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Evidence-Based Treatment

Fact Checked

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Written by Lyle Murphy, Founder

At ATMC, we use evidence-based treatment methods, though our scientific protocols represent an important part of a whole, comprehensive philosophy.

We use diagnostic tests to ascertain which treatment protocols will work best for the individual while taking into careful consideration each person’s unique state of health, diagnosis, personal preferences, characteristics, and values.

Science and technology provide the answers, but how we apply them to each client must ebb and flow with personal changes in everyday life and exposure to stress.

The goal of our evidence-based approach is to eliminate unsound, ineffective or potentially risky treatment methods in favor of those that have consistently shown to provide better, more reliable, and safer outcomes. Success is evident in the lasting recovery of our clients, revealed in this 2018 Outcome Study.


External Evaluation Report & Analysis Provided By:
Dr. Michael W. Corrigan
Associate Professor, Marshall University
December 10, 2018

This report is based on analysis of longitudinal data collected by the staff at the Alternative to Meds Center (ATMC). The data file consisted of information collected during a client’s care at ATMC, as well as follow up survey data. Post-test surveys seeking to document the extended effectiveness of ATMC treatment efforts were sent to approximately 300 clients who met the parameters of completing the treatment program and being out of care for more than six months. A total of 103 clients responded, equating to a 34% response rate (more than twice that of typical industry standards for survey response rates). After an extensive review of the data set and ATMC’s efforts, the research questions to follow were developed in collaboration with the external evaluator and ATMC staff. This research summary documents statistically significant evidence supportive of the admirable goals ATMC seeks to accomplish for their clients, as well as identifies information for continuous improvement efforts to better serve future clients.

Research Question 1 (RQ1): Is treatment at ATMC effective in helping clients?

The answer is a definitive yes. And the following research questions are designed to answer in which specific ways ATMC is effective in helping clients.

RQ1a: What percentage of ATMC graduates/clients succeed in staying med free for more than six months after their residential treatment period (by pharmaceutical category)?

✓ Research documents ATMC’s success rate, for helping clients become and stay med free, to be as high as 87.5%.

atmc treatment success ratesResults suggest that ATMC is experiencing great accomplishment when it comes to the success rate of helping clients discontinue the use of pharmaceuticals and remain med free for extended periods of time; ranging from six to forty-seven months.

RQ1b: Is the reduction in medication use after ATMC treatment statistically significant?

✓ Yes. With a confidence interval of 99.9%, research documents that ATMC’s holistic treatment process can reduce with statistical significance a client’s dependency on pharmaceuticals, if not eliminate use entirely.

✓ A paired sample t-test identified statistically significant decreases in the number of medications being used from intake (M = 1.66, SD = 1.17) to discharge from ATMC (M = .63, SD = .86), t(94) = 9.43, p < .001.

✓ A paired sample t-test also identified statistically significant decreases in the number of medications being used from intake (M = 1.66, SD = 1.17) to post-test assessments gathered six to 47 months after leaving treatment (M =.63, SD = .88), t(79) = 6.33, p < .001.

Clients entering ATMC with varying degrees of pharmaceutical drug dependency reported a range of one to four categories of drugs being used inclusive mainly of benzos, antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and various other pharmaceuticals (M = 1.66, SD = 1.17). At the time of discharge from ATMC, though some clients due to safety efforts encompassing drug tapering plans were still on up to four medications, the mean number of pharmaceutical drugs reported being used dropped to .63 (SD = .86). And after being away from ATMC for six months to four years, respondents reported a mean usage of .63 (less than one drug) (SD = .88). A total of 59.8% of respondents reported not taking any medications at the time of the post-test assessment. Please note, however, 20.7% reported being on one pharmaceutical medication at post-test, as well as 15.9% reporting the use of two medications and 3.7% reporting the use of three medications. Please note that medications being used at the time of post-test were identified in the vast majority of cases to be respectively less dangerous and addictive medications as well as taken in lower dosages than what clients entered ATMC being dependent upon.

RQ1c: Does the ATMC treatment process have evidence of being long-lasting?

✓ Yes. For the large percentage of clients who are able to dramatically reduce or end their pharmaceutical dependency during the ATMC treatment process, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) performed documents that the results are long-lasting.

✓ Trending data also suggests that the more time away equates to continued reduction in pharmaceutical medication use.

evidence-based treatment
To explore if the number of weeks away from ATMC after treatment had an impact on effectiveness to reduce pharmaceutical drug use, an Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was performed. Results documented there were no statistically significant differences between clients grouped by six to 12 months, 13 to 24 months or more than 25 months, F (2, 77) = 1.28, p = .28. Considering this analysis shows no significant differences between clients six months to four years after treatment and a trend showing consistent further reduction in medication use as time has passed, the effectiveness of ATMC’s efforts show evidence of being long-lasting.

RQ1d: How does the success of ATMC treatment efforts relate to life satisfaction variables after treatment at the center?

✓ For 83.5% of clients, the improved symptom levels experienced before
graduating from ATMC have continued for six months to four years.

✓ 76.6% of ATMC clients report experiencing positive social relationships and
interactions in life after graduating.

✓ 71.4% of ATMC clients report having a fulfilling family life after graduating.

✓ 68.7% of ATMC clients report having fulfilling friendships after graduating.

✓ 77.5% of ATMC clients report having positive support systems after graduating.
evidence-based life satisfaction

RQ1e: Do clients experience quality sleep after their care at ATMC?

✓ More than 76% of ATMC graduates report experiencing quality sleep patterns continuing six months to four years after residential care.

evidence-based quality of sleep
RQ1f: What is the overall satisfaction level with ATMC services?

