1. Does Sunrise Centers work with clients who have a lawfully obtained medical marijuana card?
YES we do! Just like any prescribed drug, if you have a prescription, you are legally authorized to lawfully use whatever has been prescribed to you. If a situation has occurred that has resulted in legal issues, we'll work with you to get life back on track. If it is an incident of misuse, abuse, or unlawful use of what has been prescribed (such as driving under the influence, mixing medications in an unsafe manner, or actions resulting in a negative impact on life management) then treatment intervention may be helpful, or may be required (depending on the situation). Each case, at our agency, is taken on an individual basis and you WILL be heard.
2. What exactly is a chemical dependency assessment anyway?
A chemical dependency assessment, also referred to as an “evaluation,” can be sought by any person who thinks that, personally, substance use (meaning alcohol, drugs, prescribed or non-prescribed medications) has gotten out of control, where there is a desire to seek help for positive life change. More commonly, the need for an assessment is triggered through interaction with the judicial system, meaning some incident has occurred in life where drug or alcohol involvement is suspected, indicated or alleged as being a negative contribution to the situation. Examples are numerous, but most commonly it is a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other examples can include a domestic violence incident, a child custody dispute, or any misdemeanor or criminal charge or accusation where it is alleged that drug or alcohol use was involved in some way.
The assessment is meant to determine if there is a recommendation for treatment. The assessment is very often court-ordered, meaning you must get the assessment, in order to comply with the court’s requirement. The treatment outcome is usually upheld and then ordered by the court, if treatment is recommended.
A variety of tools are used, to determine if treatment is recommended, and, if so, how much treatment (meaning what type of program, and for what length of time). Tools used include life history, substance use history, legal history, court records, urinalysis, psychometric testing and a face to face interview (an essential part of the process for Sunrise Centers, that gives us the chance to hear from YOU what happened). The outcome of an assessment is either no treatment recommended, or some kind of treatment recommended, which could be as little as an eight hour, one day class, or a full program as long as two years.
At Sunrise Centers, when you call in or stop by to set an assessment appointment, your assessment will be conducted in two appointment sessions. You will be given all the information you need, of what you need to bring to your first appointment, which is focused on completing diagnostic and informational paperwork, which takes forty minutes to an hour. You will also be asked to provide a urine sample, and provide payment for the assessment ($150 standard, or $120 for those referred within our network of referring attorneys). At the conclusion of your first appointment, a second appointment will be set for a face to face interview with one of our licensed counselors. We welcome all questions, at any time, about the assessment process.
3. If treatment is recommended, do I have to do it?
Yes. If an assessment has been court ordered, then, most often, the outcome of the assessment is also required by the court meaning that, if treatment is recommended, then completing the treatment becomes a court requirement -- such is why getting a fair and accurate assessment is such an important first step.
Regarding treatment, you may choose to do treatment where you like. Getting an assessment at Sunrise Centers does not mean you are required to enroll in treatment with us, if treatment is even recommended for you, but you are definitely more than welcome to do so, and we hope to be able to be your service provider, if treatment has been recommended to you, by us, or by another agency.
If you elect not to do treatment recommended by an agency's assessment, you will then face whatever sanctions the court imposes for not complying to what the court has ordered, which could include jail time, depending on the individual case.
In terms of "cost" it is the more prudent choice to comply with the court, and avoid the sanctions that could be imposed. At Sunrise Centers, our reasonable hourly rates, and our individualized financing options, make care accessible. Our treatment programs vary in cost, according to the cost for each program, but all programs usually require an initial down payment (usually at least several hundred dollars) and then there are set monthly payments in ranges similar to the down payment. There are also delayed start options, to lower monthly payments once treatment begins, and substantial discounts for paying a program, in full. Remember we take each case individually, so please voice your financial concerns to us, and let us see how we can help.
