Prevea’s one-of-a-kind substance abuse and mental health recovery program

19 Sept – EAU CLAIRE – September is National Recovery Month.

Compliance aims to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and substance abuse practices, the nation’s recovery community, and the service providers that enable all forms of recovery.

Today, more than 20 million Americans are recovering from a substance use disorder. According to the American Addiction Center, 8.5 million American adults suffered from both a mental disorder and a substance use disorder, or both, in 2017.

A program created by Prevea Behavioral Health provides individuals with the information and skills needed to help them better understand their addictions and co-occurring disorders.

Katie Plotz, behavioral therapist at Prevea Health, said the Sustaining Recovery program provides structure, education, support and skills to guide early recovery.

“We’re very focused on relapse prevention skills, how to deal with emotions in a healthy way, really simply live in that everyday sobriety, and foster resilience and support,” Plotz said.

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The eight-week program consists of three group meetings per week for a total of nine hours.

The program information provided by Prevea Health states that group participants are encouraged to participate in one-on-one therapy, as one-on-one sessions with their primary counselor provide an opportunity to further address personal issues or concerns and support participants to achieve their desired goals.

“It’s pretty intense,” Plotz said.

Plotz said this program is unique because it helps participants live lives of recovery and manage mental health while being a member of the community.

Residential programs typically focus on structured settings with long- or short-term residencies at a treatment center. As an outpatient program, the Sustaining Recovery Program addresses everyday stresses that can impact recovery that participants in inpatient programs may not have experienced.

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“This is where the rubber meets the road,” Plotz said. “We’re helping people navigate all of these things and try different skills and come back and talk about what worked.”

Additionally, the Sustaining Recovery Program focuses on mental health and how participants can cope with co-occurring disorders.

Plotz said that mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, trauma and bipolar disorder are associated with addiction. The program simultaneously seeks to combat mental health and addiction as both impact on everyday life.

As with any normal group therapy, Plotz said participation has ebbs and flows. The group can have around seven to eight participants at a time, who are usually referred by residential programs.

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The structure and time commitment of the program makes it ideal for individuals who wish to transition back into the community while maintaining their recovery.

“When people often work on their sobriety, they need to structure their day with healthy things,” Plotz said. “[The program]really helps them fill in the time they don’t have time for emotional triggers.”

Once group participants complete the recovery program, behavioral therapists may recommend another, less intensive outpatient recovery group program, the Continuing Care Group.

Plotz said the program began in the early 2000s and the Eau Claire community continues to benefit from his practices.

“I think it’s definitely a treatment service that’s needed in our community,” Plotz said.

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