By Ariste Sallas-Brookwell, LICSW, Director of Behavioral Health Integration
Have you ever worried or wondered whether your substance use is serving you?
The past 19 months we’ve experienced a global pandemic, climate change-related weather disasters, a presidential election, and a growing refugee crisis. Many people are also facing personal issues like financial stressors, childcare struggles, social isolation, mid-life malaise, or young adult transition periods.
Please know you are not alone with your fears, worries, and anxieties about the future. Everyone reacts to the stress of these events in different ways, and finding a way to cope with the pain of being human is natural and normal.
Sometimes we find that our old coping tools are not supporting us the way they used to. If you’re interested in talking to someone about your substance use, Mary’s Center has a place for you.
Our Integrated Recovery Program (IRP) provides a range of services designed to meet you where you are. We are a team-based, trauma-informed, client-centered, and culturally sensitive group of providers from a variety of disciplines who are here to support you. We are medical doctors, care coordinators, and social workers.
We want to understand your hopes and goals for the future and what motivates you, so we can identify the ways in which our program can best support you. Just like we supported a participant we’ll call Mark:
Mark came to Mary’s Center as a teenager. He had been abusing alcohol heavily for several years, and during his first visit he was intoxicated. He returned and began to engage in our services, still using alcohol on and off throughout the pandemic. With the support of his treatment team, Mark found the motivation to address his underlying mental illness, which contributed to his use of alcohol as a coping mechanism. He was willing to try medication to manage his cravings to drink alcohol, and he also met with a psychiatrist who prescribed him medications to treat his mental health symptoms. Last week, Mark reported that he has been sober from alcohol for 10 months. His life is back on track, and he recently got his license and bought a car.
Mark’s story demonstrates how a multi-disciplinary team can help support participants regardless of where they are in their recovery journey.
If you’re considering making a change, you’ll start with a consultation visit with one of our medical doctors. At that visit we’ll get to know you and review your medical history and hopes for the future. The doctor may or may not recommend medication, and they will always provide options and their recommendation for how you can begin to move towards your goals.
After that visit you can meet with a care coordinator, who can help you understand your health insurance benefits and provide any other linkage to resources you might need. If you’re interested in talk therapy or a support group, you can meet with one of our social workers.
Ultimately, we want you to know that we are here for you! Most people begin to engage with our team feeling ambivalent and unsure about what their hopes and goals are. That’s totally normal and okay, and we welcome you as you are and look forward to getting to know you and supporting you!
Learn more about our Integrated Recovery Program here. You can also reach our intake coordinator Maria Paige at 202-253-1150.