Mental Health, Medical, & Addiction Assessment
The first step of our mental health and addiction recovery program is a complete assessment of every physical and mental aspect of each client. This helps our treatment specialists gain a full understanding of the client’s situation and intervene where necessary to return a client to full mental and physical health. Corner Canyon’s assessment, most of which occurs in the first few days after enrollment, includes psychological testing, psychiatric evaluation, a medical examination and full blood workup, in addition to two kinds of DNA testing and brain mapping. Additional DNA tests are available if needed. These assessments help our treatment team create a unique, specialized treatment plan encompassing all needs of each client.
FULL MEDICAL ASSESSMENT
The full medical assessment includes lab work to assess underlying problems like hormone, thyroid, anemia, inflammation immune deficiencies, liver and kidney function, STDs, infection, cancer, diabetes, and CBC. Essentially everything that can be determined by blood work to ensure that we treat all aspects of a client to reduce the likelihood of relapse back into addiction and/or mental health problems. In combination with DNA testing for genetic predispositions to health problems we are able to get a full picture of what individual clients are experiencing. Our medical and psychiatric team treat within the scope of their practice, and we schedule and transport clients to specialists to address the things we are not able to treat at Corner Canyon.
DNA TESTING FOR ADDICTION
We assess the client’s genetic variants on 21 genes to different substances and the behaviors that can accompany them, ie risk taking, impulsivity, inattention, aggression, etc. It reduces the stigma associated with addiction as clients and their families see that there is a significant biological predisposition to addiction, and it helps with denial. Some clients might think that they just had a rough year with their job or relationship, and not realize how much their drinking or drug use contributed to it. This helps them realize that even if it was a rough period for them socially or emotionally the addiction is likely to get worse over time if they don’t make changes.
The testing we do is the GARS test, short for Genetic Assessment Risk Score which evaluates the RDS, or Reward Deficiency Syndrome, of each client. It is a biogenetic model for the diagnosis and treatment of impulsive, addictive, and compulsive behaviors. Essentially this means that people with addiction and behavior problems are not likely to have enough Dopamine in their systems to feel normal, which can lead to behaviors which raise it. This lack of Dopamine can cause individuals to have a high risk for multiple impulsive, addictive, and compulsive behavioral predispositions, such as alcoholism, heroin, cocaine, nicotine and marijuana use, glucose bingeing, pathological gambling, sex addiction, chronic violence, posttraumatic stress disorder, schizoid/avoidant cluster B personality disorders, conduct disorder and antisocial behavior.
COMPLETE BRAIN MAP
Corner Canyon maps each client’s brain to evaluate neurotransmitter communication between brain/brain and brain/body cells. It is capable of assessing functioning in brain areas that control things like depression, learning disabilities, PTSD, anxiety, even beliefs about the self, as in body image problems, guilt, anger, visual or auditory problems (link to Neuro Enhancement Brain Technology page, which has also been submitted). This can indicate physical problems, neurotransmitter levels, conditions like autism and ADHD, hormone or thyroid deficiencies, tell you if L-5 in your back is a problem, indicate if learning disabilities are present and in which brain area, etc.
In addition to brain stimulation intervention to address all these areas, the print out of the degree of impairment in each area of concern is sent to the therapist working with the client to discuss in therapy sessions, enabling the therapist to bring up things that the client may not be aware are impacting them. For example, a young adult client who was a bodybuilder, and had been to 7 previous treatment programs, showed a body image problem on his scan, and when asked about this he said he had had an eating disorder at age 14. He was asked if he had ever talked about this in previous treatment and said he had not.
A basic psychological evaluation is completed after clients have regained mental clarity to assess mental health concerns and direct treatment, and to indicate whether further testing is recommended to assess complex issues that have not already been evaluated. Our psychologists have extensive experience working with young adults and are adept at identifying problem areas to work on in treatment.
A psychiatric assessment is used to determine whether clients need the assistance of medications temporarily or long term to improve their mental, emotional, and physical functioning. In combination with Pharmacogenetic DNA testing, our psychiatrists are able to prescribe appropriate medications to help complete detox processes, address short or long term mental health concerns, and monitor clients while they adjust to medications. Sometimes it is appropriate to decrease or eliminate medications as well, and Corner Canyon supervises the withdrawal of these medications.
Many people who need assistance with their neurotransmitters to feel good or normal have already tried medications. Medication may or may not have helped, and frequently the client has given up on finding the right ones they need, or are resistant to medications because of side effects they have experienced in the past, or lack of effectiveness of the medications.. Pharmacogenetic DNA testing can determine which medications will be most effective for clients and eliminate medications which are potentially harmful or ineffective. This reduces the time needed to get clients feeling better and stabilized on their medications while in treatment, which improves their ability to stay sober and healthy after they complete programming and rebuild their lives.
In addition, this test indicates if the client has an impairment in the MTHFR gene, which can have significant effects on mental and physical health. It can cause anxiety, depression, insomnia, nerve and muscle pain, two kinds of cancer, and heart and stroke problems, in addition to other problems. Our diet helps to correct this deficiency, and prescription supplements enable the client to feel and function better, leading to better treatment outcomes and relapse prevention.
Corner Canyon therapists complete a biopsychosocial evaluation to assess all components of a client’s life, personality, stressors, and functioning to help direct treatment and individualize care. This evaluation includes assessments for suicidality, depression, addiction, and other elements of a client’s life that are affecting them.
DNA HEALTH TESTING
Clients can also choose to do the 23 and Me genetic testing, which indicates ancestry, traits like eye color and dimples, and extensive health testing (has to be processed by another company to get these results), including predisposition to genetic problems like the MTHFR gene variant, discussed above, things like osteoporosis, certain cancers, dementia, pregnancy problems, and many other concerns. Clients can use this information to intervene early in concern areas, build habits which help with the prevention of problems and increase testing for predictable cancers, etc.
STOMACH MICROBIOME DNA TEST
Is an option if it is determined to be a need for clients who struggle with weight, an intestinal problem like C-Diff, Crohns Disease, Gastritis, inflammation, immune system problems, skin problems, etc.
FOOD SENSITIVITY DNA TEST
if needed for clients who have difficulty with gastrointestinal, skin, fatigue, headache, and other problems which indicate allergies.
Corner Canyon is committed to finding everything that is affecting our client’s mental and physical health, and intervening to correct them when necessary, using every research validated method available. Our extensive and innovative assessment is highly unusual in the treatment industry, but we believe that understanding all factors influencing our clients is essential to effective treatment planning and relapse prevention.