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Relapse Prevention Planning

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Relapse Prevention Planning: What to Avoid When Leaving Treatment

At TruHealing Gaithersburg, our care coordinators work with patients on extensive relapse prevention planning and aftercare planning. We know that when leaving detox, residential or stepping down from PHP or IOP to OP, it can be nerve racking. Sometimes, when you have lived with your addiction for so long, it may feel easier to fall back into old ways than to continue forging this new path. We know that with support you can persevere.

Here are some tips on relapse prevention that you can use when leaving treatment

Community Housing: Community housing is a great way to add another layer of accountability for patients in PHP, IOP, OP or who recently completed treatment entirely. Community housing requires all patients to be sober, working towards education, have a job, or be volunteering. Community housing aids will assist individuals in learning to live a fun and fulfilling life without drugs and alcohol. Community housing is a great way of helping patients to be a part of a drug free, recovery focused environment with like-minded peers.

90 in 90: 90 in 90 refers to getting to 90 AA/NA meetings in your first 90 days. This can help you stay accountable, create new positive habits and create connections with your local AA/NA community. Maybe this sounds boring, or you think you could do more with your free time, but who knows when you will finally hear what you needed to hear, and everything will just click.

Get a Sponsor, Work the Steps: Getting a sponsor can be scary and seem foreign, like, who wants to walk up to someone and say “Hey, can I call you randomly and tell you everything about me and ask you for advice on things just to ignore you then call you crying when it doesn’t work out?” However, a sponsor is an integral part of starting lifelong recovery for both you and your sponsor. The entire program of AA/NA works because we are always helping the next person in line. Sponsors help guide you on the path, so you can then help guide someone else on the path. You will also need a sponsor to work the 12-Steps. The 12-Steps often seem daunting to people who are new to recovery, but they are here to guide you to a better life, without drugs and alcohol. Plus, if you stick around, you’ll realize that things are getting easier and better.

New Hobbies: Creating new hobbies can help make your recovery stronger and can help you learn a lot about yourself. When we are using drugs and alcohol, that becomes our hobby. Our entire life revolves around drugs, alcohol, and other people who use drugs and alcohol. Creating new, healthy hobbies can help us stay clean and sober and give us extra meaning to life. Reading/Writing: Joining a book club whether it is online or at a library could be a great new hobby to explore. Starting a blog or keeping a journal could also help you navigate early recovery by clearing your mind. Reading and writing are both healthy hobbies, that will also take your mind off drugs, alcohol, or even other life stressors. Exercising is a great way to get a natural high. It will also feel great to take care of your body after years of abusing yourself with drugs and alcohol. Learning to cook, learning to paint, learning a new language, all could be great new hobbies for someone in early recovery. New hobbies are very important because without them, we may end up reverting back to old hobbies. Which could end in us using or drinking again.

Stay honest: Stay honest with your peers, your family, your sponsor and your treatment team, but most importantly stay honest with yourself. If something is difficult for you, if you make a mistake, or if you just need extra help, learn to say it. Honesty and communication is the key to recovery.

Things to Avoid When Leaving Treatment: Relapse Prevention Planning

People, Places, Things: This is something you will hear again and again in treatment and when you get out of treatment. Avoiding people, you used to use with, places where you used to go to get high or drunk and doing things that made you feel like using, or behaviors of someone who is currently using, or drinking should be a no-brainer. Avoiding these things may be very difficult and almost seem impossible, for instance what if you and your husband were both getting high together in your home, or you and your best friend always drank together, and you do not want to lose them, what happens now? If you used to get high or drink in your home, you may not be able to just up and move, and that is fine. The important thing is to remove any of the things that may trigger you from your home. Take new ways homes from work or meetings or consider staying in community housing until you feel ready to return to your home. Friends and family may be rougher water to navigate. If they can respect and support your choice to get clean and sober, and accept the new boundaries you may have, that is different than someone who may not care and continue to use at your home, or when you are out with them. Putting yourself in situations with people who don’t respect your sobriety will end up in a relapse. Things refers to behaviors you may have had when you were using. Maybe your old job, maybe the way you spend money, maybe the way you compose yourself, are all reminiscent of your using days. It is time to change. If you begin to take care of yourself and act like you care, you will start to care. There is no perfect way to avoid people, places and things. This is something you can work on with your sponsor, your supports and figure out with yourself when you remain honest. Learning how to navigate people, places and things without using or drinking will come as you remain solid in your recovery. The Three R’s: Rescue Risks Recovery Avoid trying to rescue your friends, family or peers who are using. Call your sponsor or others who support your recovery and ask them what you can do to help without risking your own recovery. Going down to the spot they are using and trying to get them back into detox, might end in you needing detox too. It is a great gift of sobriety that we want to help others, but we should want to keep ourselves on a strong and sturdy path first and foremost.


