OARS Helps Patients Stay On Schedule

Monday, January 29, 2018

MCES serves many patients with a primary mental health diagnosis and a co-occurring substance use disorder (COD). Drug and/or alcohol abuse complicates recovery and often precipitates a recurrence of psychiatric symptoms necessitating rehospitalization.

The Ongoing Abstinence Recovery Schedule (OARS) is intended to minimize that outcome by helping COD patients create a plan for their daily activities after leaving MCES.

"These patients are encouraged to complete an OARS Mike Melcherfor their first week after discharge – the beginning of a sober lifestyle," said Mike Melcher of the MCES Allied Therapy staff.

This involves detailed daily planning covering time for family, work, shopping, and other routine activities as well as time for mindfulness, recreation,
spirituality, and peer support through AA, NA, and other groups. It usually takes several days to complete the plan and patients draw on individual and group counseling to guide their efforts.

Patients receive a certificate acknowledging completion of their plan. MCES is monitoring the program's effectiveness and exploring plans to add a post-discharge follow-up component.