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Research Outcomes

AToN Center: Substance Abuse Treatment Outcomes – 2018

AToN Center strives to be the most cutting edge, evidence based program available for treating substance misuse. In alignment with this aim, we have been reporting our research and outcomes since 2011.

In an effort to step up our game even further, we have joined with a third party, Vista Research Group, who has begun monitoring our outcomes. This group not only monitors our resident’s weekly progress, but they also contact our residents periodically after their discharge in order to give AToN feedback about our Alumni outcomes.

The intention of this move is twofold. First, as our outcomes will be monitored by a program outside of AToN, our numbers can be trusted even more! We all know that many programs “fudge” numbers in an attempt to place their center in positive light. This un-biased group verifies AToN’s honesty!

Second, despite our amazing results, we have been unable to compare our outcomes with other programs. The Vista Research Group represents a number of treatment centers so our results are compared to national norms AND these other treatment centers using the same group.

AToN Center just received our first “Treatment Effectiveness Report” and we are delighted to share this report with you! This report is broken into three major portions: Patient characteristics upon intake, progress during treatment and treatment success. Our data is from 114 residents who attended treatment at AToN between September 2017 and June 2018.


Back to SchoolOver half of our residents participating were male (61%) and the majority of our residents were in a stable living environment (95%). Our residents have typically attained a high level of education, with 62% holding a degree of some sort. Around one-third (31%) of our residents came to treatment because friends or family encouraged them to seek treatment, while 50% of our residents reported seeking treatment because they “became tired of living this way.” Alcohol was overwhelmingly the primary substance of choice (56%), while heroin (11%), opiates (11%) and benzodiazepines (8%) were also common. A strong majority of residents at AToN (85%) met the definition for having a severe substance use disorder and 34% of respondents reported having no prior treatment prior to attending AToN.

While AToN Center if a substance use primary program, our clinical staff is highly equipped to treat dual diagnoses. Upon intake, 68% of the respondents reported moderate to severe symptoms of depression. Anxiety was also highly reported with 63% endorsing moderate to severe symptoms. Of our residents, 54% reported symptoms indicative of post-traumatic stress disorder. Of note – four of our full time psychologists are either certified in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), or in the process of being certified in EMDR with the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA).

Progress During Treatment

Symptoms of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder were measured upon admission and discharge to ascertain resident’s progress during treatment. There was a decrease of depression symptoms from 72% to 14% as measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). There was a decrease of anxiety symptoms from 64% to 23% as measured by the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7). Lastly, there was a decrease of trauma symptoms from 57% to 19% as measured by the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL-6).

Treatment Success

There are several factors that comprise treatment success – treatment completion rate, satisfaction with treatment, resident feedback and meeting treatment goals.

Treatment Completion Rate

In comparison to national norms, AToN Center has an exceptionally high treatment completion rate (69% versus the national norm of 56%). Of note, this does not take into account that 9% of our residents wanted to continue treatment, but had to discharge early due to their insurance companies denying them further care. If we take those numbers into account, then 78% of our residents completed treatment. This is not to say that AToN Center does not discharge residents who are violating AToN rules or causing disturbances in our milieu – our rate of termination is the same as national norms (6%). Another exceptional statistic is that AToN’s rate of residents who discharge “Against Medical or Clinical Advice” (AMA/ACA) is lower than the national average (14% in comparison to national average of 18%). Despite this positive feedback, AToN Center’s Administrative and Clinical Team is researching and brainstorming ways to decrease our AMA/ACA rate by intervening with those residents who are at high risk for this type of discharge early on in their treatment.

Satisfaction with Treatment

A very important aspect of treatment is resident satisfaction. This can be impacted on a number of levels, such as quality of staff, clinical interventions, cleanliness of facility, respect for residents and a high standard of privacy protection – just to name a few! AToN’s residents were overwhelmingly satisfied with their treatment – 90% of residents reported being “very satisfied” with their treatment, while 8% reported feeling “somewhat satisfied”, 1% felt neutral and 1% felt “somewhat unsatisfied.” This is in comparison to that other treatment centers who are contracted with Vista Research Group – where 73% of residents were “very satisfied” with their treatment. AToN’s rate of high satisfaction was 17% higher than the average!!!

Meeting Treatment Goals

Treatment SuccessWhen residents were asked if they were included in their Master Treatment Plan development 94% stated they were asked about treatment goals, 3% were not sure and 3% stated they were not asked about their treatment goals. This demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of residents felt they had ownership of their treatment experience. When residents were asked if they felt their treatment goals were met 87% reported that their treatment goals were met, whereas 13% reported they were “not sure yet.” This highlights how the majority of our residents feel like they are making progress in treatment.

This feedback helped AToN Center identify our strengths and weaknesses as a program – and is driving our performance improvement goals. AToN will continue to present our program evaluations in an effort to remain transparent and accountable to our past, present and future residents.

AToN Center: Substance Abuse Treatment Outcomes – 2017


AToN Center holds itself to the highest standard of care, and is firmly rooted in the scientist-practitioner model.  In an effort to provide the highest quality of service, our San Diego treatment center continuously assesses the psychological dynamics of each individual entering treatment, and assesses treatment outcomes of outgoing residents.  The research and leadership team at AToN Center believes in letting data drive policy, and uses only appropriate, valid and reliable measures to assess our performance.

Here is our ongoing research for your review:

Our goal is to exceed your expectations.  Call us today if you or a loved one is seeking an ethical, high quality San Diego treatment center with successful substance abuse treatment outcomes. Our private rehab program is limited to a total of 24 clients, 6 per residence to ensure quality of care.

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