Hamilton Center Inc. teams up with Putnam County Prosecutor’s Office to fight Meth - April 5, 2006

Dr. Bill Nunn, Judge Headley, Tim Bookwalter and other members of the legal system of Putnam County met last month regarding the mental health needs for Putnam County residents and the interactions between those needs and the legal system. A great deal of attention focused upon the issue of substance abuse, particularly the current epidemic of methamphetamine use, and how mental health providers and the legal system can work together to address this problem. Based on those discussions Putnam County Hamilton Center Staff Melanie Gibbs, Social Worker, Norm Warren, Case Manager and Dr. Bill Nunn, Program Manager, have developed a treatment model for review and consideration.

Hamilton Center firmly believes that the more support provided early in the recovery process, increases the chances of clients being successful in their recovery attempt. The program will function as an intervention for individuals who require more than one group session per week. Many of these individuals will be dealing with methamphetamine abuse and that most of them will be adjudicated. However, someone with another dependency or seeking treatment voluntarily would be treated as well. Dr. Nunn recommended Intensive Outpatient Group Therapy for a minimum of nine hours of weekly therapy with the possibility of additional contacts as needed.

Some of the goals of this intensive outpatient program are for the participants to become familiar with the medical aspects of stimulant abuse, cravings specific to stimulant abusers and ways to manage them. In addition they would work toward an improvement of their emotional and behavioral management skills. Other goals would be to begin a structured schedule of events, to learn more effective tools in dealing with stress and relapse as well as learn ways to improve communication skills and relationships.

The team is also looking at other possible interventions such as substance abuse treatment for individuals who are incarcerated and pre-release contacts to assist individuals in planning for and coordinating treatment after release in order to help reduce recidivism and treatment failure.

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