Reykjavik and Akureyri
About Von - Reykjavik Outpatient Unit
For some patients it is sufficient to attend interviews and group therapy in outpatients units, especially if they have participated in the treatment program previously. Thousands of SAA clients have made use of this option. Outpatient units can, under special circumstances, replace traditional treatment programs where the patients stays in an institution for the course of the program. But in most instances a stay in an outpatient ward without other treatment measures is out of the question because of the social circumstances or the medical condition of the patient. In such circumstances the outpatient ward is necessary to ensure the success of the treatment program and patients who are treated at an outpatient ward after treatment are twice as likely to abstain from addictive substances. It is therefore necessary that most of these patients have a ready access to outpatient treatment over a period no shorter than three months after completing the treatment program. This arrangement has been highly successful and has helped SAA to cut enormous costs.
Lectures and therapy programs
Almost all SAA lectures and therapy programs for the families of addicts take place in the outpatient units. Around one thousand individuals participated in the family therapy program in 1995. This service has been very comprehensive and has been run in conjunction with the program for addicts since 1978. Medical clinics and outpatient units therefore support each other in attaining a common goal as the one is essential to the other. The clinics and centers run by SAA, including the outpatient units, therefore work together and operate as one unit. Patients are offered versatile treatment options according to every individual´s needs and situation. Therefore treatment can consist of a single interview in the outpatient ward or involve an extended stay in the inpatient ward with support from the outpatient ward followed by a stay in a recovery houses after completing the treatment program.
Since 1999 SAA has offered maintenance treatment for opioid addiction to patients. Up to 100 patients are currently enrolled in this program and receive long-term maintenance on buprenorphine (methadone in a few cases). Admisson to the program is subject to several conditions, including admission to Vogur hospital, complete detoxification and participation in further treatment as is deemed neccessary by the SAA medical staff. Until January 1st 2015 all expences regarding the purchase of buprenorphine and methadone for this treatment program was covered by SAA and given free of charge to patients. As of January 1st 2015 an agreement between the National Health Insurance Agency (Sjúkratryggingar Íslands) and SAA stipulates that the drug costs are covered under the Icelandic National Health Insurance system.