Our Nations Opiate Epidemic: An Interview with Addiction Campuses
We’ve been excited about this show for quite some time and honored to work with one of the leading addiction recovery centers in the United States, Addiction Campuses. Olivia Quintanilla, Market Director, and Brian Sullivan, Public Relations Manager, from their Tennessee and Texas campuses join us for a heartfelt, candid, and startling discussion about what is happening in the United States for anyone struggling with addiction issues.
As our audience knows we strive at everythingEHR and Mental Health News Radio Network to work towards eliminating the stigmas surrounding mental illness. Addiction Campuses is leading the charge to change our nations dialogue around the stigma associated with addiction. Even our Host and CEO, Kristin Walker, had to take a look at the language she uses around discussing addiction as you’ll hear on the program.
We cannot stress enough how important this show is to our organization and how proud we are to get right to heart of things with both Olivia and Brian.
Most definitely heroin. 65% of the calls we receive at the Addiction Campuses call center are heroin or opiate related.
2. What do you believe is the answer to the nation’s epidemic?
We HAVE to end the stigma, and open our eyes as a society and see that the addict has been redefined. And we have to see it for the disease it is, and not a criminal activity. We have to let people know that it is something that could very easily happen to them.
This month we are focusing on faith-based recovery – what it means and why it’s important. Our faith-based program is one of the most successful that we know of. We offer 24-hour pastoral counseling. It’s not a requirement that someone be a christian to go into the program or by the time they leave. Our focus is on helping them beat their addiction. We just opened up a brand new facility in Texas that offers adventure therapy like ziplining, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (or DBT). It’s huge, state of the art, and we’re really excited about it.
4. Tell us more about your new Texas campus?
You know, every one of our campuses has a special, secret sauce about them that is specifically tailored to our clients. Our Texas campus really has a niche for dealing with trauma. The adventure therapy, experiential therapy and the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) are all proven methods that work when dealing with addiction and trauma. These types of therapy really allow the client to gain their power back and give them a sense of accomplishment.
5. What about cost for your program?
Every client we have is assessed on a case by case basis. A lot of people don’t reach out for help because they think they can’t afford it, or they don’t have insurance. From the moment someone calls into our center, we do everything we can to get them into treatment. There are several scholarships available, there are programs that we partner with to help people at a discounted rate. The money that we get is poured back into excellent accommodations, a caring, skilled staff and helping other people get help.
One of the things that’s so sinister about this addiction is that it starts so subtly. Most of the stories we hear are from someone who obtained some sort of injury and was prescribed an opiate for pain. They gradually work their way up until the dosage their taking doesn’t do as much for them and they need more and more. Because of the U.S. crackdown on prescription pain killers, they get cut off and then look for alternative methods. Where you would pay $30 for an oxycontin pill on the street, you can get a bag of heroin for $5-$10. They think by smoking it it’s not as dirty as unsightly as shooting up. But usually one thing leads to another, to the point where you’re not just smoking, snorting, or shooting up heroin to get high, but you’re doing it just so you don’t get sick.
7. What area do most of your calls come from?
Our calls are from all over. Coast to coast. From California to New York. And we keep seeing the same thing happening. There is an epidemic of heroin all across our nation. And the face of addiction is not someone on the street. It’s your coworker, your neighbor, your friend.
Our clients are assessed on a case by case basis, and it really depends on their home situation. Some people have very supportive family units who are actively involved and supporting their recovery. Some actually have families that contribute to their addiction. But regardless, it’s always a good idea to get them out of the environment where they are using. They need to be away from wherever they were and whatever it is about their lifestyle that is contributing to their disease. We want to see people leave here and live a full, happy life. We don’t want to see them again unless it’s for a friendly visit.
9. A lot of people feel like because they don’t have insurance or money that they have nowhere to turn. What would you say to them?
We will do everything we can to get someone who needs help into treatment. There are scholarships available, and we have a number of resources. The most important thing we could tell them is to call. We can’t help if you don’t call us.
Ultimately? We want to be out of the job. We want to have helped so many people that there is no longer an epidemic. Unfortunately we do not live in that world. There will always be someone who needs our help. And we will keep fighting for them as long as we can. They can log onto our website at www.addictioncampuses.com. We have LIVE chat available. And they can call our hotline 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 1.888.614.2251
Here is some more information where you can find us online:
In the News: http://addictioncampuses.com/about-us/in-the-news