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Well, the end of 2017 is here. And what a year it has been. Regardless of who you are, I believe most people would agree that 2017 was a tumultuous year. For myself, I launched my career as a substance abuse counselor at an incredible facility with amazing coworkers and peers, planned my wedding, and explored dog ownership (fingers crossed, 2018). On the downside, I’ve experienced stress and frustration about politics, financial challenges, and the losses of family and friends.

And that’s what brings me to this blog topic. I lost a close friend as well as celebrities I admired to suicide. Of those who did complete suicide, most struggled with substance abuse. As I sit in my office reflecting on this year, I am struck with a sense of overwhelming sadness, hopelessness, and anger. Imagine, living with an addiction and all the stress, depression, social upheaval, and pain associated with addiction. Then, add on top of that, mental illness, another debilitating, heavily stigmatized condition. Finally, toss in suicidal thoughts from both; how can we expect anyone to make it? I’m so frustrated with the perception of addiction, mental illness, and suicide that people can’t talk about it without feeling judged or scared. So people stay silent, battling themselves for months or years because of feared and actual judgment until they reach a breaking point: cry out for help or die.

We should not be waiting until crisis before making life changing decisions. We can change this reality. We can normalize people’s experiences. We can talk more openly about addiction, mental health, and suicide. We can advocate for appropriate funding and distribution for care services. We can demonstrate support, compassion, and acceptance, not judgment, prejudice, and fear. If you are struggling with addiction, mental health, or dual diagnosis disorder, know you are not alone and there is help more available than you think. If you are not, you may play an integral role in someone else’s recovery by offering a helping and supportive hand or ear.

A new year approaches. A new opportunity. New resolutions. We can collectively make a change and save thousands. I understand what I discuss is not easy or comfortable. But if one person can start making this change, it can have a ripple effect and potentially save hundreds, if not thousands. Never underestimate the power and range of human connection, ranging from texting someone to check up on them and smiling at a stranger to accompanying someone to treatment or saying “it’s okay” to someone in distress. The effect of our words, for better or worse, carries on and touches others in ways we will never truly know.

By Aaron Tempel LGPC, Addictions and Mental Health Therapist

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By Aaron Tempel LGPC,
Addictions and Mental Health Therapist

“I feel like the steps are good, but the religious thing just isn’t for me.” “I am absolutely not powerless, I just need help.” I hear statements like these quite frequently in my counseling work. And I feel frustrated about it. 12 step programs are easily the most accessible and frequent treatment/support option for those in recovery, and yet, I find resistance to it.

As a therapist, I had to stop myself and ask why. Why does this frustrate me so? For me, I believe I want my clients to get well and maintain sobriety. With effective treatment and support as a somewhat rarity, the 12 steps can provide the safety net to build supportive relationships and provide structure to assist those in addiction recovery between psychotherapy sessions and beyond. As I’ve grown as a clinician, I was surprised to find myself having the same reactions as some of my clients to 12 step programs when I first began psychotherapy.

I did not like the idea of powerlessness in addictions recovery. After all, I spent years learning and believing that a large part of my job as an addiction counselor was to empower those who felt powerless, to encourage and believe that people have it within themselves to be healthy and successful. Therefore, to read Step One was disheartening. However, upon reading the 12 steps further, and delving further into addictions recovery work, I find there is an empowering element to admitting defeat. There is power in relinquishing power. And with that new found relief, a client can find the power within themselves to manage their addiction. This isn’t giving up; it is letting go.

This struggle with powerlessness is associated with the spiritual piece of the steps: I interpret the 12 Steps to relinquish personal responsibility for one's addiction to God, and not take ownership of your addiction recovery. This belief, along with the implied Christian belief system within 12 Steps (whether from others members or the assumption that “God” equals “Christian God” in our society) made exploring the 12 steps difficult for me. Despite this, I was surprised to find that with some open-mindedness, the higher power does not assume responsibility; it assists in the journey of addiction recovery, as a presence/conscience that is always available for perhaps someone who feels they have nothing. Additionally, by simply reframing the words “higher power” to connect to my belief system, I began to lose my hesitancy to disregard the 12 steps as a helpful tool for those who don’t identify as Christian counseling for drug addiction.

By using my own experiences and empathy for my clients in this conflict, I find that I can better navigate ambivalence and help them decide what support and treatments are best for them. nts in this conflict, I find that I can better navigate ambivalence and help them decide what support and treatment is best for them. So while I am frustrated, I try (sometimes unsuccessfully) to not lose myself in that frustration; I try to understand my client’s interpretation in order explore their thoughts and feelings about recovery to foster an environment of openness to perhaps explore unknown treatment territory.

