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As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.

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Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Two Worlds of Addiction Recovery

I'm living in two worlds these days. 

My employment for the past couple of months has been as a driver for Recovery Centers of America (RCA) in Devon Pa.  It is a privilege to be involved in the transportation of people coming to RCA.[1]  These individuals have varying stories as to how addiction entered their lives.   The one thing they all have in common is that they have decided to face their addiction and get on the path toward a healthy life.

People coming to RCA have called 1-800-RECOVERY, had a discussion with a caring person at that number, had their insurance verified and been medically cleared.   Not everyone who does so needs transportation from us.  Some come to RCA thanks to a family member or friend.  For those who do need a ride, we pick them up in one of four vehicles.  It might be one of our two Lincoln Continentals, a Lincoln Navigator or a Ford Explorer.  All are black unmarked vehicles that demonstrate dignity and respect toward the man or woman who is being transported to their five-star experience in detox and rehab.[2] 

These people begin their treatment almost as soon as they arrive at RCA.  This minimizes the discomfort of the withdraw symptoms common to ending their relationship with alcohol or drug usage.

That's one of the worlds in which I live…

Here's my second world as I have described in several recent blogs:

I have described in "I Need My Medicine" the reason people don't just stop using their drugs.

In An Entity Named "Addict", I've provided a description of what addiction does to an addicted person and their family.

In Let's imagine… and Dear Emergency Room and Urgent Care Staff, I've urged professionals on the front line of medicine to take the initiative in not simply encouraging addicted people to seek help but to actively initiate that help for those who want it.

In A Tale of Addiction, One Set of Fraternal Twins And Two Sets of Simulated Hardwood Floors I present a look at two very different paths to treatment for this horrendous disease.  One path is for those with private insurance and one path is for those people who do not have private insurance.

And that is the point of this blog! 

People who have private insurance and people who do not have private insurance are all human beings made in the image of God and worthy of dignity, honor, respect, and love.  All deserve our societal best to walk alongside them as they do the work of putting their addictions behind them. 

People who do what they can for addicted and underinsured folks have told me that "This is just the way it is.  If they want help, they just need to tough it out."  To this, I say that far too many of our nation's sons and daughters and their families are being destroyed and the system must change.  A sense of urgency blanketed in an environment of dignity and respect must be provided to the underinsured.

Trauma-Informed Care

Please take the next couple of minutes to watch this video for a professional's description of one small but essential part of what needs to change within the care system of our nation's underinsured daughters and sons.

Finally, I don't pretend to have all the answers for how to smoothen the path toward addiction recovery for the underinsured.  I just know in my heart that change is needed.  Let's work together and learn from the model presented by RCA to present dignity, honor, respect, and love for all persons suffering from addiction.

[1] We also transport people back to their home and to outside appointments while they are a patient at RCA.
[2] I have transported people from their homes right down the street from RCA, southern New England(!) and within walking distance of Emerald City.

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