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Evidence-based, compassionate care

We deliver the subspecialty services required for patients to attain real recovery℠.

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Our medical mission is to empower our patients to realize their best level of functioning in the community.

Treating opioid use disorder (OUD) is difficult and time-consuming work, and requires specialized knowledge and experience. As the nation's largest network of Joint Commission-accredited opioid treatment centers, Behavioral Health Group (BHG) can provide the best possible treatment for OUD patients.

 
 

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At BHG, real recovery begins with a multidisciplinary approach, designed to help patients better recognize their triggers and learn to develop alternative coping skills. BHG also helps patients identify and get treatment for underlying mental and physical health conditions as well as social determinants that perpetuate addictive behavior or impede their progress to recovery. This methodology is structured to embrace the individualized realities of each patient.

We use manualized evidence-based counseling interventions delivered in group and individual settings, medication-assisted recovery℠ (MAR), laboratory monitoring, care coordination, and case management (to assist patients with access to medical, legal, educational, social, prevocational, vocational, rehabilitative, or other community services).

Driving this multidisciplinary approach is a recovery care team, headed by an associated BHG medical professional and composed of nurses, counselors, case managers, and administrative staff. At all times, the recovery care team members remain tightly integrated and informed on the shifting needs of their shared patient.

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Our goal is to create a clinical culture that is scientific, strengths-based, and compassionate.

Ben Nordstrom, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Behavioral Health Group

This treatment approach has been shown to: improve patient survival, increase retention in treatment, decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders, increase patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment, [and] improve birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Relative to outpatient, abstinence-oriented drug addiction treatment, office-based outpatient treatment (OBOT) with buprenorphine improves six-month treatment engagement, significantly reduces cravings, illicit opioid use and mortality and improves psychosocial outcomes.

American Society of Addiction Medicine

Results of randomized, controlled studies revealed that MAT combined with counseling reduced unauthorized opioid use significantly better than counseling alone.

National Drug Court Institute

Like other chronic diseases, addiction is dimensional.

Most addiction treatment services offer discrete episodes of care through intensive outpatient or 28-day residential programs. The problem with these models is that they treat a condition that is chronic and relapsing with a care model that is discrete and episodic, often expecting the patient to exit treatment and reenter life without continuing support.

In other words, traditional treatment services don’t incorporate what’s known about the dimensional aspect of how individuals experience addiction.

BHG’s Integrated Dynamic Care Model

BHG’s integrated dynamic care model (IDCM) and full wraparound services have been developed to address patients’ holistic needs throughout the whole recovery journey. These programs integrate evidence-based, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) with behavioral health therapy and counseling.

Most importantly, they meet each patient where they are as a unique individual, providing dynamic, flexible treatment and ongoing care as their goals, motivations, and needs change on their personal path toward recovery.

Individual treatment plans that flex through levels of cares

Every patient has an individual treatment plan and goals that start with the moment they enroll in BHG’s program. The motivation and clinical needs of each patient inform where they start on their personalized recovery journey.

  • Providing the most intensive treatment, BHG’s Comprehensive Outpatient Experience, known as COPE, outlines a 3-phase treatment plan over the course of 27 days and 81 hours. The structure of COPE incorporates intensive outpatient programming, along with early and late extended outpatient treatment delivered simultaneously with medication-assisted treatment. COPE is designed to gradually decrease treatment intensity over time, to allow patients to incrementally test out new skills and strategies as they stabilize.

  • Standard programming incorporates medication-assisted recovery with behavioral therapy and counseling to safely move patients from intake through stabilization, maintenance, and long-term recovery, including co-occurring health conditions. BHG structures the treatment to change with the needs of the patient, providing the appropriate level of medical services and support as designed in their individual treatment plan.

  • Motivational enhancement provides care for patients who may be struggling on their recovery journey. The IDCM looks at the bigger picture for patients in the motivational enhancement program and allows connection to happen in the way that can be most helpful. When the patient is ready, they know the staff at the center will be there for them and ready to re-engage.

Want to learn more about our
integrated dynamic care model?

