Erlanger, Kentucky has a population of roughly 19,000 people and the median age is between 35 and 38 years old. Erlanger is a bustling city, home to a massive Amazon sorting center and many other thriving businesses. Erlanger is also part of Kenton County, which is in the top five counties for heroin-related overdose deaths, according to the Kentucky Medical Examiner and coroner reports. The Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition also reported Erlanger/Kenton County as being in the top five counties in Kentucky for fentanyl-related deaths, according to research as recent as 2018. Is addiction treatment accessible to everyone in Erlanger, Kentucky? Not necessarily, and this could be due to many different factors. Overall accessibility is the first defining factor of finding and getting into treatment. How far away is the treatment center? What do I do if I do not have transportation? What do I do if I cannot afford a bus fare? What if I work from 8am until 6pm Monday through Friday? A lot of people who are in active addiction also live an active lifestyle filled with work and other obligations. At BrightView, we make sure to work around your schedule. We also make sure to eliminate all these barriers to treatment before they become actual barriers. We will work with you to make sure you have transportation to your appointments. We will work with you to make sure you have a doctor note or a medical excuse if you need to take a couple of days off work for your initial set of appointments. We offer individual counseling sessions as late as 5 or 6pm on weeknights and group counseling sessions as late as 6pm. Accessibility to treatment typically goes hand in hand with affordability of treatment. What if you are unemployed? What if you are uninsured? BrightView will work with you to apply for Medicaid or Medicare. The cost of treatment at Brightview depends on the services you receive. However; we never want cost to stop someone from getting the help they need. Our billing department will work with you to set up a payment plan if needed. Kentuckians are being hit hard during this pandemic. With a pandemic comes layoffs which can lead to people being even more isolated and feeling down on themselves. This is the perfect storm for anyone to become susceptible to drinking and or using drugs. Isolation breeds loneliness, and the opposite of being alone is being connected. BrightView’s Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Nav Kang says, “Mandated isolation, business closings, fear-inducing news, lack of transportation — all these new(er) realities are triggers for anxiety and depression — and for relapse,” he continues. “This means that, now more than ever, it is critical for patients to be able to connect with their medical and counseling teams as often as needed. Through technology, we are making ourselves available for one-to-one in-person sessions as often as our patients need us. The team at BrightView is committed to doing everything we can to make sure that people who use drugs have somewhere to turn for healing and hope during this challenging time.” We have discussed some tangible barriers to treatment, but what about the unforeseen barriers such as precipitated withdrawal. Precipitated withdrawal happens when someone takes a maintenance medication such as Suboxone, Subutex or Naltrexone before they adequately detox from the opioid drugs they are addicted to. Taking these medications too early in the recovery process can cause sudden and severe withdrawal symptoms to occur. Sometimes, these symptoms can be so severe in precipitated withdrawal, that someone might choose to forgo detox altogether, or they get scared away from the process. Therefore, we always ask that on day one, or your first appointment at our Erlanger center – or any of our centers – to be sure to arrive are in a semi-withdrawn state. The logistics of what is considered a semi-withdrawn state can be discussed with one of our patient access center staff via telephone when setting up your initial appointment. Again, BrightView wants to remove every barrier to treatment, even the physiological ones, to ensure that each patient is properly medically dosed at the time of their first appointment. What about relatability? How would we know what you or a loved one in active addiction is going through at this moment? BrightView has been in the addiction treatment services industry for over 5 years. While we haven’t spent much time in Erlanger or Kenton County, BrightView knows that peer support is a critical part of recovery for most of our patients. Therefore, BrightView hires Peer Recovery Supporters at all of its Kentucky locations including Erlanger, Paris, Nicholasville, and Lexington. Peer Recovery Supporters have been in our patient’s shoes. They provide hope and guidance to others recovering from a substance use disorder because they’re in recovery themselves. They encourage our patients to set recovery goals and motivate them to achieve these goals. They use their experience to help prevent relapse and promote long-term recovery for our patients. To them, every patient’s success is personal. Having someone there for our patients from day one, who have been where our patients have been, and can walk them through the process and answer their questions and listen to their concerns, is priceless. Our very first Peer Recovery Support Specialist, Amy Parker, founded the program for BrightView, and says “Brightview changed my life. While I’m not a patient, BrightView has given me the opportunity to have an incredible career. The way that Brightview treats me is indicative of how we care for our patients. Love, support, guidance, and encouragement to become the best version of yourself.” During the uncertain times of this global pandemic, it is essential to have established protocols to best serve patients. We are constantly changing and implementing new and improved protocols because BrightView is committed to being at the forefront of helping people through the opioid epidemic during this time. If you are struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, we encourage you to contact us today. Our friendly and caring staff answer the phone 24 hours a day. Please call us at 888-501-9865 and we’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about our treatment services.
November 18, 2020