This Spring, Maryhaven began offering AOD group programming at Pomegranate Health Systems. Maryhaven is a well-known treatment provider for alcohol and drug addiction in Central Ohio, accepting voluntary admissions, medical and court-referred clients. Maryhaven has operated in Central Ohio for over five decades and in that time, served over 175,000 people.
Angela Reynolds is Maryhaven’s site program counselor. Reynolds has a LCDC II (licensed chemical dependency counselor designation) and a SWA. She has experience with adult inpatient counseling, detoxification counseling, adult and adolescent outpatient counseling, and now is taking on the role of working with adolescents who are dealing with addiction issues.
What happens in an AOD group counseling?
- Psychoeducational groups, which teach about the different types of substance abuse.
- Skills development groups, which practice the skills necessary to break free of addictions.
- Cognitive–behavioral groups, which challenge patterns of thinking and action that lead to addiction.
- Support groups, where peers can challenge each other’s excuses and support and encourage constructive change.
- Process group psychotherapy which enable clients to rethink the rational and irrational choices and decisions that they have made which lead them to the substance use.
Her first order of business is to provide AOD individual and group counseling. Part of her mission is education (for instance, psycho-education on drugs and the effects on their young bodies, coping skills and relapse prevention).
“Based on experience it is highly likely that most of the residents at Pomegranate have had some sort of familiarity with drug or alcohol use or abuse in their home environment or have a peer group that uses. This is evidence-based treatment to help the clients work towards a realization of how the affects of addiction are directly related to criminal behavior and how to work on changing thought processes that directly relate with behavior,” she explained.
“Clients will learn about thinking errors, coping skills to deal with the world they live in, relapse prevention and how to maintain sobriety in their life. Behavior change and thinking pattern change can help the clients at Pomegranate, to not look at themselves as broken. It can give them a new insight like a light shining in their corner that says “I can be a contributing member in society”, said Reynolds. “As the program grows we are certain that it will benefit all clients at Pomegranate who have AOD concerns.”
For context, the state population ages 12-20 totalled 1,466,000. In looking at underage drinking facts from the Report to Congress on the Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking, 27% or 406,000 used alcohol in the past month and 29% engaged in binge alcohol use. Alcohol use starts with 5% in the age 12-14 cohort, moves to 22.5% (110,000) in the age 15-17 group, and 51.5% (274,000) in the 18-20 group. Illicit drug use ages 12-17 stands at 8.8% of the population per SAMHSA Center for Behavioral Health Statistics & Quality NSDUH 2013.
The recent PCSAO 2015-2016 Factbook cites the impact of the opiate epidemic effect on child welfare. For instance, “Child welfare cases involving parents abusing heroin, cocaine, or both rose from about 15 percent to more than 25 percent of the statewide caseload between 2009 and 2013. Seventy percent of children age 1 or younger placed in Ohio’s foster system are children of parents with substance use disorders involving opiates and cocaine.” Clearly, drug abuse is a serious and growing concern not to mention the societal cost. Teen parents and parents of addicted teens alike are affected.
[photo credit: Wavebreakmediamicro/Dreamweaver #39195983 Therapist talking with . . . taking notes]