In 1996, A&E Behavioral HealthCare Associates was founded in Decatur, Illinois, by a group of licensed social workers and an attorney who were passionate about providing high quality health care to their community. Today, A&E has evolved into a full-scale behavioral health facility offering a wide variety of addiction and mental health services—run by psychologists, professional counselors and volunteers. Their substance abuse programs include an outpatient program and Suboxone treatment for clients with opiate addiction.
Treatment and Staff
The outpatient substance abuse program at A&E begins with an assessment in which the client is interviewed by a licensed counselor about their medical and psychiatric history, then given a physical examination. Based on the assessment, the counselor determines the proper treatment and possible medication needed for the client’s recovery. There is an on-site physician who handles the exams and prescriptions. Clients at A&E are required to meet once a month with the physician to monitor their progress. The treatment duration is individually determined and based on the client’s needs. Also, the center strongly advocates for Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) with Suboxone for clients who are struggling with opiates.
Group and individual therapy are required in the program, with group meetings scheduled twice a week and clients required to attend a minimum of two individual sessions per month. The group sizes vary from ten to twenty people. A minimum of two counselors are present in every group session, and will break up the meeting into two separate groups if there are too many clients. The therapy is primarily CBT-based, but there are counselors on staff that do DBT-based therapy especially with clients who suffer from borderline personality disorder. The program also provides drug and alcohol education. However, the center has a limited license in the state of Illinois, which does not allow any more than nine hours a week of counseling services per client.
The center also functions as a mental health treatment facility and many of the counselors on staff are specialized in different sectors of mental health behavior, ranging from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome to eating disorders. The center offers dual-diagnosis support and looks for evidence of co-occurring disorders during the client’s assessment and recovery.
Although A&E does not offer a family program, family members are encouraged to be apart of the recovery process. Family members are invited to attend the assessment as well as the initial group and individual meetings. A&E believes that family member attendance and interaction in group meetings helps the client’s family understand that addiction is absolutely treatable.
A&E has ten licensed counselors on staff and two volunteer physicians who come in one day a week to assist with exams and medications. The center prides itself on its affordability and aims to be accessible to all those in need. Augmenting the staff with qualified volunteers helps keep the costs low.
A&E offers ongoing aftercare of various lengths for its clients. The traditional length of aftercare is six months, however the center bases the length on the needs of the client. Also, if clients are still taking medication, they are required to continue to see a physician and attend aftercare. Also, to further assist clients’ aftercare needs, the A&E regularly refers clients to SMART Recovery programs.
A&E Behavioral HealthCare is an affordable treatment option for clients seeking a non-intensive outpatient program with a focus on mental health issues. The Suboxone treatment option also makes A&E a viable choice for people struggling with opiate dependency. Clients at A&E receive care and treatment from counselors who are passionate about providing high quality care at a low price.
A&E Behavioral HealthCare Associates
2570 Federal Dr
Decatur, IL 62526
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Photo courtesy of J. Pinta (Redline2200) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)