Think drug use is a problem confined to major cities? Think again, say the medical professionals at Clinical Services of Rhode Island, located at 600 Putnam Pike in Greenville.
“There is an epidemic amongst the young, especially with opiate addiction,” said Reinhard Straub, LICSW, LCDCS, the clinical director of Clinical Services.
In order to address the growing need for substance abuse services, Clinical Services is taking a different approach to addiction. Their treatment plans engage patients’ families and offers the services specific to each client.
“We provide very individualized care. We take care of all of it, from soup to nuts,” Straub said.
While treatment runs the gamut depending on the specific patient, Clinical Services of Rhode Island (CSRI) offers substantial outpatient services that include addiction evaluation, medication management, family counseling and interventions. Patients are referred by other addicts, therapists and the judicial system, as CSRI is able to sign off on licenses for individuals who were charged with DUI.
Most patients receive an intense three to six weeks of service, and continue to utilize CSRI resources for as long as needed. Their day program runs from Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., or an evening program is available from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on those days. The facility employs six clinicians, as well as backup support, and emphasizes a holistic approach to recovery.
“It’s taking care of the physical part of the addiction, and then treating the emotional and the spiritual,” said Dr. George Southiere, medical director, explaining that substance abuse treatment must also take into consideration, and treat, any co-occurring disorders, such as depression.
CSRI also avoids using habit-forming medications in order to treat addiction. Southiere advocates for the use of naltrexone for opiate addiction, rather than the widely used methadone. Naltrexone blocks opiates, but does not get the patient addicted. He questions why a young person who was addicted to drugs for six months would be treated with an opiate and then become addicted on a lesser scale for years, potentially.
“We don’t get people addicted to other drugs to get them off another drug,” he said.
That is especially important when working with young people, a growing client base at Clinical Services.
“It used to be that kids party on the weekends, now it’s daily. The kids are starting with the pills. The pills are very expensive and they realize heroin is cheaper,” Straub said.
He warns parents to stay involved in their childrens’ lives, and not to hesitate to bring them to a facility like CSRI for drug testing if they fear something is amiss.
“Obviously, the earlier you identify it, you can interrupt the addiction and reduce the suffering,” he said.
Chris Dorval, a clinician at CSRI, says that keeping your kids safe is the primary objective of parents, and keeping them happy is secondary. He has seen first hand how important the support of family is when dealing with addiction. Often times, clinicians reveal other addictions in the family when treating a patient. In order for that individual to get clean and healthy, the other addictions or underlying family issues need to be resolved.
“It’s more than just treating an individual and sticking them back in a situation that may not be healthy. It’s a multi-dimensional approach,” he said.
Part of that method is breaking the stigma surrounding addiction. Families need to discuss their problems, Dorval said.
“Part of our model here is to break that idea that addiction is something to be ashamed of. It’s a disease; it’s the secrets that are keeping people sick,” he said.
Clinical Services of Rhode Island opened in April of 2011, and on Friday celebrated a year of successful addiction rehabilitation with a luncheon with the North Central Chamber of Commerce. Liberina’s, located at 21 Smith Avenue in Greenville, provided the food for the event, which was also attended by Smithfield Town Manager Dennis Finlay.
“In these trying times, I’m sure the need for the services you provide is very high,” said Chamber President Deborah Ramos, who presided over a ribbon cutting with
They have been Chamber members for several months, and hope to become more involved in the community.
“We think we need to be a part of the fabric of the community,” Straub said, adding that they have taken on interns from area schools like Rhode Island College and Johnson & Wales University.
Being a part of the community, he said, is not only rewarding for the company, but it also raises awareness of addiction issues, and can get people talking. When these issues are out in the open, CSRI can step in and help Rhode Islanders deal with addiction and its causes.
“To have everything in one place is really the uniqueness of this place,” Southiere said.
For more information about Clinical Services of Rhode Island and the services they provide, call 949-2220 or visit 600 Putnam Pike, Suite 7, in Greenville.