Assessment Is the First Step to Help with Addiction
Before treatment can begin, an assessment will be conducted with you and/or your loved one at Meridian HealthCare’s Assessment Department by a Master’s-level licensed counselor. The Assessment is a vital part of beginning treatment and ensures admission to the appropriate program. Our welcoming Assessment staff will greet you as you enter our main location at 527 North Meridian Road Road or our Warren location at 320 High Street Northeast and will guide you through the assessment process.
Meridian offers walk-in assessments and scheduled appointments. Walk-ins are offered Monday-Friday 8:00 am–10:30 am. No appointment is needed as long as you come to Meridian between those hours. Walk-ins are first-come, first-serve and the assessment takes approximately 60-90 minutes. If you prefer to schedule an appointment, an Assessment Case Manager will speak with you and schedule the appointment at your convenience.
If you have questions prior to the assessment, a free confidential consultation can be conducted at Meridian HealthCare’s Assessment Department. Many of your questions can be addressed over the phone with an Assessment Case Manager if you contact 330-270-5332 or 330-270-5325 for the Youngstown location and 330-318-3881 for the Warren location. You can also submit your questions online by visiting our website at www.MeridianHealthCare.net.
Meridian Main Campus
527 N. Meridian Road
Youngstown, OH 44509
320 High Street, NE
Warren, OH 44481
Q: What is an assessment?
A: An assessment is a process completed by a Master’s-level licensed clinician. The assessment is a conversation between you and the Assessment Counselor to better understand concerns you may have and the reason you’re seeking treatment. Our Assessment Counselors utilize a person-centered approach which is non-judgmental and personable.
Q: What services does Meridian HealthCare offer?
A: Meridian HealthCare offers a wide variety of services. We have many treatment levels of care, including Outpatient Counseling, Medication Assisted Treatment, Co-Occurring Treatment, Intensive Outpatient Counseling, Day Treatment and Residential Treatment.
Q: How quickly can I get started with treatment after the assessment?
A: The time between your assessment and admission will vary based on the program and availability. We strive to have you begin treatment within one week following the assessment.
Q: What is the cost of the assessment, and how can I pay for treatment?
A: Meridian HealthCare accepts Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance and self-pay, which is based on a sliding fee scale. We also offer assistance with obtaining Medicaid through working with a Meridian Case Manager along with Job and Family Services. In addition, there is a limited amount of funds available for residents without a payer source based on your location and program assignment. The goal is to help you obtain the most appropriate, comprehensive care in the most cost-effective manner. If you have questions about affording treatment services, please contact an Assessment Case Manager at 330-270-5332 or 330-270-5325 for the Youngstown location or 330-318-3881 for the Warren location.
Q: Will I have to do a drug screen?
A: You will have to provide a drug screen if you are seeking treatment for substance use concerns. Our lab staff provides a comfortable environment for the screen that will help put your concerns/discomfort at ease.
Meridian Receives Donation from Trustmark Insurance
Meridian HealthCare recently received a generous donation of $3,000 from The Trustmark Foundation. The Trustmark Foundation is part of Trustmark Insurance, which focuses on helping people increase well-being through better health and greater financial security. Trustmark has a local office in the Mahoning Valley, located in Boardman, OH.
Each year, Trustmark pledges a percentage of pre-tax earnings to support our local communities. Trustmark’s unique, two-level service commitment involves associates working as individuals and together with the company to give back to the community and improve the quality of life for all.
The Trustmark Foundation, established in 1984, actively supports associate volunteerism through program donations and volunteer grants. In 2015, the Foundation distributed nearly $1.1 million in cash and gifts-in-kind. Foundation grants and programs directly support the United Way, community health, safety, education, and urban and cultural enrichment.
The local branch of Trustmark Insurance selected Meridian as one of their 2016 recipients for the work they do in the community!
Find out more about Trustmark Insurnace – http://www.trustmarkcompanies.com/
Why we need to focus on Prevention, and how you can help
Meridian HealthCare offers a full range of addiction treatment services. But as Meridian CEO Larry Moliterno says, they are also taking the lead in our community in Prevention efforts, to stop addiction before it starts. There are steps families can also take to help in this effort.
The Face of Addiction…and the Faces of Recovery
by Larry Moliterno
When I ask people what they think the “Face of Addiction” looks like, I typically get the same answers. They tend to think of a down-and-out man or woman living under a bridge, or walking the streets aimlessly looking for their next fix. They may think of someone robbing an older woman in the grocery store parking lot, or a gang of kids smoking in a car.
