Opinion: Getting treatment for addiciton
This week’s writer is Jessi de Boer, who wrote this in coordination with the Addison County Committee on Opiate Addiction. DeBoer, a licensed alcohol and drug counselor and a licensed clinical mental health counselor, is coordinator of Adult Recovery Services at Counseling Service of Addison County.
The governor shined a bright light on the opiate problem in Vermont a few years ago, but it is important to remember that this disease is active with many different substances — tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and some prescription medications. We hear often of “access to care” issues in Vermont, meaning that for people who have addiction, treatment may come with a bit of a wait. This is certainly true. Addiction treatment and recovery is poorly funded and the work is difficult — very few professionals are able to stay in the field long-term. There are options for treatment and resources are available during the wait.
There is hope! For addiction to tobacco, www.802quits.org offers a wealth of free support and choices to help quit. For drugs and alcohol, we have treatment and community support right here in Addison County. The Turning Point Center offers recovery coaching, recovery meetings and support for loved ones helping to fight this disease: www.turningpointaddisonvt.org/.
If you or a loved one is using drugs and/or alcohol every day and has built up a tolerance (needing more and more of it), it is likely that a rehabilitation center might be the best treatment. For alcohol and some prescription drugs especially, it is important to have a medical team supervise the detox process to ensure safety and make you as comfortable as possible. There are inpatient programs in Vermont and sometimes there is a wait but it is worth getting on the list and calling today!
For people who are addicted to opiates (pain killers/heroin) there are treatment programs that offer medication assisted treatment state-wide. These programs provide medications and therapy to support long-term recovery. A good way to think of these programs is similar to the nicotine patches used for tobacco addiction. The medication offers relief so that the person can focus on building lifestyle changes for a successful recovery.
In conjunction with 12-step programs and counseling, acupuncture therapy can also support individuals with the experience of addiction. This complementary care service is currently available at CSAC and Mountain Health Center. Contact Rachel Edwards at MHC for more information.
Individual and group therapy are some of the most important tools to help recovery. As we continue this series we will share more about therapy and acupuncture treatments as well as medication assisted treatment.
All of this is simply a brief overview with the purpose to give hope. There is treatment and community support available when you or your loved one is ready to fight this disease.
For help today go to: www.addictionhelpvt.org.
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