CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2019 - 7

7

COLLEGE

PhD, Associate Professor

Do you ever wonder what our professors are up to

outside of the lecture room? A lot. Take Associate Professor Tanya Sorrell, for

GET
TO
KNOW

Tanya
Sorrell

example. When she is not teaching or working with patients at the Sheridan
Health Clinic, Sorrell advocates tirelessly for mental health care in our
Statehouse and our nation's capital. Sorrell also serves on the SAMSHA MFP
Faculty Advisory Committee Board, assisting in planning and educating future
doctoral students in mental health. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, Sorrell
overseas the state's medication-assisted treatment program (MAT) -- helping
reduce the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs in Colorado.

help bolster patients' recovery by
allowing them to benefit from behavioral therapy support services.

"WE'RE IMPROVING THE QUALITY
OF LIFE OF EACH PERSON WE REACH
THROUGH TREATMENT."
Cognitive behavioral therapy helps
patients learn how to refocus
negative thoughts and self-perceptions, and to address problems in a
healthier way than self-medicating.
Through reinforcement therapy, patients stay sober longer by learning
how to reward themselves for making positive decisions. By learning
to recognize triggers, patients are
better prepared to manage stresses
that can lead them to relapse. Case
management services help patients
as they work to secure the housing,
employment or education they need
to regain their footing.

Dr. Sorrell
with US
Senator
Cory
Gardner

benefitted more than 670 Coloradans - hundreds of individuals who may
not have otherwise received care for their addiction. This year, Senate Bill
19-001 will expand the program to 10 more clinical sites in the San Luis
Valley and two additional counties - meaning that scores of people like
McAuliffe will get the treatment they need.
"We're improving the quality of life of each person we reach through treatment," said Sorrell. "The program helps them sober up, return to work and
their families, and become contributing members of society again. We're
helping them get their lives back."
McAuliffe has been out of the program for more than a year. She said, "My
care team helped me tremendously - they checked on me regularly, even
after I didn't need treatment anymore. Now, I'm exercising again and taking
care of myself. I'm good."

The program helps them sober up, return to work and
their families, and become contributing members of
society again. We're helping them get their lives back"
- Tanya Sorrell, PhD

The program also addresses one of
the most damaging aspects of the
opioid epidemic: stigma. "We still
hear that opioid addiction is a moral
issue or failure," said Sorrell. "Since
the program began, we've been helping to educate the community, as
well as health care providers and law
enforcement, in an effort to remove
harmful labels and stigmas that keep
people from getting treatment."

For now, the fight against the opioid epidemic endures. The medication-assisted treatment program is just one way that the consortium is making a
positive difference in lives as it tackles the epidemic from all sides.

Since inception, the program has

This article first appeared in the 2019 edition of Momentum. Reprint courtesy of CU Anschutz.

"We continue to face a daunting challenge," said Dr. Valuck. "I am encouraged by the progress we are making - we are creating innovative programs
that are examples for the rest of the nation, we are building centers and
programs that will enable us to sustain our work, and we are making a
difference across our state."
This program is one of many at CU Anschutz focused on changing the
addiction landscape throughout Colorado.



CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2019

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Contents
CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2019 - Contents
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