Recovery mode: Firm offers substance abuse monitoring

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Photo courtesy of Feinberg Addiction Services
 

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Two decades ago, Steve Feldman started the road back to recovery from addiction—and dedicated himself to working with others going through similar battles, especially where those struggles may impact a person’s livelihood, marriage or custody arrangements.

“I know all too well how addiction can devastate families and leave good people feeling hopeless,” he says. “It’s an illness that has the power to destroy lives—it even has the power take lives away from us.”

Feldman is passionate about his role as Chief Operating Officer at Feinberg Addiction Services in West Bloomfield. A division of Feinberg Consulting Inc., founded in 1996 by nurse Pam Feinberg-Rivkin, and serving thousands of families and families with crisis management, advocacy, and coordination of treatment, Feinberg Addiction Services provides substance abuse monitoring, and works with family law attorneys, judges, probation officers, and employers.

“There are instances throughout court proceedings where addiction becomes a key factor,” Feldman explains. “Examples include custody hearings where a parent or child is struggling with addiction, or divorce proceedings where a spouse’s addiction led to divorce. In cases such as these, the court system will often direct lawyers to seek an outside perspective on a client’s addiction, which is reported to the court.”

Three services are offered to the courts: monitoring, basic assessments, and comprehensive assessments. The assessments, in particular, give a thorough overview to judges, lawyers, and/or employers so they can evaluate the best next steps. “In all cases, courts make the final decision on what services we would provide to the potential client,” Feldman says.

Substance abuse monitoring provides a system of accountability and support to the person being monitored, who may enter into a agreement via a court order, via direction from an employer (probably through an Employee Assistance Program), or voluntarily.

Monitoring provides a body of evidence that can be presented to a court or an employer. “The evidence can be in support of recovery or not, dependent on the action of the individual being monitored,” Feldman says.

Participants may be required to submit to random Urinary Drug Screenings, ETG tests, hair tests, breathalyzer tests, or other drug or alcohol tests. Services also may include a clinical overview, mental status exam, and evaluation, screening and inventory tests, and community self-help meetings.

 “We view our role within the legal community as one that benefits attorneys as a resource and can also help provide much needed monitoring and support to those struggling with addiction,” Feldman says. “I love what I do and am grateful for every part of my journey that has led me here.”
 

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