shanti recovery and wellness addiction treatment MAT buprenorphine portland oregon SE Making the decision to get treatment for drug or alcohol abuse – technically known as Substance Use Disorder – is a huge step. It’s normal to feel nervous or even anxious about your first appointment. Throughout the years, we’ve had several requests for a blog post like this one to walk new patients like you through what you should expect at your first appointment at Shanti Recovery and Wellness in our SE Portland clinic. 

What to Expect Before Your First Addiction Treatment Appointment at Shanti 

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We’ll send you some new patient paperwork to complete before your set appointment time. Be sure to fill out these forms as completely as you can before you arrive for your appointment to help keep your experience running smoothly. These forms will include basic contact information, insurance information, some information about the clinic and a few standard legal notices you’ve likely encountered before in a medical setting. 

What to Expect When You First Walk in the Door at Shanti: Friendly Discretion and a Family-Style Clinic Setting

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Our office has a welcoming, family-clinic style environment that puts many first-timers at ease. Some patients have said that the office reminds them of an acupuncturist’s space or a small chiropractic office. 

We are nestled into an old craftsman on SE Milwaukie Ave. We’re deliberately set back from the street with lots of privacy. The signage out front does not shout “ADDICTION TREATMENT!” We keep the building discrete. Should an acquaintance see you walking into our clinic, you can rest assured that we look like any other boutique medical clinic in inner SE Portland. While a SUD diagnosis is nothing to be ashamed of, the unfair stigma attached to SUD means that many patients don’t want to be seen walking into an obvious addiction treatment clinic. At Shanti, you can rest assured that passersbys will NOT automatically know the nature of your visit.

What to Expect at Your First Appointment With Dr. Bahl 

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Your first appointment is all about YOU. We’ll talk about your current struggles and challenges, your current health, your health history, your past and present substance use patterns. Bring whatever you feel would be useful to share – this is your space to get us up to speed on where you’re at in your wellness journey. Rather than simply glance over your impersonal health history form, Dr. Bahl prefers to take the time to go over your story in person and give it the attention it deserves. 

Once you feel that you’ve shared all the relevant information, we’ll move on to your goals. What do you want out of treatment? What are your personal health goals? Why do you want to seek addiction treatment? These are the kinds of questions we’ll cover together. 

Once we’ve gone over where you’ve been and where you want to go, we’ll make a plan to get you there together. This is formally called “treatment planning.” During this time, we’ll work together to come up with a strategy to address your situation using the best evidence-based practices available today. For many patients, this includes a combination of medication, nutritional interventions, and therapy. 

At Shanti, We Have Therapists and Psychiatric Providers On Site for Dual Diagnosis Patients 

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Should your needs include therapy and/or psychiatric medication, Dr Bahl can refer you to our in-house providers for treatment. That means that in addition to medical care, you can receive counseling and psychiatric services all under a single roof, making a single phone call to our front desk. In some cases, we are able to schedule appointments back-to-back to save you the hassle of extra trips to receive multiple types of care. This can be a great option for dual diagnosis patients who don’t already have an ongoing relationship with one (or both) of these types of providers.  

One More Thing You Can Expect at Shanti: A Stigma-Free Experience

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So many of our patients at Shanti have had negative experiences with previous medical providers and/or addiction treatment facilities. While every doctor’s office and treatment clinic should treat SUD patients with basic respect and common courtesy, the stories our patients tell us reveal that this is often not the case. Patients report feeling judgment, suspicion, lack of consideration, lack of kindness and lack of respect at some providers’ offices due to their SUD diagnosis. At Shanti, we treat our patients with the respect and consideration that they deserve in their journey to wellness. We are a stigma-free facility.  

Looking for help in Portland Oregon? Ready to Make Your First Addiction Treatment Appointment at Shanti?

Interested to learn more about how we can help? Give us a call today to begin your journey to freedom from addiction!