✓ On a scale of 1 (very dissatisfied) to 10 (most satisfied), clients reported a median score of 8; with the most frequent answer being a 10 out of 10.

End of Study

Defining the Right Evidence-Based Treatment for You

Strategic by design and logic.

There is nothing that gives us greater purpose than to provide the best type of treatment available to meet a person’s chemistry and deficiencies; reset them, and restore being into beautiful balance. We do this by implementing evidence-based treatments that complement other methodologies including holistic, integrative, individualized, and more. Though different, they coincide with one another to identify the pieces of each client’s personal health puzzle. From there, we construct a course of action focusing on reaching a collective end goal: seeing you or your loved one living free from mental anguish and chemical dependency.

Medicine is a practice that gets better through consistent study, utilization, and open interpretation.

Many clients come through our doors for an inpatient stay to remove dependency on prescribed medications, initially given as the means to address mental, physical, or behavioral health conditions. Whether it is benzodiazepines to treat anxiety disorders, or gabapentin to ease recurring symptoms of drug addiction, for example, the use of chemicals to achieve and sustain true health is a false pretense.

Consider your current state of health or the one you’re concerned about. Research shows that the longer an individual is on a medication, illegal drug, or heavy alcohol consumption, the likelihood of abusing other substances or adding more medications increases. As the body continues to experience inflammation and stress, natural systemic function is more difficult. Toxic exposures from medication, drugs, alcohol, environment and more, further compromise our ability to maintain healthy balance in mind, body and spirit.

While many well intended physicians prescribe medications to treat a variety of illness and disease, it all too often is a short-term approach searching for a long term solution that seldom comes to be. Evidence-based methods provide proven testimony to treatments.

Here’s how they work …

Evidence-based Treatment Adds Simplicity to Personal Complexity

We continue to find that many mysteries in medicine can be unraveled by clear communication between clinician and client. What may be unimportant to a resident may be the breakthrough to a staff member. It takes conversation, research and a tenacious commitment to uncovering the truth.

In fact, evidence-based treatment is a blend of substantiated scientific findings, clinical opinion and client preference in care that converge in a recovery plan, individualized. And because each person is different biochemically, neurologically, psychologically and more, utilizing a broad scope approach with evidence-based treatments as a foundation provides more answers for more people.

Discovering the Difference in You

Diagnostics tell a personal story

While in our care, each resident undergoes extensive laboratory testing. The purpose of this testing is to assess, investigate, and create solutions. We believe in order to truly help a person, we must first understand them. The series of diagnostic testing residents go through here at Alternative to Meds Center helps us more clearly understand the root of their symptoms.

Diagnostics extend well beyond lab testing and include looking into a person’s genetic history, brain chemistry, exposure to environmental toxins, habits, experiences, as well as psychological assessments. All of this is done to ensure we are delivering the absolute best kind of recovery plan for that unique person’s situation, with the backdrop of evidence-based treatments.


Benefits of Baseline Testing

This lab is drawn within the first 24 hours of intake, giving us a baseline view of overall health, measuring more than 30 aspects, to include cholesterol, kidney and liver function, and glucose levels. We will know if you are fighting any infections, have any obvious deficiencies, or any other health related issues.

Our doctors and nurses analyze these tests to determine an initial course of treatment for you. These tests can help them determine how to create your initial treatment plan of nutrition, supplementation, and medication. If needed, we will repeat this test at a later point in the program to test the effectiveness of the treatments prescribed and advise on any adjustments needed.

Benefits of Genetic Testing

Within the first 48 hours at our program facility, you’ll undergo genetic testing and receive the results within 3 to 5 days. It will show how you respond to different medications and groups the medications in categories such as antidepressants, benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. We then learn which of these medications are, or are not, effective and why.

Genetic testing is important because as individuals, we respond differently to medications and don’t all have the same response. A specific medication may work well for some, while for others it can actually be harmful. This test will help us discover if the medication you are on is harmful or proving ineffective. It will also assist the doctors in determining if there is a better medication available that may be more effective or less harmful than the one currently being prescribed.

Benefits of Neurotransmitter Testing

The neurotransmitter testing can take place at any time during the treatment process. It helps to determine the levels of neurochemicals being utilized in the nervous system by measuring the metabolites of those chemicals. It addition, it measures amino acids—the building blocks of neurotransmitters.

Our medical team evaluates the results to help assess the root causes of a person’s symptoms, what supplements and medications will work best, and determine the best course of treatment for the individual.

Benefits of Toxic Metals and Essential Elements Testing

Within the first 7 to 10 days of residency here, we administer the essential element and toxic mineral test to measure the levels of toxic heavy metals, like Mercury, as well as essential minerals, such as Selenium, in our clients. We do this by administering a challenged test. Oral chelators designed to help pull metals from the body are administered, measuring the levels being eliminated in the urine. In turn, this helps to determine the amount of heavy metals being stored in the cells.

This test can be helpful in finding some of the root causes of mental health symptoms. For example, high levels of Mercury have been linked to symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. If we can identify a high level of toxic metals in an individual and link it to their symptoms, we can then create a treatment plan that will aggressively remove the toxic body burden and help to restore balance to their nervous system.

Identifying mineral and nutrient deficiencies can be as helpful as finding levels of toxic substances. Mineral and nutrient deficiencies have been linked to mood disturbances and a variety of other symptoms. With the correct information, our team can address a person’s deficiencies and be able to give that individual what they really need to start to feel better.

“Science is beautiful when it makes simple explanations of phenomena or connections between different observations.” ~ Stephen Hawking

Medical Disclaimer:
Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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