Austin State Hospital Philosophy
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ABOUT AUSTIN STATE HOSPITAL
A part of the Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin State Hospital, which is more than 150 years old, is one of the just 46 (9.4%) treatment facilities in in the state to provide inpatient care to adults, adolescents, and children struggling with a primary psychiatric disorder or chemical dependency. Crisis intervention and stabilization services are also available here, and this facility is one of the only 187 (38.3%) Texas treatment centers to offer specialized programming for individuals with co-occurring disorders.
Medical detoxification services are available on-site, an option at only 42 (8.6%) centers across the state.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
Upon admission, patients receive an initial psychiatric and nursing assessment. Assessments are conducted 24 hours a day, seven days per week. During the admissions process, social workers communicate with loved ones to involve family members in treatment recommendations. If a client requires detoxification services, the hospital utilizes medication-assisted therapy (MAT) to minimize the discomfort of withdrawal and to help curb cravings.
According to the facility’s website, the average length of inpatient care is approximately 18 days. During this time, individuals recovering from addiction participate in a structured schedule of counseling sessions and psychoeducational classes to identify destructive thinking patterns and introduce patients to effective coping skills and relapse prevention techniques. Austin State Hospital also partners with Communities in Recovery, a volunteer-led organization that facilities peer-support process groups on-site.
Psychiatric treatment includes pharmacological intervention in conjunction with therapeutic activities. Along with counseling sessions, clients may participate in art therapy, dance and movement therapy, music therapy, recreational therapies, and spirituality groups. The overall goal of the hospital’s inpatient program is to stabilize the patient and prepare them for a less-restrictive level of care.
The hospital's child and adolescent psychiatric services are unique, available at only 28.1% (137 total) of all Texas facilities. In 2016, 4.54% of adolescents ages 12 - 17 in the state exhibited substance use disorder. Those who needed but did not receive treatment at a specialty facility for illicit drug use averaged out to 3.06%.
There is currently no information provided by the facility regarding its treatment staff; however, 98% of substance abuse treatment facilities in Texas have continuing education requirements for their staff.
The three individuals (an alum and two loved ones) polled by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing gave the facility two four-star ratings and a three-star rating for its staff’s level of training and experience.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
The 292-bed hospital is divided into three main units: Adult Psychiatric Services, Specialty Services, and Children and Adolescent Services. Meals are served each day in the dining rooms, and snacks are served on the units.
The entire facility is tobacco free; smoking is prohibited anywhere on campus. Cessation aids, such as nicotine patches and gum, are permitted. The one former client and the two loved ones polled by Rehabs.com to date all gave the facility four out of five stars for its accommodations and amenities.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
The sole alum surveyed by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing gave Austin State Hospital a mostly positive review. This former client described the treatment as “helpful” and awarded the facility four or five stars for its treatment effectiveness, its holistic offerings, its cleanliness, its counseling options, its administrative and discharge procedures, and its treatment of co-occurring disorders. Their one complaint was that the facility was understaffed.
On Google, the hospital as a whole received an average rating of 3.7 out of five stars based on 17 reviews to date, with little written feedback. The hospital fared even worse on Yelp, receiving just 1.6 stars from six users at the time of this writing, four of whom gave only one star. Most of the complaints had to do with the facility and its accommodations, which one reviewer described as "run down" and another as "a dump." Even the sole positive reviewer noted that the food was "not horrid." This user, who gave the highest rating of four out of five stars, expressed satisfaction with her experience and praised the staff-to-client ratio.
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
The two loved ones polled by Rehabs.com to date gave Austin State Hospital mixed feedback. While both gave the facility four or five stars for its cleanliness, its affordability, and its counseling options, the main complaint was a lack of staffing and communication with loved ones. One anonymous loved one wrote, “It was a good place, staffing needs to improve,” while the other remarked to Rehabs.com, “I don't think this facility works and communicates well with letting love ones in on the getting better process.” This individual disagreed that the connectivity and visitor policies are fair, and gave another low rating of just two stars to the facility's holistic offerings.
One of these two loved ones remained neutral when surveyed on whether or not the facility is able to treat co-occurring disorders, and the other strongly agreed.
The "not recommended reviews" on Yelp reveal dissatisfaction with similar aspects of Austin State Hospital from loved ones. Criticism about the accommodations and cleanliness were common, and parent C.L. expressed concern about being prevented from communicating with her son.
According to the facility’s website as well as its HealthGrove page, Austin State Hospital accepts a range of private insurance, as well as Medicare (accepted at just 89 facilities in the state) and Medicaid (accepted at 272 Texas treatment centers).
Published on March 2018
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