(Editor’s Note: Today we continue with the second part of the two-part series on substance abuse in our region).
CHATTAROY, W.Va. — Mingo County is facing enormous challenges in 2017, with the proliferation of illegal drug distribution and neighborhood crime due to the widespread problem of drug and alcohol addiction among its citizenry—while they hold the dubious distinction of maintaining the fourth highest opioid death rate in the country.
Due to the severity of the problem, Logan Mingo Area Mental Health (LMAMH) has announced a new Intensive Services substance abuse treatment program, called RISE, at their Mingo County facility. LMAMH staff member, Stephanie Copley, M.A., an addiction-counseling specialist who was involved in a similar intensive recovery program in Logan County, is overseeing R.I.S.E. at the campus at Chattaroy.
“I am humbled, but also really so excited to be given such an opportunity by LMAMH. This vital program offers hope, which is greatly needed here in Mingo County. I have been privileged to watch great success stories unfold for those who want to live the rest of their lives in recovery,” Copley said.
“This hope is awaiting individuals with addictions who want to change their lives—for those who want to R.I.S.E. from the ashes and reinvent themselves. Today is the day for people to come to our office and discuss their future.”
Treatment protocol within the R.I.S.E. program is administered by Masters level counselors, targeted case managers, and licensed medical professionals. For counseling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the primary methodology used in the independent and group settings. Copley further explained that there is a consolidation of psychological theories and curative techniques being used nowadays in effective substance abuse programs. Health professionals are realizing—now, perhaps more than ever—that even medically assisted actions are only effective when combined with intensive addiction counseling and recovery support. “Through counseling, R.I.S.E. participants discover new thinking processes that can renew and revitalize relations with others and change negative attitudes,” she said.
“Because the drug problem is so complex, a lasting solution to the problem is equally difficult. Even so, there is now renewed hope for those who really want to find sobriety. It can be found right here at Chattaroy,” said Donna Cooke, CEO of LMAMH.
The new program is unlike most outpatient recovery models in that it is an intensive treatment program that applies both holistic and evidence-based practices. R.I.S.E., which meets daily for eight weeks at the LMAMH Chattaroy campus, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., focuses on the whole person. Applicants who meet medical guidelines can also participate in medically assisted treatment (MAT). The MAT program includes Suboxone films or Vivitrol injections as part of the recovery process.
A recent graduate of a LMAMH recovery program, a gentleman in his 30s, wanted to share his personal experiences with the treatment model: “Unfortunately I was hooked on various drugs for many years. When I first came into the program as an active addict, I wasn’t really convinced I needed all the therapy and activities. It was true that I came for help on my own, but then I became a little pigheaded when the group therapy started. I decided that I was in the wrong place. However, when I finally let go of my stubbornness—and I stopped, listened, and participated in the class activities—the independent and group counseling helped me much more than I ever dreamed possible.
“I had been in recovery programs before, and I’d had individual counseling as well, but this was different—much different.” He emphasized that, besides learning new ways of thinking, he got to know and befriend others in the recovery group who further helped him by adding a sense of peer accountability into the equation.
“I soon recognized that no one on the staff was going to be judgmental of me. No one looked down on me. Instead, they seemed to really care; and I think they wanted sobriety for me as much as I did. They never gave up on me!”
He added, “I can now say, when looking back, my life has improved 100 percent from where I was when I first walked through the door at Logan Mingo. In an odd way I even miss coming to the recovery program on a daily basis, since graduating; but I still come to AfterCare twice a week for a couple of hours, where I meet with others and participate in group therapy. I also can discuss situations that arise with a counselor as I need to,” he said. “I am so thankful to be living the life of sobriety; after many years of suffering from the effects of addiction, I have finally found the key to breaking free from the chains that constrained me. I am experiencing a much happier existence and a whole life again—a life without drugs.”
R.I.S.E. is now accepting walk-ins, hospital and doctor office referrals, social services references, and Drug Court referrals. LMAMH accepts Medicaid and most insurance carriers for the outpatient recovery program. There are also immediate openings in the Suboxone and Vivitrol MAT programs, which are applied in conjunction with R.I.S.E. For more information contact Stephanie Copley, MA, at the Chattaroy Center at (304) 235-2954, or by email at [email protected]