January 28, 2014

Lund Goes to the Statehouse!

Posted in Board of Trustees Spotlight, Events, Project Family, Residential, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Volunteer Spotlight tagged , , , , , , at 2:47 pm by Lund

Staff and board members from Lund hosted a coffee hour at the Statehouse on Tuesday morning to raise awareness amongst legislators about Lund’s integrated, family-centered programming for pregnant and parenting women and the impact it has statewide. Lund provides treatment, education, family support and adoption services to over 4,250 people from 1,500 families statewide annually. With a mission to help children and families thrive, Lund helps break the cycles of poverty, addiction and abuse through enduring and nationally acclaimed public-private partnerships.

Statehouse

Lund staff and board members at the Statehouse

Later Tuesday morning, Kim Coe, Director of Residential and Community Treatment Services at Lund testified to the House Committee on Human Services on the topic “Opiate Addiction Treatment Programs”. Here she described Lund’s treatment program as well as stressing the need for integrated, family-centered services for pregnant and parenting women struggling with substance abuse disorders. “Addiction is a disease that profoundly affects the entire family system; it cannot be treated effectively without using a family-centered approach. Lund recognizes the critical importance of concurrently treating women for substance abuse while also developing employment and life skills, providing parenting supports and access to educational services. Lund individualizes treatment in response to the needs of the individual as well as the family,” says Coe.

Lund is on the only residential treatment center in Vermont where a woman can receive treatment without separation from her young children, which can be a prohibitive concern for many women as they seek help for substance abuse disorders.

Also on Tuesday, Courtney Farrell, Assistant Director of Residential and Community Treatment Services at Lund testified to the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare on Lund’s substance abuse treatment programming. The committee will also hear from a young mother currently engaged in treatment at Lund to gain a first hand insight. Both committees were interested in hearing what might be missing from treatment programs currently offered in the state so that focus can be put into comprehensive solutions. Farrell, Coe and other experienced clinicians and counselors at Lund applaud the Governor’s initiatives as laid out in his recent State of the State Address, “We are very pleased that the Governor is committing dollars to address this public health issue, and while increased resources are critical, the thoughtful and intentional implementation of services will be as important to ensure the investment pays off,” says Coe.

Lund believes it is crucial to build on the strength of the current system while also investing in the following key areas.

• Ensure a multigenerational treatment approach in breaking cycles of addiction and poverty.

• Provide effective outreach and early intervention. An effective screening and assessment process requires strong collaboration and a holistic perspective. There is not a “one size fits all” approach to assessments that will meet the needs of all people.

• Implement continuing care plans that recognize treatment for addiction must be flexible and responsive to the nature of the disease, which is chronic and relapses should be expected and planned for.

• Address systematic barriers to treatment. Ensure that families are not caught in the middle of conflicting mandates and demands from State Agencies and community providers.

• Offer seamless transition of services for families throughout the continuum of care.

The most vulnerable victims of increased opiate use in the state are children. Children impacted by parental substance abuse are more likely to experience maltreatment and lack the essential care necessary for their well-being. Families affected by parental substance abuse need early identification and timely access to effective treatment to optimize recovery and avoid family disruption.The Governor’s focus on this pervasive problem is a practical and timely call to action to help Vermont families combat opiate addiction.

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