MAYVILLE, N.Y.:--All of us encounter problems in our day-to-day living, which affect us personally and often involve those around us such as family, a spouse, or co-workers. These problems may cause us to feel confused, anxious, depressed or angry. At times, we are able to resolve these problems on our own or with the assistance of family and friends. However, there may be times when we need to seek outside help, not out of personal weakness or failure, but as a natural and proactive health decision. One of these times to reach out and seek support is when you recognize the signs of substance use disorder.
Substance use disorder is a disease that affects a person's brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of legal or illegal drugs or medications. Substances including, but not limited to, prescription medications, opioids, alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine can be abused.
At each of the behavioral health clinics run by the Department of Mental Hygiene, there is an interdisciplinary team made up of psychiatrists, psychiatric social workers, mental health therapists, psychiatric nurses, care managers, physician assistants, and credentialed alcohol and substance abuse counselors. Anyone who is seeking services for substance abuse treatment can call to make an appointment or stop in to either behavioral health clinic located in Jamestown or Dunkirk.
One of the many services offered by the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders. MAT is the use of medications, such as Buprenorphine, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Research shows that when treating substance-use disorders, a combination of medication and behavioral therapies are the most successful treatment. The process of applying MAT is clinically driven with a focus on individualized patient care.
“In order for someone to access MAT, he or she can make an appointment or stop in to the clinics. Someone could call and request an appointment or just come in to the office and ask to be seen by the next available counselor,” said Misty Pennington, Interim Clinic Director at the Dunkirk Behavioral Health Clinic. “Once the individual sees the clinician, an assessment is started and he or she is set up to see our providers who can then initiate medication.”
While participating in MAT, the client needs to attend appointments and engage with the prescriber and clinician. A client will follow a treatment plan with mutually agreed upon goals that will be achieved with the use of the therapeutic relationship, individual counseling, group counseling, and toxicology screens.
“This process allows us to offer the best course of treatment for the individual seeking help,” said Victoria Fred, a substance abuse counselor at the Dunkirk Behavioral Health Clinic.
Each clinic works closely with many other organizations in the community to provide referrals if needed, and provide resources to meet a patient’s specific needs.
“At the end of the day, we strive to provide the best treatment to our community,” said Meaghan Stronz, a counselor at the Jamestown Behavioral Health Clinic.
All contacts and information are confidential. Walk-in services are available at the Jamestown and Dunkirk offices. Please call ahead if you have any questions. The Jamestown Clinic can be reached at 716-661-8330 and the Dunkirk Clinic can be reached at 716-363-3550.