A Message from our CEO
To Our Community (1/22/2021):
We are months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and I continue to be incredibly 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. Our protocols for the prevention and containment of the spread of COVID-19 are in place 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. Please see below for an update on the status of measures we’ve taken.
- Patients in our IL, PA, NJ, MD, and MA sites for inpatient treatment are tested for COVID-19 via a rapid diagnostic antigen test at the time of admission and on a weekly and as-needed basis. At many facilities, patients are separated from the residential living space of other patients while awaiting initial test results. These patients receive around-the-clock medical supervision and participate in recovery-focused activities virtually until their test results return. Patients who test negative are transferred to the general patient population for ongoing addiction treatment. Patients who test positive are either transferred to an internal COVID unit for their addiction treatment during isolation or to an off-site location where the recommended isolation can be completed safely. All patients are encouraged to social distance, wear masks when not eating, drinking, sleeping, or taking medicine, and wash hands regularly.
- 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.
- RCA staff at all our facilities are routinely tested for COVID-19 via a rapid diagnostic antigen test. Staff with COVID-19 symptoms and/or positive test results are required to follow CDC and/or local state guidelines and RCA protocols around isolation and clearance for safe return to work.
- All of RCA’s outpatient services are offered via telehealth. Many of our patients have thrived in this environment, so RCA will continue to offer these services online. In addition, RCA has opened its doors to a limited number of patients preferring in-person outpatient services. This gives our patients the option to experience the benefits of in-person treatment, virtual treatment, or a combination of the two.
- 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 required to wear facial coverings when on-site. RCA can provide a facial covering, but patients and staff may also bring their own. Masks can only be removed when sleeping, taking medication, eating, or smoking. A patient can remove their mask when they are in their room, but the mask must be worn within 6 feet of their roommate, when interacting with staff, 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.
- 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 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 continue to review qualified candidates via teleconference or phone to identify finalists prior to any face-to-face interview. This helps to limit individuals entering each 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