Summer Newsletter

Scroll down to read all the articles of our Summer newsletter.

The Director's Desk

August 2018

 

At Elevate, we want to change the conversation.

We want to start talking more about addiction, and what we can do to prevent it. We believe that less focus should be placed on one particular drug and that we should change our focus to the disease of addiction. We know that once we, as a society, control the heroin epidemic, there will be another drug and another, and another.  To prevent future epidemics, we need to change the conversation.

While more than 200,000 Americans have died from overdoses related to prescription medications and heroin since 1999, hundreds of thousands more have died as a result of an overdose from other drugs during the same timeframe. 

Marijuana. Prescription Medications. Cocaine. Alcohol. Heroin.  They are all drugs.  They all have the same ability to change the way we feel.  They all change how our brains react, how our bodies work, and, yes, we can become addicted to them all.  Even more importantly, each of the drugs I listed has the potential to kill.

At Elevate we want people to understand that the abuse of any of the drugs listed above can lead to an addiction, and addiction is the primary reason why so many people are suffering – why so many are dying unnecessarily.

Elevate staff works every day to try to prevent young people from becoming addicted.  We know through research that the longer we can delay teens from using cigarettes or alcohol or any drug, the less likely they will be to develop an addiction later in life.  Fewer children, who start using, mean fewer adults addicted.  It also means fewer families broken by this disease. Whether it is Heroin or alcohol, our goal is a world where addiction no longer exists.

With support from people like you, we can continue our work in the communities throughout Washington and Waukesha Counties to educate about the disease of addiction and to provide support when people need us, so that no family has to suffer needlessly because of the disease of addiction.

Please reach out to me if you need our assistance in any way.

At Elevate we’re not just changing lives … we’re saving lives.

 

Mary Simon
Executive Director
msimon@elevateyou.org

 

 

Seniors and Substance Abuse: 
A Shared Mission for Two Washington County Agencies

 

Seniors and substance abuse don’t seem to go together, as most people would equate substance abuse with younger individuals, but according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), research shows that substance use is an emerging public health issue among seniors. Illicit drug use among adults aged 50 or older was projected to increase through 2020. In addition, older adults are more likely to have chronic health conditions and to take prescription medication, which may further complicate adverse effects of their substance use.

With this in mind, Elevate and Senior Citizens Activities, Inc. formed a partnership and launched “Classics for a Cause” this summer.  Both agencies wanted to raise funds to support their individual programming to benefit seniors and families struggling with addiction.

The “Classics for a Cause” raffle features the chance to win a classic 1968 Ford Mustang.  The fundraiser began in May and will culminate with the drawing of the winning ticket on September 14 at 5 p.m. at West Bend Lakes Golf Club. 

Just 10,000 tickets will be sold to win this beautiful classic car with an estimated value of almost $30,000.  Tickets are $25 or five for $100! That’s one free when you buy four!  A second place winner will walk away with $1500. (Raffle License #R0013150-A-72224)

Want a chance to win?  Ticket information and raffle details are posted at www.classicsforacause.org

 

Elevate Celebrates First Opiate TAD Program Graduate

 

The Washington County Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) Program is proud to announce the graduation of one of its clients from the program.  This is the first graduation from the program since its inception in July 2017.

The graduate was honored for the achievement during a ceremony that took place on August 8, 2018. Program staff shared that the client’s success was a testament to the fact that individuals struggling with opiate and heroin addiction can get clean and stay clean.

The Washington County TAD Program is a court diversion program for individuals with a drug related charge that also have an opiate addiction, most commonly heroin. It is a yearlong program that emphasizes the importance of evidence-based treatment in helping clients achieve sobriety, as well as accountability both to the program requirements and to the criminal justice system.

“It is our hope that by helping clients abstain from substance use and develop a lifestyle supportive of long-term recovery, that they will improve their lives and avoid future involvement in the criminal justice system,” Freeman shared.

Many people struggle with addiction or know someone that does and they know how difficult it can be to get clean and stay clean. The TAD Program assists with overcoming some of those barriers by increasing access to treatment, coordinating among the various services that clients can engaged in, as well as providing ongoing support. However, it is the willingness, determination and continuous hard work of the individual that results in their success. That is why it is such a huge milestone for the program that after a year in operation, the first client has graduated and is more than one year sober.

“The Tad program has given me a second chance at life and I couldn't thank them enough,” said the female graduate of the TAD program.  “This past year has given me a chance to find my true potential. I no longer live just to get through the day.  Now, I am living life to the fullest. The Tad program and the supportive staff not only helped me change my life, they helped me save my life.”

Planning and implementing the TAD Program has been made possible due to the passion and hard work of several individuals and agencies in Washington County. The honorable Washington County Circuit Court Judges, the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, the Washington County Human Services and Sheriff’s Department and Probation and Parole have all worked together to build and support the program. The success of the program would also not be possible without agencies like the Albrecht Free Clinic, Alarus Healthcare, Affiliated Clinical Services and PSG, who provide quality treatment to clients involved in the program.

The program launched in July 2017 and by December 2017 had approximately 18 clients. Today the program is full and has remained full supporting approximately 30 active clients at any given time. More clients are expected to graduate from the program in the next month or two.

Elevate would like to thank all of those who have helped support the program during this initial year. It is because of the hard work of our clients and our partners in the community that we are able to continue to help those struggling with addiction.

 

Medication Assisted treatment
Is it Right for You or Your Loved One?


Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat these disorders, and for some people struggling with addiction, MAT can help sustain recovery.

MAT is primarily used for the treatment of addiction to opioids such as heroin and prescription pain relievers that contain opiates. The prescribed medication operates to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions without the negative effects of the abused drug.

Under federal law, MAT patients must receive counseling, which could include different forms of behavioral therapy. These services are required along with medical, vocational, educational, and other assessment and treatment services. 

In 2013, an estimated 1.8 million people had an opioid use disorder related to prescription pain relievers, and about 517,000 had an opioid use disorder related to heroin use. MAT has proven clinically effective in reducing the need for inpatient detoxification services for these individuals. MAT provides a more comprehensive, individually tailored program of medication and behavioral therapy.

The ultimate goal of MAT is full recovery, including the ability to live a self-directed life. This treatment approach has been shown to:

  • Improve patient survival
  • Increase retention in treatment
  • Decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
  • Increase patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
  • Improve birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant

 

Medications used in Medication-Assisted Treatment

Methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are drugs used to treat opioid dependence and addiction to short-acting opioids such as heroin, morphine, and codeine, as well as semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone. People may safely take medications used in MAT for months, years, several years, or even a lifetime. 

Methadone

Methadone tricks the brain into thinking it’s still getting the abused drug. In fact, the person is not getting high from it and feels normal, so withdrawal doesn’t occur.

Buprenorphine

Like methadone, buprenorphine suppresses and reduces cravings for the abused drug.

Naltrexone

Naltrexone works differently than methadone and buprenorphine in the treatment of opioid dependency. If a person using naltrexone relapses and uses the abused drug, naltrexone blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of the abused drug and prevents feelings of euphoria. 

 

Information for this article was obtained from the following sites where additional information can be obtained:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/effective-treatments-opioid-addiction/effective-treatments-opioid-addiction

https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/nida-notes/2015/11/long-term-follow-up-medication-assisted-treatment-addiction-to-pain-relievers-yields-cause-optimism