Frequently Asked Questions

Patient Questions

What levels of care does ARMS provide?

We are an exclusively outpatient program. We do not offer inpatient detox, partial hospital or residential services.

How long does the initial evaluation take?

The evaluation process lasts approximately 2.5 hours. You will complete some initial paper work and standardized assessments of mental health and substance use (approximately 1 hour), then meet with a clinician who will further assess your mental health, your substance use and general functioning during a structured interview (approximately 1.5 hours).

How long can I get treatment at ARMS?

We understand addiction as a long-term recovery process, so patients can receive treatment services as long as they are interested in receiving care and motivated to attend appointments consistently.

Other programs have kicked me out if I’ve relapsed. Will ARMS terminate me if I struggle again?

No, we understand relapse as a part of recovery. We will continue to work with you as long as you are interested and willing to continue. However, if we feel that you need more intensive treatment for a period of time, we will help you access that treatment and will stay involved throughout that process. We will also be available for step-down, after-care treatment if you are still interested in our services.

You may be terminated from our program if you demonstrate inappropriate behavior towards other patients or staff.

Will I be drug tested every visit?

Patients are required to complete a urine sample and oral fluid test the day of their initial evaluation. After that, we require random testing throughout treatment.

Does ARMS address comorbid mental health issues?

Yes, we understand that substance use and mental health issues are very connected. Our team is trained to assess and treat comorbid mental health problems. We use cognitive behavioral therapy approaches to address depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other mental health issues. We also work with other mental health programs at Mass General to ensure each patient receives the appropriate care they may need.

Parent Questions

If my child stops treatment, can I, as a parent, still receive services?

Absolutely. We understand that not all children are motivated to engage in care or continue in treatment. We offer an array of parent services even if your child is refusing to engage in care.

Can I receive information on how my child is doing in treatment?

We strive to involve parents as much as possible in a child’s recovery as we know family involvement is essential for long-term stable recovery; however, we are subject to HIPPA healthcare privacy regulations, so information access will depend on your child’s age, their agreement to share information and clinical judgment.

If your child is over 18, he or she will have to sign a release of information allowing you receive updates. Without a signed authorization, we cannot share ANY information about your child. Should your child choose to sign a release, the information released can be limited to attendance, toxicology results, etc. Clinicians will talk with your child about releases of information during the initial assessment.

If your child is under 18, you have access to their health care information unless the clinician believes this would be unhelpful to their care.

Whom do I communicate with about my child’s progress in treatment?

You will be assigned a parent contact who is a different clinician that the one working with your child.

My child is unwilling to get an evaluation. What should I do?

This is not uncommon. We recommend that you come to one of our free parent education and support groups to learn about how you can engage your child in treatment at ARMS. You can also suggest your child attend a meet and greet with a clinician. Your child can meet with one of our staff and ask questions about the program without having to commit to anything.

Can my child keep their current providers and still receive treatment at ARMS?

Yes, we can serve as adjunctive treatment to any current providers. We may make recommendations to transfer care if we feel this would provide a more team-focused, specialized and comprehensive care package; but this is not required and will be discussed with you.

Do you provide family therapy?

We do not provide formal family therapy. Our program coaches parents to provide support and guidance, and some family sessions can be held. If family therapy is necessary, we will help find a family therapist to meet your needs.

Do I need a Partners/Mass General primary care doctor to be seen at ARMS?

No. You can keep their existing primary care doctor. If you do not have a primary care doctor, we can help you connect with one. We believe in the importance of coordinating care, so we will likely ask permission to talk with your current primary care doctor to keep them informed of your treatment.