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Frequently Asked
Questions

General FAQ

What should I bring with me for an assessment?

When coming to Keystone, your individualized assessment will determine your level of participation in inpatient or outpatient services. Please bring your photo ID, insurance card (if you have insurance) and any contact information for your primary care physician, probation officer, attorney, therapist, family members or other individuals you might want to be involved in your care. You will also need to provide emergency contact information. In order for us to speak with anyone or release information concerning your care, you must complete a release of information form. Please complete this form for family members or anyone who will be involved in your treatment plan.

Is my privacy protected?

Keystone is committed that each patient’s confidentiality is ensured by our legal responsibility as mandated by state and federal law (including 42 CFR Part 2). Each staff member is dedicated to upholding these standards in all communications and records. Staff, patients, family members, and visitors all sign a confidentiality statement and agree to keep all knowledge or information of Keystones’ staff, patients, and family members confidential at all times. We go to great lengths to protect the anonymity of everyone who enters Keystone.

Please be aware that state law and professional ethics require that Keystone breach confidentiality for the following reasons:

  • Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders
  • Potential danger towards harming oneself or another individual.

When are assessments conducted?

Outpatient assessments for adult age 18+ are completed five days a week on a walk-in basis and by appointment at our 199 S. Herlong Ave location. Walk in times are Monday — Friday 8:00 to 10:00 am, or Monday—Wednesday 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Adolescent assessments are on walk-in basis on Friday mornings and by appointment at our Youth Center, 1668 Herlong Court.

 

Will my employer know that I’m in a drug and alcohol treatment program?

Absolutely not—unless you tell them yourself. Keystone completely respects your right and need for the utmost privacy and confidentiality. Moreover, Keystone adheres to HIPAA and is governed by very strict federal confidentiality laws for drug and alcohol treatment facilities. If, however, you are referred or mandated by your employer to come to Keystone, you will be required to sign a release in order for Keystone to provide appropriate information to satisfy employer requirements.

Will I lose time from work?

The impact of substance use disorders on the workplace varies with each person. Concerns about lost income and missing work are valid concerns that we want to help you address. Keystone works with employers and employees to limit the impact of treatment on employment and the workplace. In most cases, careers and professional employer-employee relationships are saved and even enhanced because of treatment. Keystone works with you in order to select a program that best fits your work schedule.

Is smoking allowed at your facility?

Adult patients may smoke in designated areas only. Our Prevention and Youth Center locations are tobacco free. Ask your staff member for details. Youth patients may not smoke. Nicotine cessation groups and counseling are available.

Are the keystone staff members licensed and are the programs accredited?

Staff at Keystone is comprised of experienced professionals who hold licenses in substance abuse counseling or the professional discipline they represent, such as medicine, nursing, psychology, psychiatry, marriage and family therapy, social work, and more. The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control Division of Health Licensing also license our programs. The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, or CARF, accredits all of Keystones’ programs.

Is there a dress code?

We do have a dress code, and ask that patients do not wear any clothing representative of gang or drug culture, or clothing that contains inappropriate logos. No spaghetti strap tank tops, midriff shorts or short shorts are permitted. Men are expected to wear shirts at all times and wear pants that fit appropriately. The dress code applies to all outpatient and inpatient programs.

How can I know that my loved one has a problem with substances?

It may be difficult to determine whether or not you need help for substance use disorders. The haze of drugs and alcohol, along with the denial that often accompanies substance use, can make it hard to make that decision.

The following are some signs and symptoms of a substance use disorder that may signal you need help:

  • Tolerance: You need to consume more and more of a drug each time to achieve the desired effect.
  • Continued use despite negative consequences: You continue to use drugs or alcohol despite negative emotional, physical, financial or social consequences.
  • Withdrawal: As the effects of drugs or alcohol wear off, you may experience symptoms of withdrawal including: anxiety, shakiness or trembling, sweating,  nausea and vomiting, insomnia, irritability, fatigue, headaches, etc.
  • Denial: You become defensive when asked about your substance use.
  • Secrecy: You begin to hide your substance use from your family and friends.
  • Mood Swings: You begin to experience rapid or uncharacteristic mood swings.
  • Cravings: You start to obsessively think about acquiring and using your drug(s) of use.
  • Risk Taking: You are more likely to take serious risks in order to obtain your drug(s) of use.
  • Loss of Control: You have lost control over the amount and frequency of your substance use.