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As we continue to grow Amatus Health, the need to stay competitive and differentiate ourselves in unique ways is crucial. Building creative approaches to reach more people will take our company to new heights. This is why I am pleased to announce that we are officially rebranding. Our new national name, TruHealing Addiction & Mental Health Treatment, will eventually replace Amatus Recovery Centers.

You may be asking, “Why are we doing this?” This new name will give us national uniformity and help brand ourselves as a whole, which will be done in phases. You will still see our existing facility names co-branded with TruHealing for the time being.

Healing is what we do. Everyone who comes through our doors is in a moment of profound struggle in their lives. We support them through a life-changing process of healing and recovery, and they leave our facilities changed. This new name is a representation of that process. As mentioned above, it also allows us to have a national brand, which will make us a recognizable name in the addiction and mental health field.

In summation, these changes present an excellent opportunity for our organization to develop our mission, vision, and purpose. I look forward to prosperous growth as we head in a new and positive direction.


Mark signature

Mark Gold
Amatus Health

Dr. Adam Cusner, PhD is an organizational psychologist by training and has brought his decade-plus experience to the healthcare field serving as the Executive Vice President of Operations for a 22-facility portfolio of skilled nursing facilities, assisted living and independent living centers across Ohio and Arizona, with an annual revenue over $250MM. While serving in this position, Dr. Cusner brought accelerated growth to these facilities, while increasing employee retention and workflow optimization. Dr. Cusner has a proven track record in the healthcare industry of providing successful leadership through his financial acumen, strategic planning, interpersonal skills, along with his ability to build strong, effective teams.


Dr. Cusner’s credentials include a Philosophy Doctorate in Organizational Psychology (PhD) from Cleveland State University, a Master of Arts in Psychology (MA) from Boston College with an emphasis on Psychology of Work, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (BS) from Boston University with an emphasis in Organizational Behavior in Business and is a board-certified Nursing Home Administrator (LNHA). He has published and presented research articles in the field of organizational psychology at national healthcare conferences. Dr. Cusner is completing a book on organizational psychology in the healthcare field, which is expected to be published late early summer 2022. He is also a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), has served as the APA’s Division 17 communications chair, is a member of the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychologists (SIOP), and was selected as a professional reviewer for national conference research presentations.


Dr. Cusner is an advocate for his employees and is drawn to the tie between culture and quality. His extensive strategic and operational skills have delivered a high degree of success across all department levels. Dr. Cusner facilitated the establishment of an in-house financial team to provide billing and collections, accounts payable, vendor management, along with financial reporting. This provided $1.5MM annualized savings. Further, he developed department efficiencies for: Medical Staff recruitment, service-line growth, quality and safety, corporate accountability of budgetary expectations balanced with direct reporting to investor groups.


Dr. Cusner coordinated the financial turnaround of a 300 bed CCRC (skilled nursing, assisted living and an independent living center) in Arizona, which has been epitomized as the most financially challenging state to manage CCRC facilities. Dr. Cusner also strengthened the business growth of the Ohio facilities by 12%. He was recognized by the Governor for demonstrating a “care-conscious approach” during COVID, when Dr. Cusner carefully consolidated facility residents to accommodate staff and improve clinical care. Dr. Cusner demonstrates a results-driven culture by delivering a high-quality level of care and employee engagement.