Tranquility Woods
Inpatient Co-Occuring Addiction Treatment Center
Located at 171-A Ryan Road
Pasadena, MD 21122
View Map
Website: tranquilitywoods.com
New Admissions
410.881.6226

All Other Inquiries
410.360.6600

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By Aaron Tempel LGPC,
Addictions and Mental Health Therapist

“I feel like the steps are good, but the religious thing just isn’t for me.” “I am absolutely not powerless, I just need help.” I hear statements like these quite frequently in my counseling work. And I feel frustrated about it. 12 step programs are easily the most accessible and frequent treatment/support option for those in recovery, and yet, I find resistance to it.

As a therapist, I had to stop myself and ask why. Why does this frustrate me so? For me, I believe I want my clients to get well and maintain sobriety. With effective treatment and support as a somewhat rarity, the 12 steps can provide the safety net to build supportive relationships and provide structure to assist those in addiction recovery between psychotherapy sessions and beyond. As I’ve grown as a clinician, I was surprised to find myself having the same reactions as some of my clients to 12 step programs when I first began psychotherapy.

I did not like the idea of powerlessness in addictions recovery. After all, I spent years learning and believing that a large part of my job as an addiction counselor was to empower those who felt powerless, to encourage and believe that people have it within themselves to be healthy and successful. Therefore, to read Step One was disheartening. However, upon reading the 12 steps further, and delving further into addictions recovery work, I find there is an empowering element to admitting defeat. There is power in relinquishing power. And with that new found relief, a client can find the power within themselves to manage their addiction. This isn’t giving up; it is letting go.

This struggle with powerlessness is associated with the spiritual piece of the steps: I interpret the 12 Steps to relinquish personal responsibility for one's addiction to God, and not take ownership of your addiction recovery. This belief, along with the implied Christian belief system within 12 Steps (whether from others members or the assumption that “God” equals “Christian God” in our society) made exploring the 12 steps difficult for me. Despite this, I was surprised to find that with some open-mindedness, the higher power does not assume responsibility; it assists in the journey of addiction recovery, as a presence/conscience that is always available for perhaps someone who feels they have nothing. Additionally, by simply reframing the words “higher power” to connect to my belief system, I began to lose my hesitancy to disregard the 12 steps as a helpful tool for those who don’t identify as Christian counseling for drug addiction.

By using my own experiences and empathy for my clients in this conflict, I find that I can better navigate ambivalence and help them decide what support and treatments are best for them. nts in this conflict, I find that I can better navigate ambivalence and help them decide what support and treatment is best for them. So while I am frustrated, I try (sometimes unsuccessfully) to not lose myself in that frustration; I try to understand my client’s interpretation in order explore their thoughts and feelings about recovery to foster an environment of openness to perhaps explore unknown treatment territory.

Tranquility Woods
Inpatient Co-Occuring Addiction Treatment Center
Located at 171-A Ryan Road
Pasadena, MD 21122
View Map
Website: tranquilitywoods.com
New Admissions
410.881.6226

All Other Inquiries
410.360.6600

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I just got off the phone with a potential client about coming into the program.

Themes of “crisis,” “life or death,” and “out of control” are pervasive in almost all of my calls. Above all, fear, is the most common emotion elicited by the voice on the other end of the phone. Fear of death, fear of loss of a job or marriage, fear of loneliness, and fear of finding their loved one dead are all common examples of stated fear. Most addicts and their loved ones can identify with these fears.

But then, out of left field, the caller hits a wall. They spent several minutes detailing how their addiction has ruined their life, personally, financially, and professionally, and suddenly they get cold feet. I always feel shocked, confused, and frustrated after a call that stops dead. I imagine these feelings are the same as the family member calling about their loved one.

So what happened? Prior to becoming a mental health therapist, I always wondered why is addiction and mental health treatment so challenging? Why, despite the far reaching media coverage of the opiate epidemic, the messaging on the dangers of drugs and alcohol, do so many struggle to attend treatment seriously and learn to manage their illness?

I believe it has to do with, in part, the same reason the person called me in the first place: fear. But it is an unspoken and often overlooked fear; the fear of change. Psychologist Virginia Satir has been attributed with the following quote: "Most people prefer the certainty of misery to the misery of uncertainty.”

