July 1st, 2013

Hampstead Hospital launches Recovery Matters program

Hampstead Hospital, a private psychiatric hospital in southern N.H., recently launched a new residential treatment program for adult men and women who are managing substance abuse and addiction. The program, Recovery Matters, utilizes a highly-structured approach that combines therapeutic groups, individual therapy and family meetings.

Recovery Matters started on April 15 and can house up to 10 adults. The clinical team, which rotates through three, eight-hour shifts per day, includes master’s level clinicians, licensed drug and alcohol counselors, nurses, recreational therapists and a psychiatrist.

“The main reason [for adding this program] was being able to provide a resource for people to meet that in-between level of care from inpatient detoxification to an outpatient treatment system,” explains Stacy Carpenter, MSW, director of Recovery Matters.

The transition – from a medically-necessitated hospitalization to an outpatient counseling program – has proven to be difficult for many recovering addicts, resulting in relapses and other behavioral issues. The goal of Recovery Matters is to bridge that gap, providing the necessary structure to educate and prepare clients for a successful re-entry into public life.

“[In some cases], it was very difficult for people to stay in the recovery process and maintain some sobriety after a short time in detox,” says Carpenter.

Another issue is the limited number of residential programs in the region. “We would be referring a lot of people to other residential programs but they would often experience some pretty significant wait lists,” adds Carpenter. “That made it difficult for people to maintain some of the initial gains they were making in the hospital.”

Now that Hampstead Hospital has its own residential program, these three essential levels of care – detoxification, inpatient treatment and out-patient programs – are now available at one location. “We provide a continuum of treatment so we can really meet them where they’re at,” says Patti Shea, Psy.D., the hospital’s director of clinical operations.

Clients “graduating” from residential treatment can then shift into Hampstead’s intensive outpatient program, Quitting Time, which consists of two, three-hour group sessions per day, four times per week.

Recovery Matters runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with six therapeutic group sessions taking up most of the day. These groups focus on addiction education, relapse prevention and coping skills. Although an average length of stay is 10-14 days, the individually-tailored treatment plans vary; some clients spend a few days in the program and others up to a month.

“We also do some DBT life treatment in terms of helping people manage emotions,” Carpenter says. “We’ll do some cognitive behavioral therapy. We focus on support building for their recovery and include some life skills training. There’s also some time in the evening when we focus on leisure education, helping people learn how to structure their free time without using substances.”

In addition, the group ventures out into the community three nights per week to attend other support groups like Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous.

On Saturdays, there’s an intensive five-hour family program where family members are educated about addiction, have lunch with the client and learn about providing support and trust.

“It’s an opportunity to join together around the client’s struggle,” says Shea, “and then for everybody to talk about how to move forward.”

Recovery Matters not only provides a structure for overcoming addiction but the relatively small size of the program makes for a close-knit therapeutic community. “We all have a pretty good sense of who the clients are and they have a very good sense about us,” says Shea. “There’s a lot of continuity. It provides safety and trust for the clients.”

By Howard Newman

One Response to Hampstead Hospital launches Recovery Matters program

  • April 14th, 2018 at 9:37 pm From posted:

    Got a great education and the importance of utilizing AA which was extremely helpful to me when I left. I also went to an Intensive Outpatient Program that Hampstead referred me to because someone knew John, the head counselor at the IOP, and worked with him before, but I never even got to meet him until my program was done. I thought it was helpful there and the counselor, Mareka, great and she was the only one who showed any openness to AA and mostly all of the attendees refused to try AA. I think most of them were court ordered or ordered to attend by a spouse. The director of the program has been reprimanded by the State of NH medical board but I only know that from reading articles I the Union Leader and he also met with us once a week to prescribe meds. That was before I found out about him being a alcohol and drug user and had an affair with a married patient. I’ve heard really bad things about him in and out of AA. A lot of his patients died of overdosing with prescribed meds. That’s heresay and doesn’t have anything to do with Hampstead Hospital but a doctor at Hampstead does fill in at the IOP in Portsmouth to prescribe meds. Probably on a day off. Anyway, I got a lot out of rehab at Hampstead because I found AA and the counselors (three) strongly encouraged us to be active in AA. They brought us to meetings, pointing out that we needed to get a sponsor, do the steps and go to as many meetings as possible. I’m nine months sober due to AA and Hampstead showing how important it was. Three (Brian, Ken and Steve) counselors were always prepared for sessions with us and I got a lot out of what they presented. Duane was definitely an advocate for AA and I really, really liked what he presented to us in his his sessions a lot and he was definitely always prepared. However he was not a nice man. I was really hurting when I got to Recovery Matters after a week upstairs in Detox and being so drugged up with Ativan for a week. I don’t believe I could tell if I was coming or going. Yes. There is a Nurse Hatchett in detox. I was there for about two hours when she came up to me and told me I was bipolar. I have a primary care, a real physician who I’ve had for 20 years and he says I don’t have it. My psychiatrist who I’ve had for a while says I don’t have it. Did you know that alcoholism symptoms are listed a lot like alcoholism! She was also mean and rude. I know most of the patients are real addicts but we are also human and pay a lot of money to be there. and, yes, a lot of us are there because we wanted to get help and recover from alcoholism and/or drug abuse.