We think like this because this is the way addiction is typically portrayed. In movies and on television, we see those struggling with drugs and alcohol as either poor and willing to do anything to get their hands on drugs — or else as really wealthy and scheming around their use.
But what addiction really is…is a disease that affects everyone. Two-thirds of American families are touched by addiction. Addiction affects the parents cheering next to you at your son’s soccer game, the young girl working diligently to get into a good college, the army veteran looking for a steady job, and the mom dropping her young kids off at pre-school.
Addiction is everywhere and does not discriminate. Chief Development Officer for Subway Don Ferryman; Actress Jamie Lee Curtis; Actor Robert Downey Jr.; Chief of Staff at SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) Tom Coderre; Singers Demi Lovato and Sir Elton John; and Best-Selling Author William Cope Moyers —all have dealt with addiction themselves, and they aren’t the typical “Face of Addiction.”
The examples I gave above aren’t just stories I use — they’re people who have gone through treatment and fight for their recovery every day.
Prescription drug use has been on the rise for the last few decades. We’ve discussed that here before. In the suburbs — where people typically think addiction is not a problem — highly educated and more affluent households are more likely to have access to prescription pain medications, including frequently used drugs such as opioids, and stimulants such as oxycontin and Adderall. These drugs can lead to heroin use.
According to SAMHSA, the number of teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 introduced to heroin has grown by 80 percent since 2002. The vast majority of teenagers who turn to heroin (close to 90 percent) are white and live in the suburbs — a far cry from what is perceived to be the “Face of Addiction.”
This point of this article is to not to suggest that you take your family and friends and go to some remote location where drugs can’t find you. It’s to let you know that addiction isn’t some far-fetched idea that only affects “those people.” We need to recognize that, at any time, anyone can be affected — so we must begin to work towards the goals of treatment for all and prevention for all our kids.
At Meridian, we will continue to treat as many people as we can — no matter what walk of life they come from. But we also address the problem through prevention and stopping addiction before it starts, with initiatives such as the PANDA Leaders Club, Families Who Know and our Community Education programs.
The people who I named earlier are all people who struggled with an addiction. But they are now the Faces of Recovery. They are successful in their careers and have continued to advocate for treatment. This is something that we in the recovery world celebrate!
Meridian’s CEO Participates in Trivisonno Show Townhall on Heroin
Meridian’s President/CEO, Larry Moliterno had the opportunity to participate in WTAM1100’s Mike Trivisonno Show – Townhall on Heroin with Attorney General Mike DeWine. The Triv Show and Ohio AG Mike Dewine selected a distinguished panel of experts to discuss ways to combat the heroin epidemic. The event was divided into three segments, including a law enforcement perspective, treatment/recovery perspective and a Q&A session.
To listen to the entire show, please visit Mike Trivisonno Show Townhall on Heroin
Crossroads Comedy Rivalry Crushes It!
More than $18,000 was raised at the Crossroads Comedy Rivalry on October 20 to help fund Addiction Prevention, Education and Treatment/Recovery at Meridian HealthCare. And this event really put the “FUN” in fundraising. No doubt about it, it was a hilarious and successful evening.
After the show, several of the comedians paused to chat with Meridian’s CEO and share a few more laughs.
(L–R above: Comedians Mike Wysocki and Sean Collier, Meridian CEO Larry Moliterno, and comedian Aaron Kleiber.)
YSU’s Jambar “Clash of Comedy: Cleveland Versus Pittsburgh” highlights Meridian’s Comedy Fundraiser
A Jambar story entitled “Clash of Comedy: Cleveland Versus Pittsburgh” highlights Meridian’s Comedy Show Fundraiser in October.
Vindicator “Comedians from rival cities will share stage” features Meridian’s upcoming fundraiser
A Vindicator story entitled “Comedians from rival cities will share stage” features Meridian’s upcoming fundraiser, which will raise money for prevention and recovery in the Valley.
Protecting Our Children from Addiction – Part 3
by Larry Moliterno
The last few months we’ve been discussing why, as a community, we don’t protect our children from addiction like we protect them from car accidents, sunburn, and other diseases/safety hazards. But how do we start to do this?
We first have to remember that this is not just a school problem, it’s a community problem. School-based efforts should be made in context with other programs and support in the community.
Studies show that strategies work best when they are integrated and reinforce each other — at home, in schools, within the community, and in the media. So if we bring the whole community together, we’ll see a real impact.
