La Paloma Is Spending Millions of Dollars in Renovations

A local facility specializing in dual diagnosis treatment of substance abuse and mental health conditions is in the midst of a nearly $3 million renovation project.

La Paloma, formerly called Foundation Associates, treats patients with concurrent conditions such as cocaine addiction and depression or anxiety.

The centre recently was branded as La Paloma as part of a transaction in which Foundation Associates became the parent company for the facility and two others in California: one in Palm Springs and one in Malibu.

In light of the changes taking place on the campus, an open house is planned for Sunday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the centre on Lamar Avenue. Recovery professionals and community representatives have been invited to view the sprawling campus.


The 60,000-square-foot Memphis centre, which sits on 12 acres, is also in the midst of a half-million-dollar cosmetic renovation and plans to spend a couple of millions more on infrastructure improvements.

“The campus as it exists is stunning,” said Robert Waggener, chief operations officer for Foundations Recovery Network and CEO of La Paloma. “Because this is a 1919-era facility, we’ve got basic infrastructure needs such as heating, air, plumbing and electrical that’s got to be renovated as well. We will be spending several million dollars more, in addition to the half-million-dollar renovation, because we will be adding at least 16 (detoxification) beds and some 16-bed cottages on the rear of the property that is undeveloped.”

About 3 acres of undeveloped land are behind the main building at 2009 Lamar. The cottages will be used for people who need care beyond the expected 30 to 60 days of primary care.

La Paloma offers detox, residential treatment, partial hospital and intensive outpatient treatment. The call centre operation also is handled at the Memphis location, fielding about 2,000 calls a month. The new construction is expected to take about a year to complete and add another treatment level after patients’ primary care ends.

Some History

Foundations Recovery Network, which is based in Nashville, was one of the pioneer organizations in introducing dual diagnosis treatment, Waggener said, because the organization’s founder, Michael Cartwright, struggled with mental issues as drug dependency.

“He was dually diagnosed, and he would go to traditional 12-step (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings, where he was told he absolutely could be on no medication if he wanted to be in recovery, and he struggled with his mental health conditions and he would go see psychiatrists that would want to put him on mood-stabilizing medication,” Waggener said.

After Cartwright’s ordeal, he launched an organization that has completed 11 federally funded research studies into what works for integrative treatment.

According to the Foundations Recovery Network Treatment Model, treating the mental and substance abuse issues separately is to under-treat patients. The model is based on years of research carried out by the organization and focused on highly individualized treatment models.

What’s more, 65 per cent of people who have substance abuse or dependency issues also have at least one concurrent mental disorder, and 51 per cent of people with a mental disorder also have at least one concurrent addictive disorder, according to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

“Typically, addiction and mental health have been treated as two completely separate (illnesses), not integrated at all,” Waggener said. “And, in fact, generally (patients are treated) with conflicting treatment recommendations. That has now evolved since the early 1990s into what people call dual diagnosis treatment.”

About La Paloma Treatment Center

At La Paloma Recovery Center in Memphis, Tennessee, people with substance abuse issues and co-occurring mental health problems may receive integrated care. La Paloma’s experienced team uses the Foundations model of recovery to overcome all of the issues that come with having a Dual Diagnosis. La Paloma’s residential campus is near historic midtown Memphis, and outpatient services are in East Memphis. La Paloma provides medically supervised detox, integrated care with individualized recovery plans, and 12-Step concepts, daily individual and group therapy sessions, and life skills courses as part of its treatment services.

Change Over Time

La Paloma’s treatment techniques are unique not only because of the dual treatment option but also because of the approach to treatment.

“We’re using a model here that we now call the Foundations Recovery Network treatment model that’s based on proven research as to what truly works with this population that has such complicated disorders, mental health conditions and addiction treatments that need to be treated at the same time in an integrated fashion,” Waggener said.

The Foundations Recovery Network treatment model treats each client using a very individualized approach and lots of hand-holding for clients who may not, at first, be motivated to change. The emphasis is on the client and not necessarily on the tools needed to help the client.

