GOSHEN — If you learned your child was addicted to drugs or abusing alcohol, would you know where to go for help?
What if you’re the one with the problem, and you don’t know where to turn?
One option: the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Council of Orange County, a nonprofit that works with other community agencies to bring programs and services to people and families struggling with drug or alcohol abuse and addiction.
“We want families to know we’re here,” said Jim Conklin, ADAC's executive director. “You don’t need to wait to come.”
Two relatively new programs at ADAC, peer engagement and family support, are meant to smooth the process of seeking and getting help. The two programs work hand-in-hand, staffed by people trained in recovery coaching.
If someone has a crisis, such as an arrest or an emergency department visit related to drugs, Conklin said, a peer engagement specialist can sit down with that person to discuss what they want to do.
“We also stay in contact with them and just be that extra support they need to get through,” said peer engagement specialist Donna Goulette.
When the person is ready, ADAC staff will help them find a program that works for them, tell them what to expect and what documents they need to start treatment. If the person needs insurance, they’ll find the person an insurance navigator. It’s about removing barriers to recovery, Goulette said.
Family support navigators Krista Warner, the information, training and referral coordinator, and AnneMarie VanOrden work with family members on communication and reducing the chances the person will harm himself.
“A lot of families come, it’s their first experience with any of this. We have moms who just found out their kid is using,” Warner said. “We try to give them as much information as we can, and support them in any way we can.”
This is different than a clinical setting, Warner said. People can come in and talk, no charge.
“If someone says their relative is on opiates,” Conklin said, “we invite them right away to train with Narcan and take a kit home.”
Conklin said ADAC understands that recovery is a process that can be overwhelming for a family, and daunting for the person struggling with addiction.
“If you came last week, and you need to come back next week, just do it,” Conklin said “We understand that it takes time. We understand that lapses in recovery happen. The door is always open. Next week, next month, next year, anytime.”