must be pre-approved by staff and remain at staff’s discretion. When you call, be sure to ask for the Addictions Treatment Center (or ATC). Once transferred to the unit, you may ask to speak with staff and/or the patient. If at any time you have questions or concerns about your loved one’s care that you would like to discuss with staff, feel free to call.
Q: May I visit?
A: Patients are allowed visitation from 1:00pm-4:00pm each Sunday. All visitors need to be pre- approved. All visits are monitored by staff and are in locations both on and off the ATC unit. Each visitor will be asked to sign a confidentiality waiver. Please note that it is an expectation that all purses, bags, phones, and other personal belongings be locked up during visitation. If an argument erupts, the visitor will be asked to leave, regardless of who is at fault or who started the argument.
Q: May I bring food and/or beverages when I visit?
A: As a general rule, outside food and drink is not allowed in the facility. The ATC offers a weekly shopping trip to one location, in which patients are permitted to request items. Items must be approved by the ATC medical team to ensure safety. Staff will retrieve requested items. Cash is required to purchase items.
Q: May I bring other items for my loved one?
A: We understand that sometimes people forget items and there is a need to bring those to them while they are in treatment. We ask that whatever you bring to your loved one is given to staff first so that it can be approved. Prairie View is a tobacco-free campus, so tobacco in any form should not be brought to the unit.
Q: May I take pictures?
A: Due to confidentiality, taking pictures or recording of any kind is prohibited.
Q: May my loved one receive mail?
A: Patients may send and receive mail. Please be sure to address the envelope/package with your loved ones name in care of Prairie View ATC. Mail will be opened in the presence of staff.
Q: What is Family Week?
A: Family members may be invited to participate in “family week” starting on Wednesday of the patient’s third full week during treatment, which will be scheduled by the patient, counselor and family. Activities are from 1:00pm-3:00pm on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Wednesday, you will meet with an addiction counselor to learn more about the program, learn resources, and discuss the addiction process and impact on you and your family. You will not see your loved one on Wednesday. Thursday consists of Adventure Group with all family members in attendance and other patients who are also participating in family week. Please dress appropriate for the weather and activities (e.g. tennis shoes). In case of inclement weather, activities will be held in the gym. On Friday, there is a Family Therapy group session with family members and ALL of the patients on the unit, led by a marriage and family therapist and addiction counselor. The purpose of family week is to foster communication, build trust, and learn to have fun with sobriety.