Philadelphia Medicine, Fall 2017 - 20

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Section

Individualized Care, One Day at a Time
The programs all say it's essential for counselors to listen to each
client, find out the complications involved in their specific addiction,
and target their treatment based on their individual needs. All the
programs we've looked at do this. They also agree that it's essential for
people in recovery to embrace the idea that they should concentrate
on staying sober just one day at a time.
Michael Ogden, who runs
The Bridge in Philadelphia,
and is the director of Children Treatment Services for
Public Health Management
Corporation, said a teen told
him, "I really wanna be sober.
I wanna live a normal lifestyle.
But I'm still afraid that I don't
know how to.' We went back
and forth on this and finally I
said to him, 'Well why don't
you just start today. And just
see what you can do.' He kind
of smiled at me and looked at
me and said, 'Okay, I get that.'
"Getting clean and sober is not a spontaneous thing," Ogden said.
"They have to start making decisions that are supportive of recovery.
First thing is providing safety for them. Provide a safe place where
they can start to address the issue."
All of the programs embrace the 12 Steps, but also go well beyond
them in ways that are unique to each program. The Caron Treatment
Centers pride themselves on educating clients around the whole
disease of addiction model. "If they don't know their disease they're
not going to fare well," Dr. Garbely said.
20 Philadelphia Medicine : Fall 2017

Caron identifies psychiatric co-morbidity, which is present in
about 80 percent of its clients. "We have a very high co-occurrence
rate here on campus, like any other institution would have. So,
we identify any co-occurring psychological malady in the first 24
hours the person is with us, then we enter a diagnosis and begin the
planning process around withdrawal management."
Dr. Garbely said clients cannot recover if such issues as mood and
anxiety disorder, trauma and physical pain are not treated. In the
first days of treatment, some clients are given medication to reduce
cravings and pain. "We also teach them different modalities to keep
their chronic pain manageable. Often times it's not going to go away,
but we can show them ways to manage the pain without turning
to drugs or alcohol."
Mirmont has a comprehensive approach similar to Caron. Both
facilities have inpatient treatment programs that can run 6 to 7 weeks,
followed by different levels of outpatient care.
Studies have indicated that it takes six months to a year for someone
to go into sustained remission, so outpatient care, that includes 12
Step meetings and other forms of peer support, are crucial.
The clients at Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge, who range
in age from 18 to 64, can spend up to 11 months on campus.
And there are facilities like Theo Gordon-Hardy's Healthy Habitats
recovery houses where clients live in a safe, drug-free environment
while leaving during the day to go to a job along with 12 Step
meetings and peer counseling.
Theo said he's seen miracles every day in the homes he runs. "I
see them all the time. They definitely can come true in this world.
In the end it's not the drugs that follow them everywhere. It's what's
in between their ears." *



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