    Going back to Recovery Matters. I was a 55 year-old miserable alcoholic and I’m now a 56 year old very happy Recovering alcoholic, thanks to a few excellent counselors at your your hospital, and I know that alcoholism doesn’t go away. I’m actually an intelligent, intuitive and kind human being. I absolutely was not treated like a normal person in any way there. That counselor who I got a lot of information from was a very cold and seemingly uncaring man (caring about AA though) and most of the patients I have Talked to while I was there and since I got out of rehab have absolutely agreed. I asked him the first day I was there if we were going for a walk that day and he “meanly but softly” told me to look at the schedule on the board. At that time I had just gotten there, didn’t know anything about anything there and was totally drugged up from being in detox and cried all the time but I did participate in his “already in session” group the minute I got there without meeting anyone or getting aclimated in any way there. I didn’t bow out even though I didn’t know what they were even talking about but I presented in front of the entire group even though I didn’t know anything about the Alcoholic toolbox”. Imagine that? How or why would I know anything about that as I have never been to rehab hebefore. So, after him rudely telling me to “read the board”, and participating in his his session he never talked to me again. My daughter even pointed that out to me on the family day you have on Saturday. He was the Counselor at that meeting and during lunch and she wanted to know why he was “shunning” me all day. Oh well!

    Again, I was a 55 year old women, totally out of my element, I had just had back surgery and had a very hard time sitting, climbing stairs etc but walking was great, I have never been homeless, always lived in a nice home, always was friendly with anyone I would meet and, yes, set in my own ways. All I wanted to do was “fit in” in some way and actively pursue recovery. I did not try to get out of any session. I may have token a short nap one day after I fell in my room the night before and had a headache. I was yelled at the first time I walked into the counselor’s office. I didn’t know that was not allowed. They could have explained why and at least been somewhat kind as I didn’t know about that. The last time that happened to me was in basic training in the Air Force at the age of 18. So I do know how to follow orders. And that was how it felt. Most of the people there were much younger than me, had totally different life styles but I loved them all once we could talk and most of them were the kindest people I’ve ever met. I’m still in touch with some of them. I don’t smoke but had to go out with the smokers during the break because you were short staffed. Not a big deal but there were a number of times you were short staffed only to get a per diem person who didn’t know too much or just thought they were there to “baby sit”. Specifically the red head young lady from the Arch program in Dover or the tattooed guy who we had once or twice. Ken was truly sweetest, nicest and-caring counselor there and very smart and fun. Brian was excellent. He knew how painful addiction is and how important it is to work at our recovery and also a great advocate of AA and how important it is. He was good about showing us a little bit about his own recovery and really knows how painful it is to be an addictbest Brian and sharing his life was very useful to us all. He promoted AA perfectly and was funny and kind but stern and serious as necessary at times. Sheridan should not be there at all. He really does not seem not to realize how devastating addiction is. He’s very, very lazy and did not ever ever have any thing useful to share with us in and out of his sessions. All he ever did was look at his cell phone. He did not even show the courtesy of listening at A A meetings. It was actually embarrassing to be with him at all!. Frank was was Frank as you probably know. He loved reading the big book but never really engaged us in anythin. He acted kind but all he presented to us was taped material on a TV when he could actually get it to work at all and about his being an addict in Philadelphia. The per diem guy, (I’m not sure of his name, but it was french) was very smart and nice and had a lot of useful recovery material and interacted well with us. Steve was great. It took me a while for me to warm up to him but as you can see that’s how I am. People pay a lot to go to Hampstead and should get the best care possible

    The nurse is a very disturbing lady, other than Dr. Brown , who is actually the only real doctor I met while I was there (maybe twice) for approx. 27 days. I did talk to Nurse Practitioner, Pam, but she certainly wasn’t the brightest person I’ve ever met and she seemed to be very confused most of the time.

    The food was horrible. Mostly carbs and full of fat and other horrible things unless you just ate the salad. The cafeteria staff and director were the rudest people I’ve ever met and didn’t look like they were even clean enough to prepare and serve food.

    So, Hampstead Hospital (Recovery Matters) is probably the best thing I’ve done for my much needed recovery (the beginning of my recovery). I admired the counselors who really wanted to do this job (not just because of the money).

    The food was really bad. There was a lot of it but it was all carbs and not healthy unless you just ate the salad? The staff and director were the rudest and dirty people I’ve ever seen. Should any of them be preparing and serving food even to Us addicts? As far as that “special” nurse (if you can really call her a nurse or anything close to it) that everyone complains about should really be fired. Someone may try to sue the hospital due to mal-practice because of her stupidity (I guess I’m no one to judge) and can nurses get sued for malpractice? How can a nurse of that caliber diagnose ANYONE?!! Just saying!

    Social worker, Jen, is one of the kindest and most helpful individuals I’ve ever met. She is kind, sweet and caring and her after-care calls are wonderful! Ken, Brian, Steve, and the guy from Lynne, MA (we didn’t see much of him at all) and the small black who filled in when Recovery Matters was short staffed a few times in A very smart, so nice, sweet, and kind and caring and had so much hope for us (I can’t believe I can’t recall her name!) as well as Jessie (the young lady who mostly works in detox but covers for Recovery Matters sometimes). I’m grateful!

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