LESS Treatment Model
Our 10 "Guiding Principles":
Substance abuse treatment begins immediately following the Intake Interview with LESS staff. Clients needing substance abuse treatment are often in crisis, and treatment must begin quickly to provide stability and reassurance.
LESS clients attend group therapy twice per week for 10 weeks. Graduation from the LESS Program requires successful completion of all 20 sessions, plus successful completion of all homework assignments. Each group therapy session is 3 hours, and homework assignments also average 3 hours per week. Most insurance plans are accepted, and payment plans are available to clients who lack insurance benefits.
The LESS Treatment Program is based on 10 key concepts or “Guiding Principles.” These Guiding Principles represent the commitment of LESS staff to provide the most effective outpatient treatment possible. Adherence to these 10 principles make LESS uniquely able to demonstrate effectiveness not only to individuals in need of substance abuse treatment, but also to government agencies, managed care companies, insurance companies, and case managers. LESS invites all persons interested in the recovery process to examine our Guiding Principles and consider adding them to your recovery programs.
The 10 Guiding Principles that drive the operation and continuing evolution of the Project LESS intensive outpatient program are:
ONE - Use of ASAM Criteria
The American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has assembled the country’s premiere database for the making of admission, continued stay, and discharge decisions for all types of substance abuse treatment programs. The LESS Program utilized only these “ASAM criteria” when evaluating the severity, frequency, and duration of each client’s substance use in order to make the most effective decisions regarding the clinical needs of every client we encounter.
TWO - Research-Proven Techniques
For far too long substance abuse treatment has been based more on personal experience than scientific data. Many counselors simply insist that patients must recover just like they did. But at Project LESS a large body of research literature guides all the clinical interventions utilized in the LESS Program. With medical problems all of us naturally want only the best research to guide our treatment. We submit that the same standard should exist for substance abuse treatment programs.
THREE - Cognitive-Behavioral Theory
Since many cognitive-behavioral counseling techniques have proven particularly successful in the treatment of substance abuse, a review of the LESS Program will find many of these techniques utilized at critical times.
FOUR - The “Stages of Change”
A large body of research, and a growing number of successful treatment programs, supports the use of the “Stages of Change” model in the delivery of substance abuse treatment. In this model, behavior change is viewed as progressing predictably through a series of five stages. This exciting, proven model guides the clinical efforts of all LESS therapists as they select techniques depending on each client’s particular “stage” or readiness for change.
FIVE - Best Use of 12-Step Groups
The LESS Program has adopted the summary of the research conducted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, which states that self-help and 12-step groups are best used to “complement and extend the effects of professional treatment.” All clients are introduced to self-help groups to complement LESS treatment.
SIX - Homework Assignments
Homework assignments are mandatory and are used with effect throughout the LESS Program. LESS therapists develop individualized homework assignments with all clients to produce changes in the “real world” that are most meaningful and lasting.
SEVEN- 10-Week Treatment Regimen
NIDA research indicates that “remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical for treatment effectiveness,” and further that “the threshold of significant improvement is reached at about 3 months in treatment.” This data has driven our decision to make LESS a 10-week treatment program. Of course, recovery efforts do not end at 10 weeks. At 10 weeks recovery is still just beginning. At that time LESS will “step-down” graduates to critical outpatient work. This may include individual or family therapy and also referral for medication monitoring if needed.
EIGHT - Family Participation
Family participation is mandatory in the LESS Program. Little confidence can be placed in any effort that does not include the family, and the LESS Program reserves the right not to admit a client whose family will not participate. Significant others typically participate in group therapy in 2 sessions each month.
NINE - Urine Drug Testing
Urine drug screening is used at Project LESS, when necessary, both randomly and “for cause,” to assess honesty and measure treatment compliance. LESS clients may be required to take urine drug tests, depending upon their honesty, drug of choice, symptoms, and legal status.
TEN - Group Therapy
Group Therapy is the treatment modality used in the LESS Program. Positive peer pressure and the use of the “Stages of Change” Model in a group setting are unmatched as powerful agents for change. It has been said that all people—no matter how different-- are made alike by their abuse of alcohol or drugs. From their common experiences LESS clients, guided by a proven counseling program and some of the best substance abuse counselors, grow sober together.