These are just a few of the signs of substance use disorders. If you have experienced even some of the above-mentioned signs, please seek help. Substance use disorders are chronic, progressive and can be fatal when left untreated. This means that over time, it gets worse, never better. The time to get help is now.

FAQ for Friends & Family Members

How do I get my loved one into treatment?

We have a team of outpatient assessment staff available Monday-Friday and inpatient staff available 24 hours a day. We can answer any questions you have and if you or your loved one is ready, we can begin the process to ensure you get the help you need. Contact us today.

How available is my family member’s counselor when I have questions or need to talk about what is going on? Or should contact someone else with questions?

Please feel free to call if you have any questions or concerns about your family member. Patients can request that a counselor call their family members to update them on the patient’s status and well-being. Regardless of the relationship between loved ones and patient, a release of information must be signed by the patient before any information can be released. Please remember that counselors are in therapy groups or individual sessions for most of their work hours, so if they do not call you back immediately you can be sure to hear from them within 24 hours.

Is it true that if our family member is forced into treatment, that treatment won’t work?

The initial few days in any level of treatment, whether it is withdrawal management, residential or outpatient treatment can be scary and uncomfortable. Rest assured that they are in good care. Patients need added support during this time, and often family can provide that support by encouraging them to stay in treatment. Return to use often occurs immediately when a patient leaves a treatment program against the advice of professionals.

As family, what can I do to help?

The most important thing you can do to support your loved one’s recovery, is to receive education about substance use disorders, and establish your own support system. This can begin by participating in the Family Services offered by Keystone.

What if our loved one returns to active use after treatment?

For some, long-term recovery from substance use disorders may start after their first self-help meeting or the first time they go to treatment. Like other chronic illnesses, however, recovery from a substance use disorder requires a long-term commitment. For some, a return to active use of alcohol or drugs may play a critical role in guiding them toward a rededication to their recovery. Returning to use can be a signal to get back on track, either by returning to meetings, treatment or adjusting the treatment approach.

Is it important to talk to my kids about alcohol and drug use before they are even exposed to it?

In a recent survey, 1 in 3 fifth and sixth graders (ages 10-11) said that alcohol was available and easy to get. Approximately 10% of 9-10 year olds have started drinking and one in three begin drinking before age 13. By age 15, approximately 50% have had at least one drink, so it’s never too early to start the conversation. Parents play a key role in providing information about alcohol and drugs, and research shows that kids who learn a lot about the risks of alcohol and drugs from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use. Parents influence whether and when adolescents begin drinking as well as how their children drink. Family policies about adolescent drinking in the home and the way parents themselves drink are important.

Services FAQ

When is withdrawal management (detoxification) necessary?

Withdrawal management may be needed when someone is abusing alcohol, heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, pills or other addictive substances. When someone consumes large amounts of alcohol on a daily basis, they can become dependent on it. This is the same with heroin and opiate pain medications which also may require withdrawal management. Other pills such as benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, etc.), barbiturates, Soma and Ultram also cause withdrawal symptoms and may require the assistance of withdrawal management.

Do you offer medically monitored withdrawal management?

Medically monitored withdrawal management is available under the supervision of physicians and professional nursing staff.

What is the first step in getting treatment?

If you feel you need inpatient withdrawal management services, the first step is to call 803-324-0404 to speak with one of our staff who will provide a free and confidential screening. If you do not need inpatient services, you can call 803-324-1800 or come to one of our walk-in assessment times:

Adult assessments are done five days a week on walk-in basis, and by appointment at our 199 S. Herlong Ave location. Walk in times are Monday — Friday 8:00 to 10:00 am, or Monday—Wednesday 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Adolescent assessments are on walk-in basis on Friday mornings and by appointment at our Youth Center, 1668 Herlong Court.

Should I bring the medications I am currently taking with me when I am admitted into Inpatient Services?