Let’s break that down a bit. People tend to prefer to know that they will be miserable, thus giving them control and ability to predict the future in a way, than the agony of not knowing what is coming next. I sometimes refer to this experience as someone’s “uncomfortable comfort zone.” Take for instance, an alcoholic, who has been drinking since 21 and is now in his 50s. That familiarity is immensely strong, so despite being told the damage it has done to his liver, losing a marriage, losing a job, and experiencing loneliness, he still continues to drink. In his mind, this fear of change and lack of control is more unpleasant than the costs of the familiar behavior of drinking.

I don’t doubt that people living with addiction want to change. Like most people, change often leaves us feeling ambivalent. For example, on one hand I could work out and diet, which would make me feel better physically and emotionally and benefit my overall health. On the other hand, I may I enjoy the familiarity of lazing around and eating fast food. It often takes immense courage for an addict to face this fear and embrace the unknown, but I believe everyone has the power within themselves to challenge it. While it may not be the sole barrier to change, I believe that rolling with this fear instead of avoiding it can substantially impact a person’s engagement and benefit from treatment, addiction or otherwise.

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Our Medical Director, Dr. John Dombrowski, discusses the opioid crisis on national news. He is considered a national expert in the management of opioid addiction and pain management. To learn more about Dr. Dombrowski please visit our clinical staff page. http://www.tranquilitywoods. com/about-us/clinical-staff. aspx

Our Medical Director, Dr. John Dombrowski, discusses the opioid crisis on national news - YouTube
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September is Pain Awareness Month . At Tranquility Woods, we work with other organizations this month to raise public awareness of issues in the area of pain and pain management. Check out how our patient describes his experience in Tranquility Woods' Chronic Pain Program:

Patient Describes Experience in Our Chronic Pain Program - YouTube

For more information on our chronic pain program or any of our programs, call Tranquility Woods today at 410-360-6600.

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Columbia, MD Sept 14th. Addiction Recovery: A Review of The Treatment Continuum

3.5 CEU Addiction Course for
Maryland Social Workers!
Food and Beverages Will Be Served
There will also be drawings for door prizes and participation prizes!

Course Agenda:
12:30-1 pm: Lunch and Course Introduction
1 to 2 pm: Tranquility Woods will present information concerning the entrance into addiction recovery through inpatient detoxification. Data and foundation for addiction recovery will be presented. Then will cover detailed aspects of comprehensive treatment to discharge at a residential treatment level of care.

2 to 3 pm Will cover detailed modalities provided in residential addiction treatment. Also, will discuss 12 step programs and aftercare programming into IOP or sober living.

3 to 4 pm- The importance of educating and including the family in the continuum of care when dealing with substance use disorder; the value of implementing the BALM method when working with family members (information, transformation, and support)

4 to 5 pm- The significance of educating family members on the stages of change and how family members go through the stages of change just as their loved ones with substance use disorder; the value of teaching families how to partner with the treatment provider. Panel discussion can be provided at the end.
Individual clinicians with Maryland Social Work licenses have the opportunity to earn a minimum of 3.5 continuing education credits.

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Newsletter July 2017
Greetings,

Thank you for taking the time to read our first newsletter. We are reaching out to our colleagues in the health care industry that care about mental health and addiction and are looking to make a change to save thousands of lives.

We work every day not only to help those that are treated at our facility but also to help find essential services for people suffering from addiction and mental health. We believe in a strong continuum care model and we look forward to working with professionals to help us provide care before admission into our program as well as a long-term plan of care once they leave our program.

Please give us a call if you would like to stop by for a tour of our facility or if you would like to meet with our clinical team to discuss program fundamentals and philosophy.

Contents

  • Addiction News- National and Local. Learn about "Gray Death"
  • Staff Spotlight- Luke Deboy, Clinical Director, Tranquility Woods
  • Cool Addiction Wellness Stuff- Info about Addiction Wellness
  • Addiction Community Events- Stay Involved!

PATIENT TESTIMONIAL
Richard

Five-star facility! Tranquility Woods exceeded all my expectations the moment I walked through the door. Beautiful home located on a private wooded lot. Pool, hot tub, gym are great! Food is out of this world. Treatment was outstanding. I feel confident I can take what I have learned from all of the great counselors and succeed on my road to recovery.

