Recovery Checkups


Bill White on efforts to develop and implement recovery check-up protocols:

There is one sentence in the Standards that deserves particular acknowledgement:  “Recovery check-ups by addiction specialist physicians, just as those by primary care physicians or other providers, may promote sustained recovery and prevent relapse” (p. 13).

. . . The “recovery check-up” language marks an important milestone in the history of addiction medicine and the history of ASAM.  Projects are underway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Ann Arbor, Michigan [That’s us at Dawn Farm!] to develop recovery checkup protocol for primary care physicians.  Those projects mark the next step in integrating addiction treatment and primary medicine and the next step in extending acute care models of addiction treatment to models of sustained recovery management.

Imagine a day when everyone entering recovery will have an addiction-trained primary care physician and an addiction medicine specialist as sustained resources through the long-term recovery process.

via Recovery Checkups | Blog & New Postings | William L. White.

How full do you want your recovery to be?

Bill White on the importance of primary care:


The Philadelphia survey goes beyond affirming the significant prevalence of recovery in the general population to provide a detailed profile of the health of people in recovery.  The results are sobering.  People in recovery, compared to citizens not in recovery, are twice as likely to describe their health as poor and report higher rates of asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and past-year emergency room visits. They are also more likely to report lifetime smoking (82% vs. 44%), current smoking (50% vs. 17%), exposure to smoke in their residence, no daily exercise and eating fast food three or more times per week.

At its most practical level, the survey findings suggest that every person entering recovery should have an ongoing relationship with a primary care physician who is knowledgeable about addiction recovery and who can serve as an ongoing consultant on the achievement of health and wellness.


Integrated care?

a diagram by fuzzyjay

Pat Deegan bites her nails at the prospect of integrated care for mental health care (The same thing is happening with addiction treatment):

Is recovery going the way of the dinosaur? Is recovery-transformation an old idea that should give way to more enlightened policies of integrated, co-located behavioral and physical healthcare services?

These days, I am hearing a lot about the integration of physical and behavioral health services. I am hearing about the co-location of physical healthcare services in behavioral healthcare centers. I am hearing about federally qualified healthcare centers and their capacity to serve those of us diagnosed with major mental disorders. I am hearing how, in some states, recovery has “fallen off the radar” and has been replaced with initiatives to support access to medical care and physical health services.  A long-time advocate recently told me: “Recovery is old school.  Today we are about integrated care.”  

I don’t know about you, but the last time I was at my annual physical (April 2012), my primary care physician was anything but “integrated” and “whole health”.  I had the standard 20 minute physical exam that never once addressed my psychiatric disability.  After my annual physical, I was in the reception area, getting my referrals for an annual mammogram, bone density and eye exam.  Although a wall separated the medical reception area from the medical exam rooms, I heard a patient yell through the barrier, “And…I’ll need my script for citalopram increased by 10 milligrams.”  To my astonishment I heard the muted physician’s voice answer back through the wall…”OK”.  I found myself wondering, “So this is integrated health and behavioral healthcare?”