The Response - 18


Beginning the Journey to

by Jamie Geist, Housing Director and Ryan Herrerab, Coalition Member

and Assistant Housing Director, YMCA of Reading and Berks County

Editor's Note:
"Beginning the Journey to Recovery" offers friends and families a perspective of how this journey can begin and how change can occur for both the
individual and the family. While the pathway presented focuses on in-patient treatment, not all individuals requiring treatment for a substance
use disorder will begin their journey with an in-patient treatment stay. The first step, as is true of treatment of any illness, is a clinical evaluation.
Based on the outcomes of the evaluation, the appropriate treatment is recommended. Readiness and willingness of the patient to accept the treatment
recommendation is an important factor. Other treatment and recovery pathways, including detoxification, out-patient, and medication-assisted
treatment, will be presented in future issues of The Response.

The Door for Change Opens

"I'm scared my son is going to die if he doesn't get help. What can I do"? - Anonymous Mother


ometimes it comes in the form of a phone call or sometimes it
is a frantic face at the reception desk, but the look in the eyes
and sense of desperation in the voice is the same: overwhelming
fear and confusion about how this happened and what to do now.
	 And so begins the long and often confusing journey of what to do
when a loved one is addicted to opiates. The good news is that in Berks
County there are a lot of opportunities to get help. Many individuals
may begin their journey to recovery with inpatient treatment.

Inpatient treatment - One Pathway
"When I was finally done with all the paperwork and shown
my room I laid on the bed, closed my eyes, and exhaled for
what felt like the first time in years. What came next was an
overwhelming sense of relief because I wasn't going to have
to wake up tomorrow and try to figure out a way to get one
more fix." - Anonymous Person in Recovery
	 Whether you have private pay insurance or receive funding through
TASC, the majority of inpatient treatment centers offer roughly the
same services with the typical length of stay varying from 5-90 days.
Upon arrival a basic health examination and intake will be performed.

the response // summer/fall 2018

If you are seeking treatment for opioid dependence you will be
given medication to ease symptoms of withdrawal. The first day is
a transition day where you will be assigned your room, given a tour
of the facility, and introduced to other members of the community.
Starting with the second day, your schedule will consist of a morning
group check-in, meeting with your counselor, attending various group
meeting, recreation time, attending 12-step meetings, and free time
where you can make phone calls. Each inpatient treatment facility has
different rules pertaining to tobacco use and visitation. Midway through
your stay your counselor will begin discussing your aftercare plan.
This will consist of setting up outpatient drug and alcohol counseling
and where you will live after leaving treatment.

The Family's Journey Begins

"My loved one is in what do I do?"
	 First: Breathe. As you well know by now, one person's substance use
affects everyone around them. Now that they are in treatment, take
this opportunity to focus on you. Take a look at things that you need
and what you can do to get those needs met. This may sound selfish
and you might feel guilty but taking care of yourself helps you to offer
positive support for your loved one.


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