Interim Inc. observes National Recovery Month in September to promote and find new evidence-based treatments for patients battling addiction and to raise awareness about this serious condition. We also aim to help provide people with the resources they need.
The Keep It Real (KIR) and Outreach and Aftercare Services (OAS) are two of Interim’s recovery programs that provide harm reduction outpatient services to adults in Monterey County with co-occurring serious mental illness and substance use disorders. Neil Northey, the Programs Director, oversees a small but mighty staff who serve over 200 clients a year.
At Interim, we have found that one size does not fit all in recovery strategies for persons with mental illness and substance use disorders. We have different approaches to meet client’s different needs.
The KIR and OAS programs use a harm reduction approach in its outpatient services. Neil Northey explained that insisting on only abstinence from alcohol or substance use can deter some people from seeking treatment; a Harm Reduction approach is a more effective alternative.
Harm Reduction encompasses an array of options for reducing harm caused by substance use or other behaviors including abstinence. Some who practice Harm Reduction are abstinent from substance use and others are addressing harm by changing the types of drugs used or reducing the amount used or times used or employ other methods of reducing harm. In the KIR program, the services are person-centered; staff help clients explore their personal goals, and how a reduction in substance use can potentially help their realization.
Interim’s Counselors teach clients how different substances may impact psychotropic medications they use for certain psychiatric conditions, as well as how to reduce the potential for harmful outcomes like overdose or hospitalization. Clients are also taught ways to improve mental health symptom management, personal and social functioning, daily structure, and substance use recovery skills.
Each September, Recovery Month works to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community. In addition, the month highlights the dedication of service providers like Interim and community members across the nation who make recovery, in all its forms, possible.
Recovery Month highlights the need for change in the world. It also celebrates the gains made by those in recovery from substance use and mental health, just as we celebrate improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.
WAYS TO OBSERVE RECOVERY MONTH
- Read about addiction – Read up about ways to help a person going through recovery. You cannot do it for them, but you can be with them and provide support as they receive services.
- Participate in events – Find out about the events near you. Attend webinars, seminars, or related events to learn about addiction and participate voluntarily.
- Spread awareness – Increase public understanding of addiction as an illness. Join N.G.O.s and other organizations to increase the number of people who can help those in need. Assist in eradicating the stigma associated with addiction.
For more information and resources on recovery, go to InterimInc.org. To contact Keep It Real (KIR) or Outreach and Aftercare Services (OAS), call (831) 440-3590. You can also email KeepItReal@InterimInc.org or OAS@InterimInc.org.