National Addiction News

CBS/AP May 4, 2017, 10:59 AM
"Gray death" is the latest, "scariest" opioid drug threat
It's being called "gray death" and the new and dangerous drug combination underscores the ever-changing face of the opioid epidemic. Investigators have found it and recorded overdoses blamed on it in Alabama, Georgia and Ohio. The drug looks like concrete mix and varies in consistency from a hard, chunky material to a fine powder. Read More Here

Local Addiction News

Report: Opioid use continues swamps Virginia emergency rooms
In one year, Riverside Regional Medical Center saw an increase of more than 47 percent in emergency room visits related to opioid use. The Newport News hospital had 26 cases in 2016, compared with 16 in 2015. There were 23 in 2014, hospital spokeswoman Wendy Hetman said in an email.​

Read More Here

Maryland General Assembly passes HOPE Act improving behavioral health services - MHAMD

Posted by MHAMD on April 10, 2017
The Maryland General Assembly passed the Heroin and Opioid Prevention Effort (HOPE) Act of 2017 ( SB967/ HB1329), today, a comprehensive behavioral health measure aimed at expanding treatment options for those with mental health and substance use disorders and allocating more resources to reducing opioid dependency in Maryland.

Read More Here

Chronic Pain Treatment at Tranquility Woods and Dr. Jon Dombrowski

One of our wonderful patients took the time for an interview isiah@tranquilitywoods.com - YouTube

Cool Addiction Wellness Stuff

What's the Best Diet for Newly Sober Alcoholics and Addicts?
Good nutrition is crucial in early sobriety

At Tranquility Woods, we use a private chef to prepare meals based on recommendations from clinical and medical staff. We are able to cater to the needs of the vegetarian diets and cultural or religious requests such as Kosher diets.

Acupuncture for the Treatment of Opiate Addiction
Acupuncture is an accepted treatment worldwide for various clinical conditions, and the effects of acupuncture on opiate addiction have been investigated in many clinical trials. The present review systematically analyzed data from randomized clinical trials published in Chinese and English since 1970.

Staff Spotlight
Luke DeBoy, MSW, LGSW, CAC-AD. Director of Addictions

Luke DeBoy’s career as a counselor is deeply rooted in a passion for addiction medicine. From his own personal experiences to his impressive career in the treatment of co-occurring disorders, Luke is dedicated to a mission of recovery. He first began in addictions treatment while studying at Salisbury University as an undergraduate. During his time there Luke designed and implemented a substance abuse education and referral program for the student athletics department. After obtaining his Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Luke has been dedicated to his work in addiction and his experiences have opened his eyes to the importance of education and person-centered treatment modalities for recovery. Currently, Luke leads a team of clinical professionals with over 40 years of cumulative experience and helps facilitate the skill set of each professional into the treatment of every patient.

Q & A with Luke DeBoy
1. From your clinical experience, what makes Tranquility Woods unique from other programs you have worked with in the past?

Tranquility Woods provides the acute intensive clinical services of an individual, group, and family therapy. Additionally, the emphasis is placed on further insight and the education component for both the clients and their family members.

We do not stop at “treating” the client's presenting issue. We help both the individual and their family members begin to implement the healthy change and growth necessary to maintain continued recovery, peace, and happiness.

2. Tell us about how your team works with patients with co-occurring disorders.

Our comprehensive treatment is designed to treat the whole person bio-psycho-socially. As behavioral health encompasses both substance use and mental health; true recovery-oriented and individualized treatment MUST address both in order for sustainable change to occur. Our Addiction and mental health services must exhibit a type of flexibility in order for change to occur. The Clinical Team works to identify and address root causes and conditions rather than only treating a symptom or a diagnosis. Tranquility Woods uses a blended approach to address addiction and/or mental health needs.

3. Describe some of the treatment modalities the Tranquility Woods team provides in the program.

The clinicians at Tranquility Woods will evaluate every individual to determine which modalities and clinical paradigms will be best suited to a patient's needs and wants. Then, through intensive individualized work with the counselor, we can measure patient responsiveness and determine the effectiveness of our therapeutic modalities, adjusting if necessary. Based on our philosophy of setting up conditions for patients to not only receive treatment but to experience the action of recovery; our top modalities often include Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Experiential Learning, and Eye Movement Integration.

Community Events

Connect with us on Social Media!
Isiah Coles, Director of Outreach and Aftercare

Our main purpose for outreach and aftercare is to provide a long-term continuum of care for anyone who contacts our facility or professionals in the community that treat patients with behavioral health disorders. Please feel free to call us for questions about our program or if you need appropriate placement anywhere in the US.