Yes. When a patient comes to be admitted they should bring all the medications they are currently taking. That would include prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, vitamin supplements and homeopathic remedies. Patients should include all the medications they take, not just those for psychiatric and/or substance use disorders. It is important for patients to provide information regarding any allergies, side effects and prior experience with any medication.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All medicine brought to Keystone inpatient MUST be in original packaging and, if applicable, in pharmacy packaging with legible current pharmacy label in your name. Any medicine that you bring that does not meet these guidelines will be handled according to Keystone’s contraband policy.

Is Keystone a locked facility?

Keystone is not a locked facility. Patients that come to Keystone come on their own, although they may be referred or mandated to services. Keystone provides specialized services for the treatment of substance use disorders.

Will I be able to talk or visit with my family and/or children while in treatment?

At Keystone we recognize the vital need for families to receive their own treatment and recovery from substance use disorders. Our staff utilizes various forms of educational and therapeutic resources to help support families. In addition to the Family Therapy Groups, Keystone offers the opportunity for individual family sessions in order for patients and families to focus on issues specific to their family system. For those in Residential Services, family therapy/visitation also occurs weekly on Sundays for our patients to be able to spend time with their supportive loved ones and children while in treatment.

What’s the difference between residential and outpatient treatment?

Residential treatment, also known as inpatient treatment, is when you live on site in a structured and supportive environment at our residential treatment facility for an extended period. Outpatient treatment enables you to live at home or in another safe place and receive treatment in one of our outpatient facilities.

How long will my stay be?

At Keystone, we thoroughly evaluate a patient’s medical, psychiatric, and psychological needs as part of the assessment process. These assessments serve as a guide for the development and implementation of a patient’s individualized treatment plan. Your multidisciplinary team will work with you throughout treatment to determine what your treatment timeline will be. Length of services is based upon your individualized needs.

Can I leave if I am in Inpatient Services?

Under special circumstances, a patient may be given a day pass off the unit if medical and clinical staff agree that it is safe and appropriate.

What if I have a court date while I am in services?

If you are in inpatient services, we recommend that you request to postpone your court date to avoid interrupting treatment. Staff can provide documentation to the courts with a signed release. If this is not possible, arrangements can be made in coordination with our staff.

Do you accommodate any special dietary needs while in Inpatient Services?

With proper notice we can accommodate any specialized dietary needs within reason. Be sure to inform the staff of these needs so that preparations can be made by our food providers.

Can patients be terminated from or asked to leave the program?

We work very hard to keep patients in treatment, as research has shown that generally the longer patients are in treatment, the less the chance of a return to use. Seldom will we terminate a patient from treatment except in the case of threats or violence.

Discharge and Recovery Management FAQ

What will I do upon discharging from Inpatient Treatment?

At Keystone, we consider ourselves a stepping stone to a life of health and well-being. We realize that recovery does not end when you leave our facility. Upon discharging from inpatient, each patient will receive an extensive plan for continued care. This will include further outpatient care and possible referrals to assist in addressing other areas to ensure the best recovery possible.

How does Recovery Management bridge the span between treatment and recovery?

In treatment, patients are educated about how recovery works, by learning how to live in recovery—actually changing your mind-set and behavior in relation to almost every aspect of your life—presents new challenges at every turn. Having support, guidance and accountability in those early months makes that transition more viable. That’s the idea behind Recovery Management. We work with individuals over an extended period of time to help them establish and sustain recovery so they can be the person they want to be and lead the life they want to live.

Can’t I just go to Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings?

Many people are able to successfully address and manage a substance use disorder through participation in Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or other Twelve Step support groups. For others, however, the disease may have progressed to a point where the added structure, support and clinical services provided in a more formal inpatient or outpatient treatment program are needed.

Do I have to keep going to AA or other twelve step group meetings?

These mutual self-help groups provide wonderful fellowship and help people hold a steady course after substance use disorder treatment, particularly by building connections within their home communities. Recovery from a substance use disorder is a lifelong journey and treatment is only the first step. Working a Twelve Step program and attending meetings is proven to help people sustain and thrive in recovery.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) FAQ

What is an opioid use disorder?

