Before the pandemic, navigating recovery had plenty of challenges. A variety of barriers could present themselves at any given moment, but success was contingent upon the ability to show up and do the work. For many, this includes connection and fellowship in the recovery community, and engaging through self-help groups, such as relapse prevention groups here at Behavioral Awareness Center or outside community support groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These groups provide safety and security in one’s sobriety. When this is taken away, we are putting an entire community at risk. The coronavirus pandemic has transformed everyday life for all people, but it is especially different for the recovery community. For those who are dealing with disease during our current pandemic, the one thing that is required to treat their disease is discouraged as it puts them at risk for the pandemic. Additionally, many enter treatment due to consequences of their use. With people not interacting in-person with family, friends or the workplace, the likelihood of consequences decreases, allowing use to continue.
Why are we seeing a record number of relapses? Relapses generally fuel from feelings of loneliness (isolation), anxiety, loss of social support, and boredom. Recovery and 12 step groups offer a social support network and safe place to heal from emotional, mental and physical wounds. In the absence of these support groups, isolation and emotional distress can be significant triggers to relapse. As we continue to social distance, it is no surprise to see the vast rise in telehealth services being offered across the country. For those specifically struggling with substance use disorders, we expect that they pick up the phone, tablet, or computer and connect with professionals to continue treatment. It sounds easy, but for some, this can be extremely difficult. With access to telehealth services continuing, the shift to accepting virtual care is happening. Outcomes are trending in a positive direction. While the pandemic has fostered isolation, it has also generated an enormous amount of innovation and ingenuity. This is extremely promising for a community that thrives on in-person gatherings. People who were previously unable to receive services in person due to lack of transportation, living in remote area, medical problems, social and generalized anxiety, childcare, time constraints, etc. can now receive treatment virtually.
Another encouraging development in telehealth services is that clients report being more willing to self-disclose over this platform. Some patients with a history of trauma say they feel more secure sharing and interacting virtually versus face-to-face. This also extends to the family of loved ones struggling with addiction. Regardless of where they may be, services can be easier to coordinate.
Here at Behavioral Awareness Center we are offering a variety of Telehealth services such as Individual counseling sessions, relapse prevention groups, family groups to name a few so if you are interested and would like more information give us a call or send me an email and I will get right back to you.
Relapse prevention groups are every Wednesday night at 6:30pm via Zoom Meeting. All Behavioral Awareness Center Clients are welcome. If you would like to attend send me your email address, call in and give it to the front office and they will make sure that it gets to me, and every Wednesday you will get an email invitation to join us!
Assistant Clinical Director
The theme of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness. Are you showing kindness to your mind, your body, and those around you?
After enduring the stress and loneliness of stay-at-home orders and minor or major disruptions to work, school, and home life, we are now navigating the process of opening things back up and taking the first steps into the new normal of pandemic life. Whether you worry that we’re opening too quickly, or have been chafing under stay-at-home measures, you are probably finding yourself dealing with higher than normal levels of stress, anxiety, or depression.
You may find that you are reaching for drugs or alcohol in times, amounts, or frequencies that you never would have in the days before COVID-19 changed our lives. And if you were already struggling with drinking or using drugs, this pandemic may have made it that much harder to hold onto the reins of your addiction.
You might be struggling to incorporate healthy self-care practices and find yourself turning to food, sex, or other unhealthy behaviors for a temporary mood boost.
But, times of chaos are also times of opportunity. Healthy coping skills can be learned, new positive habits can be practiced, and you can think of the pandemic as a “reset button” to build yourself up and be stronger, happier, and better prepared to navigate the stressors of the new normal. And, with virtual 12-step groups, and treatment programs with telehealth options, you can start your journey to sobriety or better mental health from the safety of your own home.
So How is everyone doing? please feel free to post your comments. What you have to say matters! Behavioral Awareness Center continues to be open and provide services for all of our Clients as well as keeping are current hours of operation the same. We are also doing intakes so if you know anyone who is suffering from opiate addiction we are here and willing to help them change their lives.
Groups have now taken on a new face and are being done via Zoom which many of you have participated in already and provided excellent feedback on ways to improve them.
The Relapse prevention group is now being held on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 - 7:30 by invitation only so if you would like to attend make sure we have a valid email address on file and you will be included.
After reviewing Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) Guidance provided by SAMSHA we have decided to make the following changes:
1. Any Client who is self pay with two week privileges will be able to pick up 28 days worth of medication.
Clients who have weekly privileges will be allowed to pick up 14 days worth of medication
Clients who are daily dosing will be allowed to pick up 7 days worth of medication provided they are stable.
All of the above changes go into effect immediately.
If you are an AHCCCS Client the maximum amount of doses you will be able to pick up is 14 days regardless of privilege level. Should this change you will be notified.
2. Relapse Prevention, Family Groups will still be conducted as usual on-line via Zoom Meeting In person groups are canceled until further notice. Life skills 2 being held at the Joel D. Valdez Library is Canceled.
3. All counseling sessions will be done via Zoom Meeting when possible.
As a medically Assisted Treatment facility, it is critical that our doors remain open to our most vulnerable populations during this health pandemic.
To ensure we can continue providing the highest quality health care and continue to dispense Methadone we are taking proactive steps to safeguard the health and well-being of our staff and the patients we serve. We have been working diligently with SAMSHA and following all the recommended guidelines to stay in compliance along with following all to CDC recommendations.
Specific examples of the precautions Behavioral Awareness Center have put in place are as follows:
Assistant Clinical Director, CADC11, LSAT
That's Right Chef Anthony is coming back to Tucson to show us all how to prepare not a dinner this time but a gourmet breakfast on a budget. If you remember the last time he was here he showed everyone how to prepare a stuffed chicken breast with stuffed Portobello mushrooms along with a choice of sides such as rice or potatoes all for $4.75 PER PERSON Now that works!
I can't wait to see what he brings us this time. If you would like to attend please let the front desk know and they will get you on the list. Remember March 28th, 2020
Due to the presence of COVID-19 coronavirus in our region All Relapse Prevention Groups are suspended until April 21st, 2020 at which time we will re-evaluate and determine when to resume in person group sessions. The online meetings will continue with out interruption. The next online meeting is scheduled for 03/18/2020 at 6:00PM. They were to be held every other week but because of the in person groups being cancelled they will be every Wednesday at 6:00PM.
Thank you for your support in this matter.
Assistant Clinical Director, CADC11
The Rodeo was alot of fun and we had a really good turn out! Thank you for attending it is important to have fun in recovery and to find or rekindle old hobbies. It really does help prevent relapse.
Relapse Prevention Fun in Sobriety
While using most individuals isolate themselves and give up the things that they once enjoyed doing, going to sporting events, going to the park for a picnic, going to the movies, and so on. An important part of recovery is learning how to have fun again. Getting back into society and enjoying the things that life has to offer. As part of the relapse prevention series of groups we do just that. We go to Hockey Games, Have BBQ’s at the park. Next month the Rodeo is coming to Tucson and we are going!!! We have a limited amount of tickets available so if you would like to go contact Ross to get you name on the list. Clients that have attended the most relapse prevention groups have priority after that it is first come first served so do not wait! Get your ticket now!
Ticket is for Client only and includes a meal if you intend to bring family you will need to purchase tickets at the box office