Opioid and other substance use problems affect clients of all ages and families directly or indirectly. Pressley Ridge is addressing the opioid epidemic as well as other substance use problems in numerous ways. We have partnered with experts at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Case Western Reserve, collaborated with community organizations, and consulted with an expert in addiction.
Through education, training, and continued sharing of information, treatment and recovery resources, staff have increased their comfort, knowledge and skills in addressing substance use issues with their clients and families. As we are not a licensed addiction treatment program, Pressley Ridge clients in need of specialty treatment are referred to qualified community agencies.
We believe the work we’ve done thus far has already led to reducing the stigma associated with substance-related problems. Our substance-related initiatives include the following:
Staff education and training: We offer multiple training and education programs, regular webinars that are recorded and archived, case consultations, and invitations to attend programs offered by our collaborating agencies. We have co-sponsored a full-day program on how to help families and children affected by substance use problems, and addressed substance use issues in the family in our Trauma Conference. Pressley Ridge staff are involved in an ongoing learning collaborative with UPMC on SBIRT (screening, brief intervention, referral to treatment) and Motivational Interviewing. Community agencies are also invited to attend most of our substance related education programs.
Screening and assessment of clients: Our participation in the SBIRT project has led to more staff using validated screening instruments to identify clients who may need a more extensive evaluation and/or services for their substance use problem. Staff are more knowledgeable of types and symptoms of substance problems, as well as the framework used by the American Society on Addiction Medicine and licensed community programs to assess for substance use disorders.
Increased focus on substance use issues: Our community mental health programs, residential programs for youth, and other programs are providing more education and support to clients who have a substance problem or have been affected by family member’s problem. Clients in need of addiction treatment are referred to community treatment and mutual aid programs. Staff recognize that there are many pathways to recovery and help to facilitate the process when needed.
Community collaborations: We partner with multiple agencies on client referrals, staff education and training, sharing information, linkages of clients to mutual aid programs, and grants addressing substance use issues. Our close collaborations with UPMC and Case Western Reserve has exposed staff to multiple experts on addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders combined with substance problems.
Dissemination of information and resources: We developed and now distribute treatment, recovery, family-related and other materials to Pressley Ridge staff, clients, and community partners. We distribute monthly summaries of current issues related to substance use so staff have ongoing access to education. In addition, we provided over 5,000 recovery guides on mental health, substance use or co-occurring disorders to our Pressley Ridge programs for use with clients and families. While many of our programs have accumulated their own resources, we have a centralized, shared drive with an extensive portfolio of information on substance use, substance use disorders, treatment, recovery, relapse, co-occurring disorders, family issues, and other relevant topics. This includes written information and archived audios of webinars or podcasts. We also provide extensive lists of federal, state, local, mutual support and family resources so that our staff can help clients and families access whatever information or other service they need.
Grants: We continuously seek opportunities that address substance use problems among Pressley Ridge clients. For example, our Homebuilders® program, which provides an integrated focus on job skills and recovery from opioid and other substance use disorders, has expanded throughout Western and Central Maryland.