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Definitions for Continuum of Care Matrix for Alaskans with behavioral health disorders (mental illness, alcoholism, drug addictions)

  1. Community Prevention/Education – Community interventions and education that ward off the initial onset or risk of a substance use or mental disorder or emotional or behavioral problem, including prevention of co-occurring substance use and mental health disorder. Community prevention/education examples include peer/consumer and client support services; community education; advocacy/self-help; and prevention.

  2. Outreach – Facilitate entry into treatment or meeting the individual within their community, job, home or school setting to engage in treatment or support services for either a substance use or mental disorder or for those individuals experiencing co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. (Agency Defined).

  3. Emergency Services – are provided in a crisis situation during an acute episode of a substance use, mental, emotional or behavioral disorder. Emergency services are intended to reduce the symptoms of the disorder, prevent harm to the recipient or others; prevent further relapse or deterioration of the recipient’s condition; or to stabilize the recipient. Inpatient Medical Detox is also included in this section. This level of detoxification provides the highest level of monitoring. Placement criteria are defined by the presence of high risk factors for complicated withdrawal: high risk biomedical complications, psychiatric or behavioral complications.

  4. Detoxification Services – Detoxification is a process involving multiple procedures for alleviating the short-term symptoms of withdrawal from drug dependence. The immediate goals of detoxification are 1) to provide a safe withdrawal from the drug(s) of dependence and enable the client to become drug free; 2) to provide withdrawal that is humane and protects the client’s dignity; and 3) prepares the client for ongoing treatment of alcohol or drug dependence.

    • Social Detox: This is a model of detoxification that requires no medication, and allows the client to withdraw from abused chemicals in a safe environment.

    • Outpatient Detox : The client is at minimal risk from severe withdrawal, which requires moderate levels of medication and monitoring.

    • Medical Detox: This level of detoxification provides the highest level of monitoring. Placement criteria are defined by the presence of high risk factors for complicated withdrawal: high risk biomedical complications, psychiatric or behavioral complications.

  5. Assessment – A face-to-face, computer assisted, or telephone interview with the person served to collect information related to his or her history and needs, preferences, strengths, and abilities in order to determine the diagnosis, appropriate services, and /or referral for services to address substance use and or mental disorders. The type of assessment is determined by the level of entry into services and the qualified staff delivering the service: Intake Assessment, Drug/Alcohol Assessment, Psychiatric Assessment, Psychological Assessment, Neuro-Psychological Testing and Evaluation.

  6. Outpatient (Clinic-Based) Services – Refers to a range of facility based behavioral health services that can include assessment, individual, family, and group therapy. These services are designed to treat substance use disorders, mental illness, behavioral maladaption, or other problems: to remove, modify, or retard existing symptoms, attenuate or reverse disturbed patterns of behavior and promote positive recovery, rehabilitation, and personality growth and development.
    Note: Screening differs from assessment in the following ways:

    • Screening is a process for evaluating the possible presence of a particular problem; and,

    • Assessment is a process for defining the nature of that problem and developing specific treatment recommendations for addressing the problem.

  7. Rehabilitation and Recovery Services – Refers to a range of services that are available to clients who meet criteria based on levels of functioning in multiple spheres. Services can include a functional assessment, case management, individual/family/group skill development, and recipient support services. A functional assessment assists the client in identifying areas of need in developing a treatment plan. Case management services assist the recipient in accessing and coordinating needed services, such as medical, substance use, psychiatric, and behavioral health care. Skill development services help the recipient develop or improve specific self-care skills, self-direction, communication and social interaction skills necessary for successful community adjustment and interaction with persons in the recipient’s home, school, work, or community environment. Recovery is a treatment philosophy that provides the framework of service delivery. A recovery model offers hope that the restoration of a meaningful life is possible and achievable.

  8. Medical Services - Refers to a range of behavioral health services that are delivered by trained medical staff, and can include psychiatric assessment and pharmacological management, and medical co-morbidity.

  9. Residential Services – Is a licensed 24 hour facility (not licensed as a hospital) which offers behavioral health services which include treatment for substance use disorders; settings range from structured facilities, resembling psychiatric hospitals or drug/alcohol treatment facilities, to those that function as group homes or halfway houses; therapeutic foster care and foster care, family teaching homes, crisis beds, therapeutic group homes, staff-secure crisis/respite group homes, residential case managements specialized drug/alcohol, evaluation/treatment and specialized vocational rehabilitation.

  10. Inpatient Services – Inpatient hospitalization is the most restrictive type of care in the continuum of behavioral health services; it focuses on ameliorating the risk of danger to self or others in those circumstances in which dangerous behavior is associated with substance use or mental disorder. Services include facility-based crisis respite, community hospitals, Designated Evaluation and Treatment (DET) beds, and the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API).