Ask Our Doctors

What are opioids?
Opioids are a class of natural, semi-synthetic and synthetic narcotics that are derived from the opium poppy and/or are synthesized in pharmaceutical laboratories.

Substances in the opioid family include both legal and illegal drugs… Read More

Opioids are a class of natural, semi-synthetic and synthetic narcotics that are derived from the opium poppy and/or are synthesized in pharmaceutical laboratories.

Substances in the opioid family include both legal and illegal drugs:

Legal:

  • “Pain pills” such as codeine, fentanyl, OxyContin™, Percocet™, and Vicodin™
  • Morphine

Illegal:

  • Heroin

When used correctly — as prescribed under a physician’s supervision — legal opioids are effective tools for pain management. They can be taken orally or intravenously.

Opioids are among the most commonly abused substances. Opioids affect the brain receptors that govern the release of neurotransmitters (e.g. dopamine), which regulate emotions and reduce sensations of physical pain.

Opioids are commonly abused orally or by snorting, injecting, or smoking. Repeated use/abuse of opioids creates the potential for addiction. Physical addiction can occur within 6 weeks of the initial opioid abuse, but psychological addiction can occur in as little as 48 hours.

Once addicted, individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) cannot stop abusing opioids without triggering acute withdrawal. During acute withdrawal, the individual suffers from severe flu-like symptoms, pain, depression, and anxiety. Thereafter, post-acute withdrawal can last for months or longer.

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What is BHG’s approach to behavioral treatment?
We utilize a comprehensive counseling program to address the patient’s psychological dependence on opioids. Working with an on-site counselor, each patient develops an individualized treatment plan (ITP). The patient and counselor work together to… Read More

We utilize a comprehensive counseling program to address the patient’s psychological dependence on opioids. Working with an on-site counselor, each patient develops an individualized treatment plan (ITP). The patient and counselor work together to identify issues and triggers that lead to damaging behavior, and develop non-damaging coping mechanisms to address those triggers. This process maximizes the patient’s strengths while shoring up their areas of weakness.

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What is BHG’s position on medication?
As part of a comprehensive treatment program, BHG can administer — or in some cases, prescribe — medications that are FDA approved for the treatment of opioid use disorder. We are not “medication only.”… Read More

As part of a comprehensive treatment program, BHG can administer — or in some cases, prescribe — medications that are FDA approved for the treatment of opioid use disorder. We are not “medication only.”

We use these FDA-approved medications (methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone) to address patients’ physical dependence on opioids. These medications can minimize the painful symptoms of withdrawal and help clinically stabilize the patient. Abstinence-based OUD treatment models can leave patients more vulnerable to relapse, and even overdose. Additionally, patients respond better to behavioral counseling if they are not suffering from acute withdrawal symptoms.

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What is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?
MAT-based programs use medication as a stabilizing factor while administering comprehensive treatment services, including individual and family counseling. Medications — specifically methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone — have been shown in controlled trials… Read More

MAT-based programs use medication as a stabilizing factor while administering comprehensive treatment services, including individual and family counseling. Medications — specifically methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone — have been shown in controlled trials to be superior to counseling alone, helping patients with opioid use disorder abstain from opioid use and stay in treatment. MAT also reduces the likelihood of an overdose in the case of a relapse.

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Do Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs work?
Yes. Numerous research studies conducted over nearly 60 years have repeatedly shown that medications are effective in the treatment of opioid use disorder. Further, medications have been shown to help people stay in treatment so they have the opportunity to get into… Read More

Yes. Numerous research studies conducted over nearly 60 years have repeatedly shown that medications are effective in the treatment of opioid use disorder. Further, medications have been shown to help people stay in treatment so they have the opportunity to get into recovery.

Unfortunately, many people do not receive the treatment they need, either due to lack of access to providers, or due to misconceptions and stigmas about MAT programs.

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Isn’t Medication-Assisted Treatment just substituting one drug for another?
This is a common misconception, but it doesn’t reflect the reality of what MAT actually does and how the medications work. When a patient receives MAT, they are moving from using opioids in an unsafe, destructive, and often illicit manner, to using a highly regulated medication… Read More

This is a common misconception, but it doesn’t reflect the reality of what MAT actually does and how the medications work. When a patient receives MAT, they are moving from using opioids in an unsafe, destructive, and often illicit manner, to using a highly regulated medication that has been FDA approved for the specific purpose of treating addiction. 

