A Message from our CEO
To Our Community (8/17/20):
As a country, we are nearly six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and I have never been more proud of my teammates at RCA for their courage and dedication in continuing to fight the fight against addiction. A lot of things have changed, but Recovery Centers of America has not missed a beat. We’ve stayed focused on our goal of saving 1 million lives, 1 neighborhood at a time, from the disease of addiction....
As a company, we continue to put the health and safety of patients, families, and staff above all else. Since I wrote last, we’ve implemented additional precautionary protocols that are essential to the prevention and containment of the spread of COVID-19. All of this is done to keep safety at the highest levels possible while keeping our doors open 24/7 to those who need addiction treatment.
We continue to closely follow information and recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and local public health authorities to ensure the health and safety of all who are a part of the RCA community. Information and guidance continue to change; please see below for an update on the status of measures we’ve taken.
- Patients arriving at our PA, NJ, and MD sites are tested for COVID-19 via a GENETWORx Laboratory diagnostic test. GENETWORx is a CLIA-certified laboratory owned by RCA that is providing COVID-19 tests to the public as well. While awaiting test results, patients continue to receive around-the-clock medical supervision and participate in activities virtually, separate from the residential living space of other patients. Patients with a negative COVID-19 test are transferred to the general patient population for ongoing addiction treatment, and those who test positive are discharged to a more appropriate level of care.
- Patients are monitored with daily temperature checks and symptom assessments throughout their treatment stay. Any patient who develops symptoms that could be caused by COVID-19 is isolated and tested. RCA ensures that any patient who tests positive for COVID-19 has a safe place to go where COVID and their addiction can both be managed effectively.
- Since March 23, 2020, all of RCA’s outpatient services moved to telehealth. Our patients thrive in this environment, and RCA will continue to offer these services online.
- Since all outside visitation has been suspended, we are involving families virtually in their loved ones’ treatment. We have established a series of webinars for families and a weekly family support group. The WebEx platform is also used for individual family visits, therapy sessions, and Seeds to Recovery.
- RCA staff and patients are strongly encouraged to wear facial coverings when on-site. RCA can provide a facial covering, however, but patients and staff may also bring their own. Masks can only be removed when sleeping, taking medication, eating, or smoking. The mask can be removed when a patient is in their room, but it must be worn when interacting with staff or within 6 feet of their roommate or any other time social distancing is difficult to maintain.
- We are actively promoting the critical importance of regular hand washing for 20 seconds with soap and water, proper coughing and sneezing etiquette, and avoiding touching your face to reduce transmission of COVID-19. This is in accordance with all CDC recommendations.
- For our alumni, we are hosting daily virtual NA and AA meetings and Lunch and Learn speaking events on various topics such as gratitude in difficult times and recovery in relationships. Additional alumni remote recovery events include virtual recovery yoga, daily meditations, group therapy led by licensed clinicians, 12 Steps in 12 Days, and Virtual Seeds to Recovery for families.
- We continue to use a controlled single entry and exit at each site where all staff are screened daily for symptoms and have their temperatures taken prior to entering the facility. Staff are encouraged to remain home if they feel sick. If they present to work appearing ill or develop illness while at work, they are immediately sent home.
- Hand sanitizer is available for staff use between times when they can wash their hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- We have advised staff when they arrive home at the end of their shift to wash their hands, wash their clothing, shower, and change into clean clothes to reduce the risk of COVID transmission.
- All MAT services remain operational and provide necessary dosing while limiting patient interactions, maintaining social distance and offering teletherapy services.
- All cleaning products have been reviewed for effectiveness against COVID-19 and additional products have been added for use. Facility directors have bolstered RCA cleaning protocols to remain in line with all CDC recommendations in order to help limit the spread of infection.
- The supply chain for necessary cleaning supplies and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is constantly reviewed and inventory of items is monitored daily to ensure adequate supplies at each RCA location. Despite the current strain on the supply chain, RCA has been able to obtain the appropriate PPE for our level of care as outlined by the CDC. This includes procedural masks, eye protection, gloves, gowns and other needed items.
- Our recruiters will continue to review qualified candidates via teleconference or phone to identify finalists prior to any face-to-face interview to limit individuals entering the facility as we continue to fill vacant and needed positions.
- Senior Managers at RCA meet several times daily to review the latest guidance and best practices related to managing substance use disorders during the pandemic.
We are confident these measures will continue to ensure the health and safety of our patients, families, visitors, and staff. As COVID-19 guidelines change, we will continue adapting accordingly. Please let us know if you have any suggestions, questions, or concerns.
RCA remains your partner in the fight against COVID-19 and addiction.
Recovery Resources During Coronavirus
Welcome to Recovery Centers of America Coronavirus Resource Page. This coronavirus pandemic will certainly be a difficult time for everyone, but there are reasons why those of us in recovery or those struggling with drug and alcohol use may have a particularly difficult time.
We’re a group of folks who may seem difficult to characterize at first. While we thrive on human interaction, we’re also people who like to isolate, especially when we’re active in our addiction or experiencing uncomfortable feelings. And what’s more uncomfortable than being socially isolated while there’s an illness we don’t know much about impacting people across the globe? These issues of uncertainty around work, school, and family issues – when will we get to go back to school, how will we manage with “social distancing” that may keep us in a house with family members who are not supportive of our recovery? For those still struggling with drugs and alcohol, how will our body react without the substances? Is withdrawal likely? And for everyone – where do we turn to find the support we used to get from AA, NA, Al-anon, other types of recovery meetings, therapists, houses of worship and other resources?
RCA is here to help. We will provide support by making as many resources as possible available during this time. In addition to the RCA website and this page, please check out our Facebook page for updates and additional resources, web casts, Facebook live chats, and more.
Helpful Resource Links:
How to Talk to Your Kids About Addiction and the Coronavirus
– Written by Trish Caldwell, RCA Director of Family Services
A Recipe for Self-Nurturing in Times of Stress
– Written by Amber D. Chamberlain, M.ED, LPC, RCA Treatment Advocate
Freeing Ourselves From Chaos Through Spiritual Principles
– Written by Peter Krespan, Recovery Educator
We Asked: How are Alumni Managing Recovery Right Now? Here are Their Tips
– Written by Audra Franchini, Communications Manager, with contributions from RCA’s Alumni Association
Self-Care During Uncertain Times
– Written by Lauren Vandenbraak, RCA Treatment Advocate
Coronavirus is Stopping a Lot of Things – but Local Addiction Treatment isn’t one of Them
– Written by Audra Franchini, Communications Manager