4. I feel I was wronged by the system – how do I know the assessment process at Sunrise Centers will be fair?
Fairness is very important to us, at Sunrise Centers. That’s why we state clearly that your side of things will be heard. We understand that you are paying a fee to us and we want you to get your money’s worth. Any treatment we recommend will be clearly explained. Please keep in mind that, although you may not feel you need a treatment program, we must submit an assessment that will be accepted by the court -- and that means we must consider the same information the court will see. While you may feel (and rightly so) that you were not treated fairly in events prior to your assessment, we are bound by state law to address any concerns in the record that "trigger" a treatment recommendation. Some such factors can include: a high breathalyzer reading (any reading over 0.15 is a notable concern), prior offenses involving drug or alcohol use, substantial substance use or abuse history, police reports of a dire or alarming nature, a urinalysis test result that documents recent use of any illegal substance, etc.
When it comes to undertaking a treatment program that was not expected, we can all be shocked, easily, by such a development. But that's where Sunrise Centers can again step in to help lighten the load. With a range of treatment options (some as little as 12 hours, once weekly, over a three month period), with flexible financing and attendance options, and with a treatment curriculum that is meaningful and helpful, no matter what your situation might be, even if you do need treatment primarily to address a legal issue, and no matter if it is a short, mid-length or longer term program, Sunrise Centers will make the process a positive one, each step of the way.
5. Do you work as an agent of the courts or probation department?
We work for YOU. As a State Certified Agency, we, of course, strictly adhere always to the State requirements for assessments as well as for treatment, and in doing do, our job is to provide an objective, fair and accurate assessment, and to deliver treatment that is beneficial to any treatment goals that are set forth. While we are mindful, always, of what court and/or probation will require, and while we do our work gladly alongside these community-protecting authorities, our goal is to be mindful of the requirements set forth for clients in order to help individuals to successfully complete an assessment or treatment requirement. Our role is one of advocacy, for you,
6. What is a Deferred Prosecution, and can I complete one at Sunrise Centers?
A Deferred Prosecution is best described and detailed in full by an attorney, because it is a legal process (a simple internet search will yield some excellent descriptions on the websites of various attorneys who specialize in Deferred Prosecutions), but, in brief and general overview, it is an option where you enroll in a two-year drug and alcohol treatment program and many of the consequences and sanctions of a DUI charge (Driving Under the Influence charge) are “deferred” or held off, and will not impact you, if you successfully complete your treatment program and successfully complete the full term of your probation period (up to five years).
As a State Certified agency, we, of course, work with Deferred Prosecution programs, and we have seen excellent outcomes, where very costly potential consequences have been avoided through successful completion. We have also seen heart-breaking cases where sanctions have come into full force and effect, with only days to go on a five year probation, due to a person's lapse in rigorous attention to the program requirements
Keep in mind that a person is only afforded the opportunity for a Deferred once in a lifetime, so it is a serious commitment. Given the consequences pending for not completing it, you certainly want to take a Deferred at a treatment agency that works WITH you, not one looking to violate you at the drop of a hat. If you do choose the Deferred Prosecution option, and elect to do your treatment with us, Sunrise Centers will do everything in our power to help you stay in compliance, and successfully complete the treatment (and other) requirements of the program, to the best of our ability.
7. I did not get assessed at Sunrise Centers. I was assessed elsewhere. Can I do my recommended treatment at Sunrise?
Absolutely! We are glad to welcome you as a client!
8. I did not agree with my assessment at another agency, and I am seeking a second assessment. Can you help me?
We sure can! We would be most happy to serve your assessment needs! We often hear, “I wished I would have tried Sunrise Centers first.” We will work hard to address any concerns you have had on an assessment gone wrong elsewhere.
9. I am in treatment at another agency, but I want to transfer my treatment. Can I enroll at Sunrise Centers to complete my program?
