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Combating Substance Abuse in Lexington Part 7: Find Yourself With SelfRefind

selfrefind 300LEXINGTON, Ky. (9/4/2013) – “This is the first step to getting your life back.”

That sentence is highlighted on the webpage of SelfRefind, an organization that offers treatment for drug addiction. SelfRefind's trained staff helps patients understand the issues that lead to addiction and develop a customized treatment plan for any individual in need of assistance.

“SelfRefind is a collection of outpatient opiate treatment programs that treat opiate addiction by utilizing mostly buprenorphine products and combining it with doctor visits, counseling, medication counts, and drug screens,” said Michele McCarthy, the Community and Government Liaison for SelfRefind.

The company has been operating for about six years and has 12 offices in locations across Kentucky and three locations in Ohio.

“We have 130 employees that work with us, over 60 physicians that contract with us, and we treat about 2700 patients,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy added that some addicts may need to visit more of a residential program and emphasized that SelfRefind is an outpatient treatment center. But, she said there are a number of advantages to outpatient therapy.

“If the individual still has custody of their children, has a home, has a job or has the potential to be employed, they can keep all of those things. It doesn't put them at further risk,” said McCarthy. “They still can get treatment and get sober.”

Buprenorphine, or Bupe, is a part of SelfRefind's treatment. The drug is an opioid, but its effects are less than those of heroin or meth. Bupe fools the brain receptors affected by opiates and lessens withdrawal symptoms and cravings. She added prescriptions for Bupe are given to patients in doses that fit where they are in their recovery. But, once the medicine is in the hands of the recovering addicts, a thorough screening is to follow.

“All of our patients are assigned to a physician,” said McCarthy. “They have to see their physician every month. The amount of counseling they do varies based on their personal need. Everybody has to have drug screens the whole time they're in treatment with us, not just for opiates. We test for all illegal drugs. But they also are tested to make sure Buprenorphine is in their system, so we can make sure they're taking their medicine and taking it correctly. We also do medication counts.”

The medication counts, McCarthy said, are where the patients bring in the remainder of their dosage to be counted by a physician. This ensures that patients are taking their medicine correctly, not over using the drug or diverting it to others.

Bupe is covered through Medicare, Medicaid, and all private insurance. McCarthy added the medication can be fairly pricy for self-pay patients, but there are generic forms available and she hopes this will lower the price for those who are forced to pay out of pocket.

McCarthy said Bupe cannot work magic just on its own and patients still must attend counseling sessions to help them throughout the process. SelfRefind offers individual and group counseling sessions. The company is currently testing e-therapy, where the patients come on site and connect with counselors in different locations via video conference.

“We don't want it to replace counseling. We're trying to use it to give additional counseling,” said McCarthy. “The patient response seems pretty good once they realize it actually does work that well, and they're still getting to see and talk back and forth with an additional counselor.”

McCarthy added the success of the program is based on an individual needs. She said it is unfair to give a time frame to recovering addicts on when they will be free from the threshold opiates have on their lives. But, she said SelfRefind will continue helping the patient throughout their recovery to ensure they are on the right track.

“We really try to look at what a person needs and what their successes are, just like you do other types of health problems,” said McCarthy. “We firmly believe addiction is a disease.”

To set up an appointment with SelfRefind or find out more information, contact them at 1-866-755-4258, or you can visit the webpage at www.selfrefind.org.

David Gillum
SurfKY News

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

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