This review is for substance abuse only. It’s long but I feel has information important if considering this Chattanooga facility for treatment. Focus Treatment Center supplies the tools needed for the drug/alcohol individual to manage their addiction. There are areas where Focus can, and should, work to improve the patient experience.
This review is for May to June 2018.
I will only mention one staff member. His job performance and attitude is poor. He is a tech and repeatedly demeaned patients and acted entitled in his position as well was extremely lax at his duties. Examples include
1. Did not check patient vitals first thing in the morning as he is supposed to. One patient in detox was woken up early in the morning by himh playing guitar in the commons area. When asked why he hadn’t checked vitals he said he didn’t feel like it. The same occurred the next morning. When asked by a detox patient to check vitals he said, “ok. I’ll check.” Patients BP was 177/80…obviously high. Patients in detox are to be monitored. His lack of doing so could have led to serious withdrawal complications. His inaction is a patient safety issue.
2. Coffee was available but he would refuse to go get Splenda for tea when he was asked.
3. He told one patient he had permission to go behind the nurse’s station and get his cigarettes where they are locked up. Patients aren’t supposed to be behind the nurse’s station. He then reprimanded the patient in front of others when he did, like it was a funny joke, which was very demeaning to the patient.
4. He displayed inappropriate attention toward one young female patient. He would play his guitar to her.
5. He was observed sleeping on the couch more than once at 5:30 in the morning
6. Where was supervision during these incidents? Lack of supervision and oversight also needs to be addressed.
Items brought for patient might be rejected one day by staff but accepted another day by separate staff members.
Items such as shampoo and lotion were rejected specifically for having the word alcohol as an ingredient. I had to finally print a list from the Focus website to prove cetyl, stearyl, isostearyl, biphenyl alcohol are allowed. Staff appeared to have lack knowledge and understanding of requirements. I recommend posting facility rules where both staff and patients can see and understand them.
Smokers were outside late at night after 11 pm making a considerable amount of noise. On at least two occasions smokers tried to get nonsmokers to take a cigarette or e-cigarettes. Counselors teach about the danger of swapping one addiction for another. Apparently some patients swap their drug/alcohol addiction to cigarettes. Focus, while treating one addiction, is promoting another. At least 3 patients started smoking while there during this 28 day period.
Patients are transported to offsite NA/AA meetings, which are held in areas known to be unsafe. Patients are told they are required to go. When questioned about an unsafe location a staff member said nothing has happened ‘yet.’
Patients concerned that bringing issues up could lead to retaliation by staff. Staff Culture problem could exist.
Food is similar to what you get at a hospital cafeteria. For the cost of the treatment facility I expected the food to be higher quality.
Patients are expected to clean their own rooms and bathrooms. Baseboards and bathroom floors were dirty and carpet not vacuumed. After cleaning the bathroom floor with a towel it was black. Not sure what the function of the housekeeping department is. There is no excuse for unsanitary and unhygienic conditions.
One counselor has approximately one year of experience. Inexperience showed during counseling sessions although no fault of the counselor. Better oversight and mentoring by experienced counselors would be appropriate.
Family and patients are encouraged to attend a three day (Friday-Sunday) Families in Focus program. Cost is $100 per person in advance. Personal opinion is the program is not worth the time or money.
Treatment at Focus is expensive. Without insurance it would be extremely difficult. Our insurance was billed: - $24,000.00 for the 28 day treatment program
- $4800.00 for detox
- $1500.00 for three days of Partial Hospital Psychiatric (PHP).
Focus also encourages 20 sessions after treatment called an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). The cost for each session is $150.00. An option is go to Narcotics or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. They are very beneficial and are free.
In closing Focus supplies tools to help addiction but must be applied after leaving treatment in order to be successful. Patients entering treatment are stressed physically and mentally and improving the items noted above will make an already difficult time much easier to succeed.