During recent months I have read opinions regarding the potential for having a residential addiction treatment center in Madison. As someone who spent most of my professional career as a Licensed Counselor and Masters Level Addiction Counselor, I would like to advocate for having the treatment center in our community.
These type of facilities, even if privately-owned, must meet the standards of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the industry leader in the healthcare organization certification process. JCAHO requires high levels of care and employment of credentialed staff to meet those standards. Treatment centers typically conduct rigorous 7-day a week programs designed to support clients by providing core services including education, psychotherapy (individual and group), family counseling, and group recovery meetings.
Citizens in smaller residential areas often see treatment facilities as a threat to their quiet way of life. They may have concerns about safety, and the influence that recovering drug and alcohol abusers could have on the community.
Addiction is pervasive, non-discriminatory, and should not be stigmatized. So many have been touched by its impact. There are people in every community who need treatment for addiction — sometimes family members, neighbors, or friends — yet, with little access. These type of facilities bring help to people who really need it. I can see no reason how having such a facility would in any way compromise our community. Quite the contrary, it would offer an opportunity for those here and in our surrounding areas to have access to quality care from professionals.
Our communities have the opportunity to be healthier and stronger if we provide people the support they need to fulfill their potential to lead healthy, productive lives.