The following is adopted from a post by Dr. David Meelee (Addiction Medicine), and very much in line with the SunCloud Health treatment philosophy and community accountability model:
If a patient uses substances/eating disorder/self-harm behaviors while in treatment or brings them into a treatment center and you work in a program that suspends, discharges, transfers or does not allow the patient to stay so they can work through that addiction flare-up, in my experience there are versions of at least four reasons given for a zero tolerance policy and procedure:
- We can’t allow the patient to stay as it will trigger others to use.
- We can’t allow the patient to stay because it will endanger the whole community.
- We can’t allow the patient to stay because there “needs” to be consequences for using and patients need to know and experience consequences otherwise the patient using and other patients will think it is OK to use if they are not suspended, discharged, transferred. (Some programs even send someone to “detox” even if the patient drank a couple of beers or smoked or shot up once and certainly does not need withdrawal management).
- We will get a bad reputation as a treatment facility that is soft on use if there are no consequences for using and especially if bringing in alcohol and other drugs to the facility.