It may not seem that substance use disorder is a family matter, but the struggles are complex and come with very real consequences. Substance use disorder is often referred to as a family disease, which is true both from a genetic and social point of view.
Substance use disorder can have a ripple effect. A parent, a spouse, a child, or an extended family member that is struggling can directly impact the entire family, especially those that are very young.
Often the effects of poverty are being masked, as those with substance use disorders self-medicate. Many Addison County health care providers focus on families and understand that there can be a stigma when walking into a practice and asking for services. It is important to have staff, including front office staff that is trauma informed and able to offer support from the very start. It is also important for all of us to remember to hold our own judgments aside when helping those with substance use disorder.
In Addison County many supports were identified.
Counseling Service of Addison County- Offers quality, individualized, outpatient assessment and treatment to individuals and families struggling with alcohol/drug abuse and other addictive disorders.
The Turning Point Center of Addison County– Offers peer-to-peer recovery support to people in and seeking recovery from substance use and disorders, as well as support to their families and friends.
Porter Women’s Health Center– Is a comprehensive women’s health practice with a team of physicians and nurse -midwives provide compassionate care for women in all phases of life. They provide high-quality, personalized and attentive care.
Children’s Integrated Services- Offered via the Parent Child Center in Middlebury. While the Center is probably best known for its work with adolescent families and at-risk teens, many of its services are intended for any family who needs and wants them.
The Center can help families assess their children’s physical and cognitive development and provides support services if needed. They offer consultation and support to families and childcare providers around young children’s social, emotional and behavioral development.
Department of Children and Families- The Division of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Programs supports a network of community partners to promote and deliver a wide range of substance misuse information, prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery programs and services. From school-based prevention services to the Care Alliance for Opioid Addiction hub & spoke model of treatment, they coordinate with professionals to support healthy lifestyles for Vermonters of all ages.
These agencies along with many others in Addison County offer supports of many kinds to families, early educators, schools and anyone who works with children and families.