Frequently Asked Questions


 

What is a recovery coach or sober coach and how is having a recovery coach or sober coach different from other forms of addiction treatment or therapy?

There are many differences between a recovery coach, also known as a sober coach, and other forms of addiction treatment. Put simply, Family Addiction Specialist’s recovery coaching method is solutions focused and action oriented with an emphasis on improving one’s present life, reaching future goals, and sustaining recovery from addictive behaviors.

 

Recovery coaches differ from most therapists in that coaches focus on the here and now and moving forward. Recovery coaches are not associated with any particular method or means of recovery, but rather help you discover what methods of recovery work best for you and assist you in implementing and enhancing those methods through motivation, action planning, and accountability. The primary goal of a recovery coach is to be actively involved in the life of a recovering individual in order to prevent relapse. Recovery coaches can work in conjunction with other common methods of treatment, such as outpatient treatment, mental health counseling, and/or mutual-help groups (e.g., 12-step groups, SMART Recovery). 

How does Family Addiction Specialist’s recovery coaching differ from other recovery coaches?

Family Addiction Specialist’s recovery coaching differs from other recovery coaches. In addition to their recovery coach providers holding recovery coaching certifications and having years of experience working in the coaching industry, they are also master's level clinicians and Licensed Mental Health Counselors with years of experience working in the addictions field and in outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation centers.

 

Family Addiction Specialist’s team has firsthand knowledge and experience with various treatment modalities and have subsequently been able to enhance their coaching methods based on their years of therapeutic experience. Through their years of practicing psychotherapy, they have learned the importance of tailoring their treatment to their specific client and limiting the number of clients they work with to ensure the highest quality of care.

 

Family Addiction Specialist also stands out from other recovery coaches because of their experience with and focus on the recovering addict and their individualized and unique coaching services for family members who are impacted by the addiction of another. They do not look at couples or families as a secondary issue, but rather as a focal point in the recovery process. Family Addiction Specialist also emphasize a holistic/wellness-focused approach to recovery for the addicted individual and their family and incorporate fitness and nutritional coaching into their practice, as well as other holistic methods of recovery. The Family Addiction Specialist approach is supportive, challenging, rewarding, eclectic, and engaging. 

How much does it cost to work with Family Addiction Specialist? Does Family Addiction Specialist take insurance?

Family Addiction Specialist does not take insurance. This is to strictly protect your confidentiality and privacy and to ensure the highest quality of care. Family Addiction Specialist offers a wide range of services and packages. Please contact Family Addiction Specialist today to determine which services or packages are most appropriate for you.

Where is Family Addiction Specialist located? Where do we meet?

Family Addiction Specialist is based in the New York City area, but are available to clients worldwide both in-person or via Zoom. Family Addiction Specialist offers concierge visits to your home, office, or other safe location or offers appointments at their undisclosed Upper East Side office. If mutually agreed upon, sessions can even take place on a walk in Central Park or at a café. Family Addiction Specialist always prioritizes confidentiality, safety, and privacy.

If I work with Family Addiction Specialist, how often and for how long will we meet?

Family Addiction Specialist offers various coaching options for their different coaching services. Coaching sessions are not bound by time, as long as within reason and at the discretion of the provider. Each coaching session is generally 1-3 hours and are offered in several packages. The frequency of meetings is based on the needs of each individual client, and they are available 7 days a week and evenings.

What is a Therapeutic Recovery Companion or Sober Companion? What is Recovery Transport?

Family Addiction Specialist offers Recovery Companion and Recovery Transport services, also known as Sober Companion and Sober Transport services, for select events and select destinations. Family Addiction Specialist only offers these services for their Recovery Coaching clients.

 

A Recovery Companion is someone who will go with you to an event that might pose a risk to your recovery, such as a wedding, concert, vacation, etc. They may also stay with you in your home if you are in early recovery or struggling with your recovery, and can work on an as-needed basis including 24/7. They will help keep you accountable and do everything they can to ensure your safety and recovery.

 

A Recovery Transport is someone who will take you to and from various appointments and destinations via car (e.g., business meetings, dinner with friends and other social gatherings, work events, treatment centers, medical appointments).

