Our Doors Are Always Open (ODAAO)
ODAAO is a program that was initiated by Irving House. It was designed to strengthen and promote continued abstinence long after treatment. The centre recognizes how important treatment can be in the process of recovery, however we feel that aftercare and follow-up is a crucial function and an important component to maintaining long term sobriety.
Part of ODAAO starts in treatment as the clients develop a strategic action plan for their recovery, often referred to as the recovery plan. The majority of the time is spent individualizing each person’s plan to be tailored to the environment they would be returning to or in some cases planning alternate living environments from which they left prior to treatment.
A recovery plan will consist of an outline for the things they think they will honestly do on a, daily, weekly, bi-weekly and monthly basis, followed by short term goals, long term goals and future plans. Part of the plan will consist of their identified high risk situations and slippery behaviours and a plan of action for each. The plan is developed independently, in groups and frequently reviewed by their primary counsellor. This part is crucial as it gives the counsellor time to view potential threats to one’s recovery and help direct the client to better outcomes. The counsellors also challenge the clients by looking at potential threats that might not have been noticed before.
Strengths and areas that need improvement are identified during treatment and implemented into the action plan for going home. *Note the treatment course will also identify problem areas and solutions.
The framework for ODAAO was developed through the need for aftercare supports for clients. Offering the opportunity for the clients to access the treatment centre whenever they feel they need or for example, stopping by for a meal, staying the night, talking with the clients in the house or with one of the counsellors.
The probability of staying sober is higher if clients maintain contact with the treatment centre after the completion of treatment. Gaining support and momentum is the idea, trying to recreate the setting they have been accustomed to while in treatment can be very challenging when transitioning home. Through working with their counsellor, the clients can begin to create an environment by accessing available resources.
A transition of some kind has to take place, and will take place as part of the process of leaving treatment (integrating back into society). Once the transition stage is complete, and the client gets through it safely, the next stage is typically known as early recovery. In this period it’s important for the individual to have begun to implement their recovery plan. A period of getting comfortable with surroundings, the implementation of the schedule, and adjusting to their environments.
Confidence of remaining sober increases through these transitional stages or early stages of recovery.
Offering individuals on opportunity to be available for them at any time is comforting, especially in the beginning as they build rapport with new supports and may want to lean on their first supports through treatment. Just knowing that they can return to the environment they left is a huge relief and gives them a sense of security during the transition. It gives a sense of belonging and restores hope and freedom.
Our counsellors are able to follow up with the clients after treatment on a regular basis. An aftercare strategy is designed and implemented while the individual is in treatment. The client themselves is responsible for driving this aftercare and maintaining it. Building rapport and gaining trust is crucial for the allowance of follow up and follow through. The counsellor and clients can engage in regular scheduled meetings, in person, by phone, skype, face time or just keeping in touch through texting, allows us remain in contact which is the goal we are trying to achieve.
A 30 day stay in treatment is not a cure, it’s a beginning to managing your life every day. Engaging in positive consistent action is a best a practice on the road to long term sobriety.
Our ODAAO Program also offers alumni events during high-risk times throughout the year including some long weekends, a very popular Super Bowl Party and other activities. We do our best to help long term, with no time restrictions on the length of our treatment relationship once the client graduates our program.