“The basic premise (of the treatment model) is more about the relationship between the clinician and the patients than it is about the tools that we use, and it is more a matter of style of interaction with our patients,” Waggener said.

“What we see with our patients is that they generally come in with very little motivation for treatment, with inferior coping skills that they have learned in very dysfunctional environments in their life,” Waggener continued. “And that generally results in what most people call manipulation, but we see that as them expressing a need to have their needs met. And so our challenge is to meet patients where they’re at when they come in the door.”

La Paloma receives patients from all over the country, getting referrals from mental health specialists as well as traditional treatment centres such as the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Only 30 to 40 per cent of its patients are from Memphis and the surrounding area.

When it was founded, the centre mainly treated patients with government-funded healthcare coverage, such as Medicaid and Medicare. In order to facilitate the transition at La Paloma Care Centre, the centre has decided not to accept this form of payment for dual diagnosis treatment. In the future, it will only accept private insurance and cash payments.

Oaks at La Paloma focuses on enhancing testing, putting various models to the test to see what works and what doesn’t. Since group therapy is so effective at treating dual diagnoses, it’s a massive part of The Oaks at La Paloma’s program. Family assistance has been consistently proven to be highly effective in helping families to address issues such as addiction and dependence on others in addition to reducing family dysfunction. A combination of aftercare planning, continued treatment, and daily attendance in a 12-step or support group have proven to be the keys to long-term success.

Our hospital also provides dual diagnosis treatment, which is the treatment of addiction together with co-occurring mental disorders. In a research study involving the Foundation Treatment Model, our evidenced-based, integrative approach and interventions were shown to be more effective than regular rehab strategies. Clients’ progress was monitored for six and twelve months following completion of a program dual diagnosis treatment in this review.

The Information Below Shows how An Integrated Treatment Model can be Applied.

  • Abstinence Rates are Increasing: The vast majority of participants, between 70% and 80%, stopped using chemicals for at least a year after therapy.
  • Reduction of Symptom’s Intensity: The intensity of psychiatric symptoms was reduced to its minimal by 60 per cent, alongside corresponding improvements in quality of life.
  • The Use of Repeat Services Has Fallen Significantly: The following care, high-cost facility use decreased significantly, with inpatient and emergency department visits related to drug use or mental health issues falling by 80 per cent to 90 per cent. Similarly, inpatient and emergency room visits for general healthcare are down 50% to 60%.
  • The Number of People Receiving Cost-Effective Treatment Has Risen: According to service profiles, the use of community supports and programs was more acceptable and cost-effective.

Treatment Methodologies

Motivational stages of transformation are our umbrella term for therapeutic modality, but it’s just one of the models we employ.

You can’t lock yourself into a single treatment paradigm, or you’ll be locking the patient in. A single model cannot be applied to cure all diseases or conditions requiring dual diagnosis treatment. We’re learning more about the importance of mental health in addiction and the high incidence of co-occurring disorders. Medication adherence is another evidence-based problem. Noncompliance with psychiatric medications can worsen other issues and start an addiction cycle. Evidence-based therapy helps one to look through the latest buzzwords and focus on what has been shown to work. This involves meeting the individual where they are and helping them embrace the goals we set for them and long-term mental health.

Optional Treatments

The Oaks at La Paloma uses the most advanced drug treatment options available today to deliver the best possible care to our clients. Non-confrontational alternatives to traditional and individual therapy include motivational interviewing and enhancement counselling.

Our tailored treatment options and advanced services ensure that our clients receive quality care that meets their specific needs.

Since the conditions of clients and the readiness to begin drug or alcohol rehab can differ greatly, at The Oaks at La Paloma the wide range of services and dual diagnosis treatment offered in our facility meets the unique needs of each person, regardless of where they are in their readiness to recover.

Delivering motivational services customized to each client’s readiness stage increases engagement, retention, and long-term recovery outcomes. Our dual diagnosis treatment services offer a unique set of features and advantages compared with other medical treatment alternatives. Make sure to give us a call today on 615-490-9376

We also have the flexibility and individualized focus needed to meet the needs of our clients, even though addiction treatment differs from dual diagnosis treatment and mental health recovery.