Alcohol Awareness Month: A Path to Prevention
Published: March 22, 2018
Alcohol Awareness Month: A Path to Prevention
One in every 12 adults — 17.6 million Americans — live with alcohol abuse or dependence. It’s the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation. Part of the reason? Unlike just about any other substance that can be abused, alcohol is socially acceptable; in fact, it’s interwoven into many of our interactions.
From Saturday afternoons at the sports bar to Tuesday evenings with the book club, a few beers or glasses of wine is all but expected. Which means alcohol abuse or even addiction is an easy trap to fall into, and the patterns of behavior that lead people there often start when people are in their teens. In fact, for many people, including parents, “experimentation” with alcohol is seen as a rite of passage.
That’s why the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCCADD) has made April Alcohol Awareness Month, and why this year’s theme is “Changing Attitudes: It’s Not a Rite of Passage.” Here at Unison Health, we are proud to assist NCCADD as they raise awareness of alcohol abuse — especially among young people. We also take an active role in encouraging prevention among high school and college students, from encouraging safe, sober after-prom events to establishing a presence at UT sporting events.
Unison Health: Treatment That Meets SAMHSA Guidelines
Unison Health is also committed to providing services to those who have fallen into the trap of addiction, and our approach to treatment meets the recommendations of the national guidelines for successful treatment programs.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recently released a guide for individuals seeking help for substance use disorders. The guide outlines five signs of quality treatment, and Unison Health is proud to state that all five indicators are central to the Unison Health approach to treating addiction here in Lucas and Wood Counties.
These are SAMHSA’s five signs of quality care, and how the Unison Health model delivers on those guidelines:
- Accreditation: Quality treatment should be licensed or certified by the state with highly qualified staff. Unison Health has received accreditation from the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. In addition, we are certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
- Medication: A program should offer FDA-approved medications for recovery from alcohol or opioid addiction. Programming that offers FDA-approved medication for recovery from alcohol and opioid use disorders are considered optimal by SAMHSA. Because this approach reduces the withdrawal symptoms that can lead to relapse, Unison Health makes medication-assisted treatment a central component in the treatment of alcohol and opioid addiction.
- Evidence-Based Practices: Treatments should be proven effective based on scientific research. SAMHSA recommends programs that include proven treatments such as motivational therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and peer support. In addition to a range of evidence-based practices, Unison Health integrates primary care and behavioral health services into a holistic treatment of substance use disorders.
- Families: A quality treatment program will include family members in the recovery process. Including family members in the treatment process can go a long way toward preventing relapse. Unison Health offers a wide variety of counseling options for couples and families, which helps create the support network necessary to recovery.
- Supports: Ongoing supports should be available to clients following the initial treatment regimen. SAMHSA encourages people to find a program that offers long-term care, including counseling, ongoing medication, and other forms of support. Unison Health makes post-detox support a priority, and as Unison integrates Recovery Housing into its programming, that commitment will grow even stronger.
Effective Treatments for Alcohol Addiction and Substance Abuse Disorders
Anyone, regardless of race, age, sex or income, can fall victim to alcohol addiction, and getting the help you need can be the bravest thing you’ll ever do. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism or other substance abuse disorders, Unison Health is there to help people start on a pathway to hope. Call 419.214.HOPE today to learn more.