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Yaffa Atias is the Director of Special Projects at Amatus Health. Atias is a leadership professional with a decade of experience in healthcare. She holds a BA in interdisciplinary studies from Thomas Edison State College, and a Master’s in Healthcare Management with a concentration in project management from Stevenson University. She completed her graduate capstone at Mosaic Community Services, now an affiliate of Sheppard Pratt.


In her role at Amatus, Atias leads and manages interdisciplinary team projects, creates solutions for any operational gaps, and continually strives for quality improvement in all processes. Atias led the organization’s COVID-19 preparedness strategy, resulting in all facilities remaining operational, and in 600 employees being retained as staff without resigning out of fear. In her role so far, she implemented licensure for three new states.


Atias believes Amatus Health and TruHealing stand out because every employee, from corporate to center staff, has a real passion for helping people. Atias shares this passion, “My natural compass always tugged me to behavioral health. I’ve always been fascinated by the human psyche. I have also been intimately privy to those suffering from mental illness and substance use. I later understood that my experiences weren’t unique, and quickly realized how pressing the need really is to effectively prevent and address. Moreover, how life-changing proper intervention truly is.”


Atias was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up in Israel and Maryland.

Melissa McCarthy is the Vice President of Business Development at Amatus Health. With a decade of experience in the behavioral healthcare and addiction treatment industry, McCarthy is passionate about recovery. She has her finger on the pulse of marketing trends, with the end goal of helping businesses grow so they can serve more people in need.


McCarthy has worked at large enterprise recovery centers across the country spearheading business development teams. She has a wide range of experience, including transforming a third-party digital marketing and client acquisition services company into a full-continuum behavioral healthcare provider, managing several successful rebrands, and growing annual revenue fivefold.


As VP of Business Development, McCarthy leads a team of over 20 business development professionals nationwide. She manages client acquisition, coordinates in-service trainings with various referents and hospitals, and presents at conferences on addiction and mental health disorder treatment.


“Sadly, many individuals die waiting for access to life-saving behavioral healthcare services,” says McCarthy. “I am in relentless pursuit of better—better access, better care delivery and better outcomes. I consider it a privilege to work in an environment where miracles unfold daily.”


McCarthy lives in Maryland with her daughter.

Hometown: Saugus, MA


Passions & interests: The greatest passion of mine is being able to dig into the work with men in early recovery. There is nothing better than witnessing and being a part of the change. My journey in long-term recovery has taught me to value the little things in life that I am now able to do. I love to do anything that allows me to be present with my wife, family, and friends. My wife and I enjoy traveling, trying new foods, and taking long motorcycle rides with our friends. If I am not on the road working or with my wife, I am studying or playing softball.


The best part of my job is being able to show up for my team and clients; they all mean the world to me. I get to brainstorm and strategize with tons of different personalities. A lot of the team does not know, but I love learning from them. If I am not learning something about our industry or workplace, I am certainly learning how to effectively collaborate with different types of individuals.


Together, we can change the narrative and be a part of the solution to better treat those trapped in the problem.

Allison was born in Columbus, Ohio and was raised in South Florida. She graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. After college, Allison started working at the largest talent agency in the world, William Morris Endeavor. There, she learned marketing from top leaders specializing in global PR and endorsement campaigns, in both the Latin and English markets.


Through strategic public relations and creative campaign concepts, Allison has secured more than 200 national broadcast and print media placements for behavioral healthcare organizations. She brings over 15 years of marketing and PR experience, with a strong background in leading communications strategy for addiction treatment and behavioral healthcare facilities. In her role as VP of Communications, she oversees branding, public relations, social media, marketing, events, and content creation.


In her spare time, she loves cooking, boating, yoga, and traveling. She and her husband Bryan reside in Boca Raton, Florida.

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Avi Burstein is VP of Clinical Services at Amatus Health. He manages all therapeutic programming at all facilities nationwide.


Avi is originally from New York, and graduated from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. He brings over 13 years of experience in the Behavioral Healthcare Industry, in both the public and private sectors. He is passionate about therapeutic communities and the fellowship they foster between patients. Through his work in LGBTQIA, urban, rural, and religiously observant populations, Avi recognizes that each patient is unique. Therefore, he strives to ensure clinical approaches, staffing, administration, and education meet the expectation of each community Amatus Health serves.