Yes you can! You may elect to transfer treatment from another agency at any time (unless court ordered otherwise), but do keep in mind you will still be required to honor any financial obligation to your existing agency, for services rendered, should there be any balance due and owing to them. However, a balance owing should not affect your transfer -- an agency is required to release your records and allow you to transfer elsewhere. In most cases, we can immediately contact any probation or reporting authority you have, to let them know you are in treatment with us, after we have received your records from your existing agency and after you have officially enrolled with us. Treatment most often can continue right from where you left off, meaning you would not be starting your program over with us, you would simply be finishing the program in which you were enrolled at the agency from where you are transferring. We would adjust your costs accordingly, to reflect the pro-rated cost of finishing your remaining classes, with us.
10. Does it really matter where I get my assessment done?
YES, it matters A LOT. Would you opt for a free car inspection if it meant having to replace your motor afterward? No way, right? Well, the most life-impacting (and expensive) aspect of a chemical dependency assessment is not the assessment itself – it is the treatment recommended AS A RESULT of the assessment that will affect you (and your pocket book) the most. While you don't want an assessment to be tossed out by the court (meaning you'd have to get another assessment) for failing to recommend proper treatment, you equally don't want to be "over-assessed" for an amount of treatment you simply do not need.
You want to choose an assessing agency that you feel you can trust. Often the best advice is the old adage of “trusting your gut” meaning that, when you call and talk to an agency, if you don’t feel a positive connection, just say thanks, end the call, and go on to the next one on the list. It’s a life-altering decision that’s on the line – so make it count. Remember, you may “have” to get an assessment, but where you go to get that assessment done is entirely up to you. Based on the number of times we’ve heard clients say that they wished they had come to us first, we encourage you to please give us a try for your assessment needs!
11. Does it matter where I do my treatment?
Once, again, a BIG yes! If treatment is recommended for you as an outcome of an assessment, then, once enrolled at a treatment center, your life will be very much tied to that treatment program. Are all treatment centers going to provide the same experience? Well, as with almost any service or business, including State Certified chemical dependency care, the answer is no. Every treatment center has its own style and every treatment counselor has their own approach. Whether it is for a few hours, a few months, or for a year or more, the place you pick will be a big part of your life for the duration of that program, so take your time and shop around, looking to find the center that you want to call home.
Remember, it’s not just price that matters – the lowest, or even highest price may not mean a thing in terms of service. Ask for policies on attendance, financing, hidden fees, relapses, scheduling conflicts, missed appointments, missed and late payments, flexibility for life’s many unforeseen events, etc. Keep in mind that falling out of compliance with your treatment center can send you back to court, or even can send you to jail. You want a treatment center that works WITH you, not against you. Sunrise Centers, year after year, has consistently placed in top rankings in the State of Washington for client satisfaction – we are an agency that is truly on YOUR side.
12. How does Sunrise Centers define itself as a “client-centered” agency?
We define “client-centeredness” as being centered on you and your care. In other words, we do not act as an arm of the court, nor an enforcer for probation services. We do not seek to punish. We seek to help. If you choose Sunrise Centers, our goal for you is to help you through your assessment process, and, if treatment is recommended, and if you elect to complete it with us, then to help you successfully complete your treatment program.
Understandably, we know that it is a complex issue, being “sentenced” to an assessment and then possibly "sentenced" to do treatment as a result of the assessment. Let's face it, it's difficult to connect a “helping agency” with what feels like an adjudicated punishment. Even folks really needing help to overcome life challenges – where substance use has become a harmful coping mechanism – are often closed at first, emotionally, even to the idea of getting help, simply because of feeling “forced” into the treatment process.
How is that overcome? Well, at Sunrise Centers, first, we make sure that the treatment we recommend is necessary and applicable. Second, we make sure that the treatment we provide is practical and helpful. Third, we make sure that the requirements governing treatment completion (financing, attendance, issues of compliance) are made simple to understand and easy to fulfill.
Being client-centered means understanding that the most important part of any treatment process is YOU. Helping you succeed, is our success.