What can schools do? Schools can institute more prevention programs — in a more formal educational model, and in a less formal peer-driven model like Meridian’s PANDA program. These programs have been proven to be effective in not only reducing drug use, but also in reducing negative behaviors. Schools can also create more opportunities for extracurricular activities in addition to sports. Students taking part in these extracurricular activities are less likely to be involved in drug use. Schools can look at truancy and behavioral issues as an opportunity to get to the root of the problem — shifting the focus from punishing bad behavior toward prevention and providing help and support.
What can parents do?
Believe it or not, parents — your children are listening to you. When kids who don’t drink were asked who was their number-one influence in making that decision, they said their parents. Take advantage of that time you have with them to talk with them — and more importantly, listen. Get to know what they want out of life, their dreams and aspirations.
What can legislators do?
Legislators can help enact laws that keep drugs out of young people’s reach and help remove the barriers for people trying to access treatment. Legislators can also help restore the Safe and Drug-Free School dollars that have been taken away from our schools.
What can religious leaders do?
Religious leaders can use the power of the pulpit to raise awareness of the addiction problem in our community and help connect people to community resources.
What can medical professionals do?
Routine annual medical visits are an opportunity to identify mental health and drug use issues. We need more medical professionals to recommend these screenings, which will help identify problems like depression or drug use early on.
What can business leaders do?
Business leaders can create more mentoring opportunities for kids to get involved locally. Being involved helps kids develop a sense of purpose and real hope for their future.
What can law enforcement do?
Local law enforcement can create more juvenile diversion programs to help families who have a child who is just beginning down the wrong path. These programs will help address the problem before it gets worse.
What can treatment providers do?
Treatment providers should be addressing the whole person, rather than just focusing on his or her drug use or mental health illness. Let’s build up that recovery capital that helps prevent any future use and work hard to provide immediate access into treatment.
What can the media do?
They can help us tell our story and help celebrate the positive results of the community’s efforts.
That’s real prevention.
Is it going to be easy?
But if we invest our skills, our resources and our energies into working together to protect our kids — in a true, diverse, community-based prevention strategy —we’ll be successful, and we all will benefit.
Protecting Our Children from Addiction – Part 2
by Larry Moliterno
We know that we’re struggling with addiction in our community at epidemic levels. But is it possible to prevent addiction before it happens? Last month, I discussed all the safety precautions we routinely put in place to keep our children safe; yet we seem to lack in funding and resources when it comes to preventing our kids from addiction.
In order to fully understand how, as a community, we can protect our kids — we need to understand why kids use in the first place. Part of it is physiological. The prefrontal cortex of the brain isn’t fully developed until around age 21. This is the part of the brain that allows humans to understand consequences and make rational decisions. That’s why kids are more likely to be impulsive and take risks.
Consider this too: when something hurts, what do we do? We take a pill, and the pain goes away. Why would kids think it’s any different to stop emotional hurt? Take a pill, and it will go away.
According to SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), there are many risk factors that influence a person’s chance of developing a mental health or substance use disorder. Effective prevention focuses on reducing those risk factors, and strengthening the protective factors that are most closely related to the problem being addressed.
Risk factors are characteristics at the biological, psychological, family, community or cultural level that precede and are associated with a higher likelihood of negative outcomes. There are risk periods that increase the likelihood of substance abuse as well as other risky behaviors.
For example, changes in physical development, social change, relationships, family dynamics, change in responsibility, and academic pressure can all be considered either a risk period or a risk factor. These risk periods/factors have a lot of sources, including personal, family and friends, school and the community.
When one of these risk factors arises, instead of assuming our kids are fine or punishing them for acting out, we need to take it as an opportunity to understand why he or she is acting this way. Maybe he’s upset because something is going on at home…maybe he’s hurting because he was rejected by the girl he has a crush on…maybe she’s embarrassed by the acne on her face. If we don’t find the root cause of the behavior, we could be making the problem worse.
Along with the risk factors, we also recognize that there are protective factors in kids’ lives that reduce the likelihood of substance use and risky behavior. Protective factors are characteristics associated with a lower likelihood of negative outcomes; they can also reduce a risk factor’s impact.
Some examples of protective factors are developing social skills and coping abilities, finding a strong adult role model who demonstrates what a healthy relationship should look like, and getting involved in extracurricular activities to create a sense of belonging and worth. Another is a child being recognized and rewarded for his or her contributions, which helps build self-esteem.
Providing these protective factors is not just the responsibility of schools, but of the entire community. Simply put, we need to identify kids in risk periods, engage them, and provide more opportunities to take advantage of protective factors.
So how do we do this? Next month I’ll explain how our community — including schools, parents, legislators, religious leaders, medical professionals, business leaders, law enforcement, treatment providers, and even kids — can come together to help protect our kids from addiction.