Friday, September 14, 2012

AOT Myths: Debunked

AOT Myths: Debunked

There is a lot of misinformation about assisted outpatient treatment.
Here is a quick look at some of the myths and realities involved.

MYTH: Assisted Outpatient Treatment is going to fill hospital wards.
REALITY: Assisted Outpatient Treatment is designed to help people succeed out of the hospital. It helps those with a history of non-compliance induced dangerousness comply with treatment and therefore prevents them from deteriorating to the point where they need hospitalization.

MYTH: Assisted Treatment will empty hospital wards.
REALITY: Inpatient hospitalization will still be needed for those incapable of surviving safely in the community. Assisted outpatient treatment facilitates early short-term rehospitalization for those noncompliant and likely to become dangerous.

MYTH: Assisted outpatient treatment does not work.
REALITY: Studies in Iowa, North Carolina, Hawaii, Arizona and other states have definitively proven assisted outpatient treatment works.

MYTH: Assisted Outpatient Treatment will bust the budget.
REALITY: Assisted Treatment is not expensive because it does not mandate any services that individuals with brain disorders are not already entitled to (example: case management, medications, rehabilitation). Assisted Outpatient Treatment Orders merely require the system to facilitate compliance for non-compliant individuals by giving them the services they need to keep well and the surrounding community safe.

MYTH: Assisted outpatient treatment is unconstitutional.
REALITY: Forty-one states and the District of Columbia have assisted outpatient treatment laws. The Supreme Court has overturned none of these laws.

MYTH: Assisted treatment infringes on civil liberties.
REALITY: It is the illness, not the treatment that restricts civil liberties. Medicines can free individuals from the “Bastille of their psychosis” and enable them to engage in a meaningful exercise of their civil liberties. Assisted outpatient treatment cuts the need for incarceration, restraints, and involuntary inpatient commitment, allowing individuals to retain more of their civil liberties.
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