A severe opioid use disorder is a deep-rooted, disease of the brain that results from the prolonged effects of intense exposure to the drugs. It creates a compulsive, physical need for continued opioid use. As the person becomes physically dependent on the drug, they must continue taking it or suffer severe withdrawal symptoms. Seeking and using opioids becomes the primary purpose in the life of an opioid dependent person. Important social, employment, and recreational activities are given up or reduced because of this intense preoccupation.

Shouldn’t people be able to “just quit”?

It is extremely difficult to overcome a serious substance use disorder. Many have tried to “just quit,” but unfortunately are unable on their own without help. Because of the physical effects of prolonged drug usage, the body has become physiologically dependent on the very thing it should avoid. We have consistently found, and independent research proves, that by combining medication-assisted treatment with extensive counseling, our programs give people a tremendous opportunity for success.

Isn’t MAT just substituting one drug for another?

This is a common misconception. Instead, these medications relieve the withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings that cause chemical imbalances in the body.

Who else is involved in MAT besides taking medicine?

Keystone provides medically assisted treatment as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that requires substance use disorder treatment (either inpatient or outpatient) and participation in social support programs.

Will MAT effect a patient’s cognitive ability?

No. Research has shown that when provided at the proper dose, medications used in MAT have no adverse effects on a person’s intelligence, mental capability, physical functioning or employability.

What is the right amount of medication?

Medication levels must be individually determined because of differences in medical conditions, metabolism, body weight, opiate tolerance and addiction history. The proper maintenance and therapeutic dose is one at which narcotic craving and withdrawal is relieved, without creating euphoria, sedation or analgesia for 24 to 36 hours.

How is MAT helpful to patients?

MAT has been proven to lower the potential for misuse, to diminish the effects of physical dependency to opioids, such as withdrawal symptoms and cravings. By doing so, the preoccupation with drug seeking is lessened so the patient can concentrate on developing life skills and healthy relationships.

What is Keystone’s philosophy around the use of medically assisted treatment?

Keystone is 100% supportive of medically assisted treatment when it is determined by the treating physician, the patient and the counselor that MAT is a good match.

What is the counselor’s role in determining the “good fit”?

Counselors offer information and support to the patient. They also consult with the physician on staff to talk about what the patient is experiencing in their early recovery, and how the treatment team can offer the best treatment possible. As an organization, Keystone agrees with the position of the NAATP (National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers), embracing MAT as part of the services available to our patients.

Does Keystone encourage medically assisted treatment for all patients?

Like all treatment processes, we look at the needs of the patient to help create a treatment plan. Keystone recommends medically assisted treatment for some patients, not every patient.

Finance FAQ

Is Keystone a free clinic?

No, Keystone has been a private not-for-profit since 1969. While Keystone receives some state and federal funds to assist low-income patients, that funding only covers about a third of Keystone’s operating expenses. Therefore, Keystone does charge and bill for its services.

Does Keystone file insurance?

Keystone is in-network for BCBS and other major insurers, and can be covered out-of-network for many plans. Keystone will file your benefits for covered services as a courtesy. Patients with insurance are required to make weekly payments for non-covered services, deductibles and copays.

Does Keystone accept Medicaid, Medicare or Tricare?

Keystone does file South Carolina Medicaid for covered services. Medicare and Tricare do not cover Keystone services as we are not an acceptable facility type, however, we will work with you to find an affordable payment plan or work with you to document your inability to pay for services.

I don’t have insurance. Do I have to pay Keystone?

Keystone provides services to all regardless of ability to pay. You can walk into our outpatient offices five days a week to receive an assessment for services at Keystone, and will not be required to pay in advance. Part of your assessment will include meeting with billing staff who will learn about your financial situation and help you apply for assistance.

What kind of assistance is available?

In addition to public funds allocated to Keystone, we also are fortunate to have the support of donors and private foundations to assist qualifying low income and un- under-insured patients. Our billing office can help you complete a Financial Assistance Application to see if you qualify based on your documented household income and number of family members.

Are payment plans available?

Absolutely. Most patients pay a minimum of $25 per week while in services. You will receive monthly statements, and can make monthly payments after discharge. Keystone does not charge interest on payment plans.