“Our work must also include ending the societal stigma surrounding such conditions by building safe and supportive networks that include clients’ families whenever possible,” Avi said. “By valuing change and owning imperfections, we can strive to be better providers and walk through the door of recovery with our clients.”

Avi Burstein is VP of Clinical Services at Amatus Health. He manages all therapeutic programming at all facilities nationwide.


Avi is originally from New York, and graduated from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. He brings over 13 years of experience in the Behavioral Healthcare Industry, in both the public and private sectors. He is passionate about therapeutic communities and the fellowship they foster between patients. Through his work in LGBTQIA, urban, rural, and religiously observant populations, Avi recognizes that each patient is unique. Therefore, he strives to ensure clinical approaches, staffing, administration, and education meet the expectation of each community Amatus Health serves.


“Our work must also include ending the societal stigma surrounding such conditions by building safe and supportive networks that include clients’ families whenever possible,” Avi said. “By valuing change and owning imperfections, we can strive to be better providers and walk through the door of recovery with our clients.”

Marty Markovits is the Chief Information Officer at TruHealing. He oversees the people, processes, and technologies of the whole organization to ensure the business is running smoothly.


Markovits grew up in Brooklyn, NY (which he calls “the greatest city on Earth”) and graduated with a degree in Clinical Psychology from Queens College.


Markovits is a veteran in Information Technology within the healthcare field. He ensures that IT processes are simple, cost-effective, and secure. His expertise spans the entire healthcare domain, from billing and claims, to clinical, to Human Resources. He says, “My passion is to provide fully automated and operationally meaningful Business Intelligence analytics, with absolute data integrity.”

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Hometown: Savannah, GA


Passions & Interests: I spend my time outside of work with my wife and children and am actively involved in various community needs and causes.


The best part of my job is knowing that we are creating a safe, healthy, nonjudgmental environment where people can come and better their lives. There is nothing more satisfying than helping others learn to live again and piece their lives back together as they become strong, productive members of society.

Together, we can bring families back together and promote healing and well-being.


With over 16 years of proven executive leadership and driving company growth, Mark Gold’s momentum for success isn’t slowing down anytime soon. He serves as the CEO of Amatus Health, one of the fastest-growing, behavioral healthcare organizations in the country.

Possessing an excellent handling of clinical compliance and high performance standards, Mark established 14 CARF/JCT accredited addiction and mental health treatment centers and three ancillary healthcare businesses. Mark’s natural leadership skills as well as his creative thought process to generate new revenue strategies make him one of the most sought-after professionals in healthcare. Mark has a track record of leading organizations to outstanding ROI on overall portfolio performance. In addition, his expertise includes workforce planning, growth revenue, high client and investor satisfaction.

Aside from daily business oversight, Mark invests in his staff and helps build their professional development. His commitment to his colleagues and employees toward advancement and inclusiveness helps them achieve goals, builds connections, and provides a competitive advantage in the healthcare field.

Corporate and Charitable Leadership

Mark has been instrumental in building healthy communities and providing access and quality healthcare to underserved populations. His service in the community is a testament to his passion and selfless dedication to the cause of eradicating addictive disorders and stigma.

He launched several prevention and education programs and created the first-ever “Social Justice” scholarship fund of over $750,000.00 to help communities of color into inpatient drug treatment. Mark says, “The best part of my role is the knowledge that what we do impacts countless lives, with far-reaching effects,” he said. “It is incredibly rewarding to be part of a team that guides individuals onto a safe and accessible path to healing and recovery.”

He is a board member of Ahavas Chaim, a non-profit that offers at-risk teenagers crisis intervention and mental health support. He is also a committee member of the organizations Bonei Olam and Chai Lifeline Mid-Atlantic.

Personal and Educational Background

Mark studied Talmudic Law at Yeshiva’s Mir Yerushalayim in Israel. In Mark’s free time, he loves snowboarding, boating, and spending time with his wife and children.