At BHG treatment centers, medication is administered under the care of trained physicians and medical professionals. Additionally, the medications used in our Medication-Assisted Treatment programs are pharmacologically different from commonly abused pain pills or heroin. These FDA-approved medications provide relief from the physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with opioid dependence, while preventing the euphoric effects of other opioids.

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What medications are used for Medication-Assisted Treatment?
There are three FDA-approved medications available for the treatment of opioid use disorder: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

There is no scientific evidence showing that one medication is better than the others… Read More

There are three FDA-approved medications available for the treatment of opioid use disorder: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. 

There is no scientific evidence showing that one medication is better than the others. The most appropriate medication and dosage will be determined by the preferences and needs of the patient in consultation with one of our physicians.

At a proper dose, these medications do not make the person feel “drugged” or “high” like other opioids. Each dose lasts for at least 24 hours and significantly reduces drug cravings. While taking their medication as prescribed, many people say that they feel “normal” for the first time in a long time.

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What is methadone?
Methadone is an FDA-approved medication that has been used for decades to treat opioid use disorder. Methadone-assisted treatment for opioid addiction is the most researched and proven form of treatment, effective for producing positive outcomes for those struggling with… Read More

Methadone is an FDA-approved medication that has been used for decades to treat opioid use disorder. Methadone-assisted treatment for opioid addiction is the most researched and proven form of treatment, effective for producing positive outcomes for those struggling with opioid addiction. In fact, the World Health Organization includes methadone on its List of Essential Medicines.

The medication acts as a “full agonist” on opioid receptors within the brain and central nervous system which allows it to provide relief for severe withdrawal symptoms and helps “normalize” the brain chemistry to reduce cravings. 

One of the things that sets methadone apart from other opioids is its long half-life. This means that the medication wears off much more gradually than other opioids such as morphine, fentanyl, or heroin. While the medication is able to provide relief for physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings, it blocks the euphoric high associated with other fast-acting opioids. 


Because of its effectiveness, methadone-assisted treatment has been recognized as the “gold standard of care.”

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What is buprenorphine?
Buprenorphine has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of opioid addiction, and can help treat opioid addiction by providing relief from opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings. In comparison with methadone, which is a “full-agonist” opioid medication, it is a… Read More

Buprenorphine has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of opioid addiction, and can help treat opioid addiction by providing relief from opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings. In comparison with methadone, which is a “full-agonist” opioid medication, it is a “partial-agonist” opioid medication. This means that while it has opioid properties that allow for withdrawal relief, there is a “ceiling” in the dose effect. Buprenorphine assisted treatment has been shown to be an effective form of treatment for those suffering from opioid addiction. However, due to the limited relieving properties of buprenorphine, methadone may be the most effective form of treatment for those with a high level of dependency. Research continues to support the view that, like methadone, buprenorphine is most effective when part of a comprehensive treatment program that includes other support services such as counseling and case management.

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What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a branded medication for opioid addiction that combines buprenorphine with other medications such as naloxone, which serves as an additional abuse deterrent. Suboxone, Bunavail, and Zubsolv are commonly prescribed forms of buprenorphine with naloxone.

How do these medications work?
Methadone and buprenorphine both activate mu-opioid receptors (MORs) in the brain. However, unlike other opioids, they do so in a way that provides withdrawal symptom relief and curbs cravings while blocking the high associated with other opioids. Methadone is a… Read More

Methadone and buprenorphine both activate mu-opioid receptors (MORs) in the brain. However, unlike other opioids, they do so in a way that provides withdrawal symptom relief and curbs cravings while blocking the high associated with other opioids. Methadone is a “full agonist” that fully activates opioid receptors. Buprenorphine, a “partial agonist,” only partially activates opioid receptors, creating a ceiling on the medication’s effect. 

