CATEGORY: Charities

AUTHOR: EILEEN

HED:Denial called top problem in substance abuse treatment

By Eileen Bailey

Daily Journal

PONTOTOC - The No. 1 problem with the disease of addiction is denial, said the assessment and admissions counselor of a private substance abuse treatment facility in Lee County.

And even though they are in denial, some clients make their way to the Region III Chemical Dependency Program to change their substance abuse, he said Friday.

Mike Spradling, counselor with the Region III Chemical Dependency Program, spoke to 20 members of the Pontotoc County Community Action Committee about Region III and whom the program helps.

"They realize they have problems, but don't always want to be there," he said.

The center, known as Harbor House, provides a variety of services to help adults, 18 years old and older, who suffer from alcohol and/or other drug problems and to help them overcome the denial.

The program, located in Mooreville, has been in Lee County since 1971 and serves both men and women.

Spradling said the center offers several levels of care to residents in Benton, Itawamba, Chickasaw, Pontotoc, Lee, Monroe and Union counties.

One of their levels of care is primary residential stay. Clients spend an average of seven weeks undergoing activities, both educational and therapeutic, to overcome substance abuse. At Harbor House there are 41 male beds and 19 female beds available. The programs are not coeducational.

"An individual's stay is based on how well an individual does," Spradling said.

To assist those who successfully complete the primary-care services, the center also offers a transitional-living service. During this time, clients, who may stay in the program up to six months, are expected to be employed or involved in some form of vocational rehabilitation.

Region III also offers a 15-week outpatient services. This service, Spradling said, is offered to meet the needs of a client who has recognized a pattern of substance abuse, who is employed, who has stable home life and who has viable transportation. Aftercare services, outreach services and family services also are offered.

"We are designed to help our clients get reinstated back into the home and community," Spradling said.

The Pontotoc County Community Action Committee meets the third Friday of each month to provide agencies in the community with an awareness of family and community problems, to research and/or develop intervention and prevention services to address these issues and to provide an awareness of the different agencies in the community an what services the committee provides, said Martha Stegall, Pontotoc County Extension Home Economist.

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