 

Family Addiction Specialist’s Recovery Companions and Recovery Transports work privately and discretely to ensure your anonymity as a person in recovery. They can be introduced to others as a personal assistant, a driver, a friend, a long-distance relative, a business associate, etc.

Does Family Addiction Specialist do alcohol and drug screen monitoring?

Yes. Family Addiction Specialist provides on-site alcohol and drug screening with their clients using urinalysis, mouth swabs, and/or breathalyzers. They also work with Quest Diagnostics and Lab Corporation, allowing a client to be drug screened at any location that is convenient for them. This also allows for alcohol and drug screening to be performed on days that Family Addiction Specialist are not directly meeting with clients in-person. Depending on the needs of the client and the client's family, Family Addiction Specialist can arrange for random alcohol and drug screening 7 days per week.

Does Family Addiction Specialist prescribe medication?

Family Addiction Specialist works with three of the best psychiatrists in New York City who specialize in substance abuse and mental health who will prescribe medications if needed, including medication-assisted treatments for substance abuse, such as Vivitrol® or Suboxone®.

What is Family Addiction Specialist’s philosophy on medication?

In an ideal world, nobody would need to be on medications; however, Family Addiction Specialist understands that some individuals absolutely require medication to assist them in coping with certain mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders. From their years of experience in working in addiction and mental health, they have witnessed clients wanting to rely on medications instead of dealing with the root cause of their issues. Similarly, they have also seen clients mistakenly self-diagnose and neglect their need for medications when it has been needed. Both of these cases typically lead to poor treatment outcomes and unsustainable recovery. The team’s focus is always on what is best for each of their clients.

Does Family Addiction Specialist work with people on drug replacement therapies such as Antabuse or Suboxone®?

Yes. Family Addiction Specialist works closely with psychiatrists who can assist you with medication-assisted treatments, including Methadone.

What about Vivitrol®?

Vivitrol® can be an effective option for individuals who are having difficulty remaining abstinent from alcohol or opiates in early recovery, and the team’s psychiatrists can prescribe Vivitrol if appropriate.

I currently have a legal case, can Family Addiction Specialist help?

Yes. Family Addiction Specialist has extensive experience working with the legal system. If you currently have a drug or alcohol related legal case (e.g., DUI/DWI, criminal case, child protective services order), they will work with you and your legal representative to advocate for you. However, Family Addiction Specialist only works with individuals who acknowledge having a problem and are motivated to change and engage in the recovery process.

I'm not sure if your services are right for me or if I will work well Family Addiction Specialist. How can I be sure?

The team at Family Addiction Specialist firmly believes in the importance of matching individuals with the appropriate professionals who can best serve them. As such, if Family Addiction Specialist’s coaching services are not right for you, they will refer you to appropriate professionals who are better suited to meet your needs. The team at Family Addiction Specialist can often determine this rightness of fit from an initial phone screening or initial assessment. If a client should ever need a higher level of care, Family Addiction Specialist will refer clients to the appropriate services that meet the client’s needs. Family Addiction Specialist’s focus is always on doing what is best for their clients.

Does Family Addiction Specialist do harm reduction?

Family Addiction Specialist offers harm reduction services for select individuals depending on their type of addiction, history of addiction, and goals for recovery. While long-term abstinence is usually the goal for most addictions, especially with respect to substance use addictions, the team at Family Addiction Specialist recognizes that complete abstinence is extremely challenging. For example, in cases with addiction to sex or food or some digital addictions, complete abstinence is not possible.

 

Family Addiction Specialist recognizes that many people “fail” treatment or become disenchanted with mutual-help groups (e.g., 12-step programs) because these approaches only believe one is in recovery if they have achieved complete abstinence. As a result, many individuals give up on the prospect of getting help all together and return to full-blown active addiction.

 

Family Addiction Specialist has special training in harm reduction techniques, so they can effectively work with individuals and lead them on the path to sustained personal recovery and improved health and well-being—physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Do I need detox or rehab?

You may. Family Addiction Specialist can often determine this by an initial phone screening. If inpatient detox or inpatient treatment is needed, Family Addiction Specialist can refer you to an appropriate facility or psychiatrist who offers at-home detox services.