In contrast to these opioid agonists, naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that simply blocks opioid receptors rather than activating them. Since opioid antagonists do not activate opioid receptors, they do not provide relief for physical withdrawal symptoms or cravings, and require full detoxification before starting treatment. 

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Which medications are used at BHG treatment centers?
The three FDA-approved medications for treating OUD are methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. BHG is licensed to use all three to treat patients, depending on the type of program.

At BHG, buprenorphine is almost always provided as a combination medication with… Read More

The three FDA-approved medications for treating OUD are methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. BHG is licensed to use all three to treat patients, depending on the type of program. 

At BHG, buprenorphine is almost always provided as a combination medication with the opioid antagonist naloxone. This combination is frequently marketed as Suboxone or Zubsolv, and is preferred by most regulatory bodies because it is less likely to be misused than buprenorphine alone.

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Does BHG provide outpatient opioid treatment?
All BHG treatment centers offer treatment in an outpatient setting. This allows the patient to receive treatment while they continue to live at home, attend work or school, and live a normal life.

Regular counseling sessions and doctor visits are cornerstones to all of our… Read More

All BHG treatment centers offer treatment in an outpatient setting. This allows the patient to receive treatment while they continue to live at home, attend work or school, and live a normal life. 

Regular counseling sessions and doctor visits are cornerstones to all of our programs. Certain programs also require on-site administration of medication. The frequency of on-site dosing is determined by federal and state regulations, direction from the doctor (with input from the treatment team), and the achievement of recovery milestones by the patient.

In addition to medical and behavioral treatment, BHG emphasizes abstinence from illicit substances. All patients are subject to scheduled and unscheduled drug tests, which are monitored by the clinic medical staff. This reduces the risk of relapse.

BHG’s approach is to “meet patients where they are” and offer the level of treatment that is appropriate for the challenges they are facing. Our treatments get more intense when people have more acute needs, and less intense when their clinical situation stabilizes. The goal is to partner with patients throughout their recovery journey, offering what they need when they need it.

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Does BHG have an intensive outpatient program?
BHG’s Comprehensive Outpatient Experience (COPE), provides patients with intensive outpatient support.

Patients can move fluidly through different levels of care — including both Standard… Read More

BHG’s Comprehensive Outpatient Experience (COPE), provides patients with intensive outpatient support. 

Patients can move fluidly through different levels of care — including both Standard and Motivational Enhancement programs — based upon their individual needs. For example, a patient might transition or step down to BHG’s COPE program after completion of an inpatient or residential rehab program.

In case of relapse, COPE can also be used as a tool to help patients get back on track with their recovery.

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Selling your practice or business? Partner with us.

As part of our growth strategy, Behavioral Health Group serves patients in regions of the U.S. that have seen higher-than-average rates of substance use disorders and overdose deaths.

To better serve patients in these areas, we’re acquiring and partnering with high-quality outpatient treatment centers (OTPs) and office-based opioid treatment facilities (OBOTs) that share our strong cultural values and patient-first approach. Over the past 24 months, BHG has acquired 21 treatment centers and medical services facilities, with great success for everyone.

Are you a physician or business owner interested in selling your practice or company? Here are some benefits of partnering with BHG:

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Liquidity and security

We offer fair value for your business in upfront consideration, so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor and limit future risk.

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Opportunities for your employees

Your staff will find a new home within BHG, and may have opportunities to grow within the company.

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Efficient process

Our unparalleled transaction experience guarantees an extremely respectful, confidential, and efficient process. In fact, thanks to our experience and parallel tracking process, our dedicated transaction team often closes deals 40% faster than others.

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Patient satisfaction

We use a patient-centric onboarding process that welcomes your patients and guides them through a seamless transition. We believe that highly satisfied patients are more engaged in their recovery journey, and have better clinical outcomes.

Over the last couple of years, we watched as BHG acquired other treatment centers in Alabama, and the results consistently pointed to an organization dedicated to people first, be it patient or staff member. BHG is here for the long haul. The opioid epidemic will be a battle for years to come, and I'm glad that our staff has this opportunity for stable and meaningful employment.

George Payne Former owner of two BHG-acquired treatment centers

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