DUBOIS – With half of January in the books, many are working to stay on track with their New Year’s resolutions.
While some may have vowed to lose weight, take up a new hobby or try a new activity, others are simply looking to shake their dependence on drugs and alcohol.
In a recent interview, Susan Ford and Carol Jackson of the Clearfield/Jefferson Drug and Alcohol Commission spoke about trends and treatment options in the area.
Ford and Jackson said alcohol abuse is always a problem in Clearfield and Jefferson counties. They said 2017-18 saw a continued increase in opioid addiction and a reoccurrence in problems with methamphetamines.
The commission continues to see cases of marijuana abuse, but heroin and other opioids continue to be a problem.
Ford and Jackson said that the commission provides detox services and outpatient service. Ford said each individual receives a level-of-care assessment by case management specialists to determine the best course of treatment.
She said that while there are no in-patient services in Clearfield or Jefferson counties, arrangements can be made if in-patient services are needed.
According to information provided by the CJDAC, the number of individual’s requiring direct case management services provided by the CJDAC has expanded rapidly.
According to their figures, in 2017-18, The CJDAC saw a total of 1,253 individuals who only received an assessment as well as those who followed through with treatment. This is more than double the 544 individuals in 2015-16 and almost four times the 336 individuals from 2014-15.
“We’re getting more phone calls than we’ve ever gotten before,” Ford said. “There’s a lot of patients who come to us voluntarily because they want treatment.
“There’s a lot of bias and stigma for the patients. It’s important for anyone looking for help to know that we are not law enforcement. Our purpose is to arrange for the individuals to get the help they need.”
She said another misconception people have about the CJDAC is that it’s just for the residents of the DuBois area. She said the commission serves all of Clearfield and Jefferson counties, and they just happen to be located in DuBois. She said anyone in both counties can contact the CJDAC for assistance.
Ford and Jackson said they also do a lot of work to educate others about the use of Narcan.
“We get a lot of push-back from the community regarding the Narcan,” Ford said. She said while Narcan is used for overdoses, it has many other beneficial uses.
Ford said Narcan been used for first responders and police officers who were accidentally exposed to drugs while responding to emergencies.
It’s also been used for children who have gotten into their parent’s medication, as well as for the elderly who have forgotten they had already taken their daily medication and take additional doses by mistake.
Those looking for treatment, or those with additional questions can contact the CJDAC by calling 1-800-892-9002 or visit www.cjdac.org.