Home Trending Ridgewood making changes to its addiction treatment program in Saint John

Ridgewood making changes to its addiction treatment program in Saint John

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Ridgewood Addiction and Mental Health Services will welcome its first clients to its revamped addiction treatment program next week.

Instead of a structured, group-centered approach, Ridgewood’s new Simultaneous Model Rehabilitation Treatment Program is individualized, longer, and includes more services such as mental health issues.

The first four clients are expected to arrive in the 12-bed ward next week, said Holly Richards, nurse manager of the new program.

“It’s a rolling admissions model, so we don’t bring everyone in on the first day,” she explained.

The plan is to gradually fill the remaining 8 beds over the next few weeks so that they are always full.

In the old program, which finished its final session last week, all 12 beds were filled with either all men or all women on the same day, alternating between gender groups.

New Brunswick has 24 beds for residential addiction treatment, including 12 beds at Campbellton Addiction Services and 12 beds at Ridgewood Addiction Services in St. John. (CBC)

The group-centered program proceeded for 28 days on a set schedule for everyone. If people drop out in the middle, the beds will remain empty until the next program begins.

“By moving to this new model, if someone moves out for any reason, when that bed becomes available, we can put the next person on the waiting list. You can get things moving faster for the clients you serve.

For example, the last group that finished last week had 4 free beds by the end of the 28th. Richards said there were empty beds in nearly every session.

“Because there will be less waiting time, it will allow us to flow more fluidly through that waiting list and it will not be gender specific. Before, we had to wait two months for the next men’s version. 2 months for the group or the next women’s group.”

28 to 90 days

Programs also vary from 28 days to 90 days, depending on individual needs. Richards said a team of experts will work with individuals to determine when they are ready to finish the program.

She said the government has provided additional funding to add new professionals to its team.Ridgewood now has a psychiatrist, psychologist and occupational therapist. As a result, the number of nurses has also increased.

“Our goal is to be able to treat a client’s mental illness and their addiction problem at the same time. That’s the goal. It’s a new program,” Richards said.

“Once they come in, we create a personalized care plan and identify the goals we want to achieve during the program. We can reach that goal within 30 days. It takes longer.” It’s possible.The client is the driver.In this new program.That’s what they need.”

Richards said Horizon hopes to increase the number of beds in Ridgewood soon. Refurbishment is in progress.

The change “makes perfect sense”

Eric Weissman knows about addiction treatment. He has studied it, written about it, documented it, and taught it.

But most importantly, he lived it.

Alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin. He’s been doing it for as long as it’s been in the 1980s and his ’90s — and a lot of it is because “whatever I did I went to the extreme,” said the associate professor at Weissmann College. rice field. Saint John Campus in New Brunswick.

He spent years dependent on many drugs, was often homeless, was frequently evicted, and by 1990 he was getting all his calories from alcohol.

He did well academically until everything fell apart. He went to welfare from his PhD.

For some time his family could not find him, and he could not find his way for a long time.

An Associate Professor at the University of New Brunswick St. John Campus, Eric Weisman has a wealth of academic and first-hand experience with addiction. (Courtesy of Eric Wiseman)

It took a detox, treatment center, and rehab stint, plus one more relapse, before he was clean.

He gives a number of credits to certain residential treatment facilities in Ontario where participants can stay for up to two years if they wish.

Weissman didn’t need it for very long, but he says some people do.

“It can take that long to adapt and learn how to change old behaviors.”

Based on his experience, Weisman said the change in Ridgewood’s treatment program “made perfect sense.”

He believes it is important to address mental health needs and by delivering the program to the entire group on a set schedule to complete all within 28 days, the program is focused on the client and He said it is important not to be constrained.

“The most successful recovery programs that I know of have included these elements. The difference was that I had the opportunity to stay longer.”

In this program people usually stayed for at least three months. Weissman said this is the bare minimum most people need to get on the right track.

The chances of staying in the program longer are…always better.– Eric Wiseman

He is happy that Ridgewood has extended the program, but “I think it would work better if they had a six-month program.”

For example, other locations have a 3-month program, but at the end of the 3-month period, a medical professional may recommend an additional 3-month stay, but the decision to stay longer It all depends on the person.

“So as long as that option exists in Ridgewood, it’s even better if people can stay longer than three months,” he said.

“For me, the opportunity to be in a program longer with intensive support is always good. But 3 months is definitely better than 28 days.”

He also said, “Longer options tend to lead to longer periods of abstinence.”

“That was not the case with me. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go again. It’s very difficult to do that in the long run.”

He said that’s why it’s important to have a strong aftercare program when people leave Ridgewood, including family, friend and community-based programs.

Julie Dingwell, executive director of St. John’s Harm Reduction organization, Avenue B, is part of its aftercare system. She is also happy with her longer program at Ridgewood.

Julie Dingwell, Executive Director of Avenue B Harm Reduction, says the longer you stay in a treatment program, the more successful you will be. (Julia Wright/CBC)

“In the past, it’s often happened that someone gets along. Things are going pretty well and you’re probably there for a week, a week and a half and you’re like, ‘OK, I’m going home.’ is. Now’, but they’re not ready for it. ”

Dingwell said the longer a person could stay in the program, the more successful he or she would be. Give them the opportunity to take addiction medications such as methadone or suboxone and address factors such as mental health issues.

“A lot of the time, we work with people who have undiagnosed mental health issues, and they’ve probably been undiagnosed since they were teenagers, so we really need to work a lot with people. there is.

Others may experience chronic homelessness.

Dingwell said it’s similar to the school system, saying, “There are extra people there to help with reading programs, math comprehension, language pathology, and more.

“So I think that’s what we have to do. We need to look at what this person really needs to be able to move forward better,” Dingwell said. rice field.


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