Do I have to go to 12-step meetings?

Absolutely not. While the team at Family Addiction Specialist believes that 12-step programs are a great pathway to sustainable long-term recovery for some individuals, they do not believe that 12-step meetings are the only pathway to achieve recovery. If you have never given 12-step meetings a chance, your provider will likely encourage you to give them a try, or try other mutual help groups such as SMART Recovery or Refuge Recovery. However, if you have been to numerous 12-step meetings and have not benefited from them, your provider will not waste anymore of your time. Family Addiction Specialist works well with individuals who have had unsuccessful attempts at recovery through conventional treatment approaches such as 12-step groups and want to try a different approach to recovery.

What is addiction? How do I know if my loved one has a problem?

Identifying as having an “addiction” or being an “addict” or “alcoholic” can be stigmatizing, shaming, and uncomfortable. Whether you identify as such or prefer other terms such as “have a problem with alcohol,” “have a substance use disorder,” “binge drinker,” “drinking to excess,” “enjoy partying too much,” etc. is ultimately up to you. All that matters is that you notice there is something wrong with your behavior or that you have a feeling that it is becoming progressively worse and want to do something before your life spirals (further) out of control. For purposes of this website, Family Addiction Specialist uses the term “addiction” to be all encompassing and to identify the problematic behavior. 

Addiction involves having a need to continue using a particular substance such as alcohol, drugs, or food; using a particular thing such as the Internet or porn; or engaging in a particular activity such as sex or gambling. Addictions become problematic when an individual continues to engage in their addictive behavior despite adverse consequences to the individual or to those around them. Despite these consequences, the individual is led back to their addiction due to physical compulsion and/or obsessive thoughts. Some common signs of addiction are loss of control, preoccupation with the substance/thing/activity, and failed attempts to stop the addictive behavior. With substance use addictions, these signs may also include tolerance and withdrawal. 

According to the American Psychiatric Association, in order for someone to be diagnosed with a substance use disorder, they must meet specific criteria and are diagnosed according to a sub-classification spectrum from mild (presence of 2 to 3 symptoms) to moderate (presence of 4 to 5 symptoms) to severe (presence of 6 or more symptoms). The various symptoms include the following: 

1. Taking the substance in larger amounts or for longer than you're meant to.

2. Wanting to cut down or stop using the substance but not managing to.

3. Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of the substance.

4. Cravings and urges to use the substance.

5. Not managing to do what you should at work, home, or school because of substance use.

6. Continuing to use, even when it causes problems in relationships.

7. Giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of substance use.

8. Using substances again and again, even when it puts you in danger.

9. Continuing to use, even when you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance.

10. Needing more of the substance to get the effect you want (tolerance).

11. Development of withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the substance.

Whether you meet criteria for a substance use disorder or not, it is not necessary to have an official diagnosis to work with a recovery coach. The only requirement for working with a recovery coach is the desire to change your addictive behavior.

What is the prevalence of addiction?

Forty million Americans ages 12 and older (more than 1 in 7 people) abuse or are addicted to alcohol, drugs, or nicotine. This is more than the number of Americans with heart conditions (27 million), diabetes (26 million), or cancer (19 million). When factoring in the numbers of other forms of addictions such as sex, gambling, food, etc., the numbers grow exponentially. Family Addiction Specialist recognizes that addiction affects everyone, from the park bench to Park Avenue, and that addiction does not discriminate between race, gender, culture, age, income level, educational background, etc. Family Addiction Specialist have worked with a wide range of clients, including executives, athletes, doctors, lawyers, and politicians, and can give you the help you deserve while respecting your need for privacy.

What is cross-addiction?

Cross-addictions occur when people addicted to one specific substance or behavior cease or decrease the use of that substance or behavior and then replace that substance with a new substance or a new behavior. For example, a person with an opiate addiction may stop taking opiates but may start abusing alcohol, or a person with an opiate addiction may stop abusing opiates but may start gambling. Both cases are examples of cross addiction. Family Addiction Specialist offers treatment to individuals with addictions to multiple substances or impulsive behaviors and help these individuals reach sustained recovery.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Family Addiction Specialist via phone or email.

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