Contact Us

Isiah Coles

Director of Outreach and Aftercare
301-820-2940

isiah@tranquilitywoods.com

w ww.tranquilitywoods.com

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Newsletter July 2017

Greetings,

Thank you for taking the time to read our first newsletter. We are reaching out to our colleagues in the health care industry that care about mental health and addiction and are looking to make a change to save thousands of lives.

We work every day not only to help those that are treated at our facility but also to help find essential services for people suffering from addiction and mental health. We believe in a strong continuum care model and we look forward to working with professionals to help us provide care before admission into our program as well as a long-term plan of care once they leave our program.

Please give us a call if you would like to stop by for a tour of our facility or if you would like to meet with our clinical team to discuss program fundamentals and philosophy.

Contents
  • Addiction News- National and Local. Learn about "Gray Death"
  • Staff Spotlight- Luke Deboy, Clinical Director, Tranquility Woods
  • Cool Addiction Wellness Stuff- Info about Addiction Wellness
  • Addiction Community Events- Stay Involved!
Maryland General Assembly passes HOPE Act improving behavioral health services - MHAMD

The Maryland General Assembly passed the Heroin and Opioid Prevention Effort (HOPE) Act of 2017 ( SB967/ HB1329), today, a comprehensive behavioral health measure aimed at expanding treatment options for those with mental health and substance use disorders and allocating more resources to reducing opioid dependency in Maryland.

Posted by MHAMD on April 10, 2017
Staff Spotlight

Luke DeBoy, MSW, LGSW, CAC-AD. Director of Addictions

Luke DeBoy’s career as a counselor is deeply rooted in a passion for addiction medicine. From his own personal experiences to his impressive career in the treatment of co-occurring disorders, Luke is dedicated to a mission of recovery. He first began in addictions treatment while studying at Salisbury University as an undergraduate. During his time there Luke designed and implemented a substance abuse education and referral program for the student athletics department. After obtaining his Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Luke has been dedicated to his work in addiction and his experiences have opened his eyes to the importance of education and person-centered treatment modalities for recovery. Currently, Luke leads a team of clinical professionals with over 40 years of cumulative experience and helps facilitate the skill set of each professional into the treatment of every patient.

Q & A with Luke DeBoy

1. From your clinical experience, what makes Tranquility Woods unique from other programs you have worked with in the past?

Tranquility Woods provides the acute intensive clinical services of an individual, group, and family therapy. Additionally, the emphasis is placed on further insight and the education component for both the clients and their family members.

We do not stop at “treating” the client's presenting issue. We help both the individual and their family members begin to implement the healthy change and growth necessary to maintain continued recovery, peace, and happiness.

2. Tell us about how your team works with patients with co-occurring disorders.

Our comprehensive treatment is designed to treat the whole person bio-psycho-socially. As behavioral health encompasses both substance use and mental health; true recovery-oriented and individualized treatment MUST address both in order for sustainable change to occur. Our Addiction and mental health services must exhibit a type of flexibility in order for change to occur. The Clinical Team works to identify and address root causes and conditions rather than only treating a symptom or a diagnosis. Tranquility Woods uses a blended approach to address addiction and/or mental health needs.

3. Describe some of the treatment modalities the Tranquility Woods team provides in the program.

The clinicians at Tranquility Woods will evaluate every individual to determine which modalities and clinical paradigms will be best suited to a patient's needs and wants. Then, through intensive individualized work with the counselor, we can measure patient responsiveness and determine the effectiveness of our therapeutic modalities, adjusting if necessary. Based on our philosophy of setting up conditions for patients to not only receive treatment but to experience the action of recovery; our top modalities often include Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Experiential Learning, and Eye Movement Integration.

Community Events
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FDA wants opioid painkiller pulled off market:
"Drugmaker Endo Pharmaceuticals must remove its
powerful opioid painkiller Opana ER from the market. The
agency says this the first time it has asked that an opioid pain
medication be pulled due to "the public health consequences
of abuse."
"We are facing an opioid epidemic -- a public health crisis --
and we must take all necessary steps to reduce the scope of
opioid misuse and abuse," FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott
Gottlieb said. "We will continue to take regulatory steps when
we see situations where an opioid product's risks outweigh its
benefits, not only for its intended patient population but also in regard to its potential for misuse and abuse."

Read the entire article here: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/08/health/fda-opioid-opana-er-bn/index.html

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