Treatment options for kids addicted to drugs and alcohol

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – An option for adolescents and young adults addicted to drugs and alcohol — Project Courage in Old Saybrook – where intensive therapy begins with no finger pointing.

Executive Director Andy Buccaro explains, “So how do they define what a problem is — rather than us telling them, you have a problem, can’t you see that? What you’ll see then is that most people will be surprised, they’ll be surprised by the fact that they might spend 40 hours a week where their life is revolving around smoking pot.”

He goes onto say, “When people start to have some of those insights and again in a safe way, where we are not wagging our finger and saying see I told you, most of us will come to that point and say I need to do something about this.”

Parents too get help.

“The family needs a lot of help as well because it puts everybody through just a horrible time,” says Noreen Tucker who reached out — after learning her daughter had a drug problem.

She says, “A lot of it is counter-intuitive. Everything you think you are suppose to do for your child, to protect them from harm, protect them from sadness, everything, is what you’re not suppose to be doing.”

Facilities like Rushford – offer outpatient and inpatient care.

“I can tell you that we have a full detox unit every single day,” says Patricia Rehmer who heads up the Behavioral Health Network at Hartford HealthCare. Generally- she says – there is a wait list to get into the 30 day program.

“I don’t think, “she says, “that anybody that’s providing substance abuse treatment at this point has a lot of empty beds. The good news is people are coming for treatment. And we’re seeing more kids come for treatment.”

The majority are in for opioid addiction with access to admission easing up.

“Every provider that I know takes medicaid clients. And private insurance is actually stepping up to the plate on this as well and beginning to allow for admissions,” says Rehmer.

Steps to intervene early are now in place.

Rehmer says, “One of the things Hartford Healthcare is doing is putting behavioral health specialists into primary care offices so that if the primary care physician thinks there’s something going on there’s somebody right down the hall that can see the person.”

Hartford HealthCare is also looking into putting recovery coaches in its emergency departments – to encourage patients to get treated and help them find that treatment.

There are services available in every community.

For more information: or call 1-888-789-7777 or call 1-800-563-4086

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