The governor of California, Gavin Newson, announced the launch of the CARE Court program, a program backed by the government and the court which would seek to help people without a home who are also dealing with addictions to drugs and mental health conditions.
What Is CARE?
The CARE (Community Assistance Recovery and Empowerment) plan would aim to provide people who are struggling with substance abuse issues and mental health issues access to addiction treatment plans, as well as other useful resources and services, such as housing assistance.
The program would also place a particular focus on people suffering from psychotic disorders, aiming to provide them with access to services and individualized care in the form of interventions and other similar treatment.
Governor Gavin Newson stated that the program was designed to provide people with the compassion they need while they are struggling with mental health conditions and have fallen into addictions.
Specifically, the program was created to provide a beacon of hope for people who might have fallen into addiction patterns, as well as being consistently homeless or getting arrested for their substance abuse or behavior.
Why Has CARE Been Launched?
The CARE court program has been introduced in order to help people with their addictions and mental health wellness, as well as to address the rising homelessness problem in California, which as of 2021, has affected over 51,000 people.
During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic between 2020-2021, California’s homeless population increased by as much as 7.4%. This was likely due in part to the services that would have been closed down during this period, as well as the fact that many people were losing their jobs during this period.
How Will The CARE Court Program Help People?
The CARE Court program aims to help people before they get arrested, before they fall victim to the consequences of substance abuse, or before they can be subject to a conservatorship. A conservatorship refers to an instance where one person has been legally named as the caretaker and key decision maker within another person’s life.
They are essentially fully responsible for this person, and are granted the legal ability to control their financial and personal affairs. A conservatorship is granted when it is deemed that an individual is no longer able to take care of themselves, and therefore, someone else has to step in and assume responsibility and take control.
Moreover, the CARE Court plan is estimated to help somewhere between 7000-12000 people in California who are currently suffering from mental health disorders such as schizophrenia. The plan will be split into a three-part treatment plan, providing people with prescription medications that can help them with their physical addiction, access to support from trained healthcare professionals, and the access to resources that will allow them to find homes within housing programs.
Getting Help With Substance Addiction
Aside from addiction treatment plans like CARE, there are also a range of other addiction treatment programs that people suffering from substance abuse issues can take part in, to address their addiction, to overcome it, and to take back control of their lives.
The treatment programs will typically begin by addressing the body’s physiological dependence on the drug, by having the individual undergo a detoxification process. The detox process can be carried out in a medically-assisted capacity, or a non-medically assisted capacity.
The benefit of undergoing a non-medical detox is that the individual will likely be able to complete the process quicker, as the body only needs to overcome the withdrawal symptoms of the singular substance it is addicted to.
The drawback of this method is that the individual will likely experience some pretty severe withdrawal symptoms, and it might be tough to handle them without the use of medication. If users opt to go for a medical detox, they would be given prescription medication to help take the edge off of the symptoms; however, this method would prolong the process, as the substance user would then need to spend time weaning themselves off of the prescription medication as well.
Residential Treatment Centers & Other Treatment Facilities
People could opt to undergo their detox in a residential treatment center or a private medical facility as part of an inpatient treatment program, meaning that they would reside in the rehab center, a hospital, or a medical facility for the duration of their treatment.
Alternatively, they might choose to go for outpatient care, meaning that they receive the initial detox in a facility, but then choose to receive the rest of their care elsewhere. By doing this, they would likely attend a few sessions per week at a local medical center, and then fit these sessions around their lives.
Residential treatment centers can be particularly beneficial for people who struggle to avoid certain environments that are known to promote or feature frequent drug use. For homeless people, this could be especially ideal since they would have time to not only recover, but also to work on finding a place to reside permanently after their treatment.
Rehab centers offer luxury, state-of-the-art facilities and resources that can help people to not only successfully become drug free, but which can also help them to defeat the psychological dependence they have on a drug.
In addition, the individualized treatment plans available can help people to balance their treatment with their life commitments, such as work or family, meaning that the care would not conflict with these commitments, and instead, can be provided around them within a more ideal schedule that works better for the substance user.
Therapy and Counseling
The 12-step programs, 4-step programs, therapy, and counseling all serve to help people overcome the psychological side of addiction. Programs will offer people a structured path where they can complete a series of steps that will provide them a way to measure their progress.
Therapy and counseling will aim to achieve the same thing, but in a different way. All of these forms of treatment predominately are designed to help people overcome their addiction by helping them to build coping mechanisms and the confidence they need to beat their addiction for good, as well as to avoid relapse in the future.