Client families should expect to be in treatment for 8 to 12 months; the average is 10 months, but there is no such thing as the ‘average client.’
Consistent with AA and the disease model of addiction, AARC is an abstinence program. Given the pattern of high-risk use exhibited by clients admitted into the program, as well as their age and stage of physical and emotional development, there is no alternative.
Clients work through the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) at their own speed. It takes several months to get through the first three steps. AARC recognizes four levels of recovery, as clients regain control of their lives. Levels 1 and 2 are Primary Recovery, Level 3 is Intermediate, and 4 is Advanced, prior to graduation.
Six days a week, the client receives peer and clinical counselling, and attends treatment at the centre. In the evening, they stay at a Recovery Home with a sober client’s family. Families visit on Tuesdays and Fridays for rap sessions (group sessions), with additional visits on special occasions, such as Easter and Christmas. This is what we call Level 1.
At Level 2, the client takes on more responsibility. They attend the centre for peer counselling but go home at night with their own family. Rap sessions continue for family members.
At Level 3, clients are now taking newcomers home, a role reversal from Level 1. They attend full-time education and peer counselling at the centre, including family group therapy.
At Level 4, clients are attending school or are back at work from 8am til 5pm every day. They are acting as recovery supporters and taking newcomers home, and are learning to enjoy leisure time and family life without drugs.
Rarely do clients complete treatment in 29 weeks. On average, clients admitted into AARC complete treatment in a period of about 9-10 months. Things that may cause delay in client advancement through treatment include:
- Frequent behavioral issues
- Non compliance
- Conflict with other clients
- Relapse while in treatment
- Failure to complete assigned paperwork within allotted time
- Clinical assessment that the client requires additional time to fully grasp the fundamental ideas of their current step
- Reduced hours due to statutory holidays
- AWOL attempt
Some steps take extra time because there is a higher volume of paperwork required, and also clients often need to adjust to the responsibilities associated with their new levels.
AARC programming varies throughout the week but generally has similar treatment components from day to day. These are identified specifically on the Daily Schedules. All components of the day-to-day programming – including raps — are mandatory for every client. Should a client and/or family member have concerns with programming and attendance requirements, they should review the Grievance Procedure.