Addiction

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Illinois was already fighting a public health crisis - the opioid epidemic. Clinicians at two drug rehab centers said more patients have been admitted to their facility since the coronavirus pandemic. 

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, some Illinois centers that treat people with substance use disorders will continue with outpatient and residential services. However, there are other options for those who choose to stay home.

Addiction recovery meetings are still taking place with small groups at some treatment centers, and centers are now offering virtual and over-the-phone options for patients.

Kerry Henry, executive director of Gateway Foundation in Springfield, said precautionary measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 are enforced for those still attending sessions.

Storycorps

Rachel Keener first began using opioids as a teenager. As an adult she was being treated with subutex when she became pregnant.

In March of 2019 StoryCorps visited Carbondale to record interviews with Southern Illinois. Rachel sat down with her doctor, Jeff Ripperda with Shawnee Health Service to talk about her fears and experience giving birth while undergoing medication assisted treatment for opioid use. 

Read the full transcript:

Centerstone Logo
Centerstone / Centerstone

Centerstone provide treatment for mental health and addictions.

They recently added treatment for gambling addiction at their Marion and Carbondale locations.

Ryan Hampton Addiction Recovery Advocate
Ryan Hampton

Monday night at Heartland Regional Medical Center, Centerstone will present their next spotlight series highlighting key health topics in the community.

It’s the middle of summer but Harrisburg Middle School is a hive of activity. Between summer school classes and renovations, it’s a little chaotic for counselor Brett Rawlings, who just wrapped up his first year at the school.

Harrisburg is a town of fewer than 300 people, midway between St. Louis and Kansas City. But the school also serves the surrounding area, which is primarily farmland. As the K-8 counselor, Rawlings is responsible for some 400 students, and he deals with a range of issues.


Destini Hutson spent much of her childhood picturing what life would be like when her dad came home.

Over time, her plans turned to the practical: teach him how to use an iPhone, help him find a job, go to Chick-fil-A together.

“‘It’s a lot that you’re going to have to learn,’” Hutson told her dad, Donald, who went to prison in 1997 when she was still a baby.

Those plans came to a halt last September, when Donald Hutson died of a drug overdose at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center in Pacific. He’s one of more than 430 inmates who have overdosed in state prisons since May 2017, according to internal data from the Missouri Department of Corrections. While there are many ways drugs are smuggled into prisons, DOC employees say internal corruption is a key part of the problem.

Centerstone Unveils New Marion Facility

Aug 9, 2019
Steph Whiteside/WSIU

Centerstone unveiled their new medication assisted treatment facility in Marion today. Congressmen Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) and John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) and State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) were on hand to tour the center.

The MAT facility will be the first of its kind in southern Illinois. It will offer access to three FDA-approved medications used for treating opioid addiction, as well as counseling, case management, peer support, and medical services.

Bouncing on a purple exercise ball, Alyssa talks to her new teacher about what classes she needs to graduate. 
 
"There’s a Psychology 1 as an elective, I would take that, but I already took psychology and sociology... And I feel like Heartland in general is a psychology class," she says, laughing.

A southern Illinois church is planning to open a Sober Living House in Union County later this year.

Steven Guined is pastor of the non-denomination Connect Point Church in Anna. He says the plan for the facility grew out of the response to their ministry's weekly Recovery Program for those battling alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling and other problems. 

Man holding a sign saying recovery matters
Flickr/Sacred Heart

 

Earlier this year, we covered the difficulties faced by Illinoisans in recovery - especially those who had successfully detoxed, and were hoping to change their lives and stay sober. One of the challenges people faced was finding help getting their lives back on track.

 

Battling Drug Addiction: What Comes After Detox?

Sep 10, 2018
Director John Steve washes dishes in an industrial kitchen sink.
Steph Whiteside/WSIU

Like many states, Illinois is battling an opioid epidemic. Loran Owens, who lives in Franklin county in Southern Illinois, knows what the epidemic is like first-hand.

 

 

"My brother, [when] I was in jail, my brother got arrested and he was in there about four months," Owens said. "And he shot up heroin, more or less. It was OxyContin and stuff ... and while he was in there, he was trying to get help. He was wanting to go to rehab when he left there."

Overdose Training at State Fair

Aug 20, 2018
Box of Narcan medication
Steph Whiteside/WSIU

 

This year, the Illinois state fair has everything from fried food to overdose training. 

Health Department officials set up at the fair to teach people about naloxone. The drug can be used to treat opioid overdoses, whether they are from illegal drugs like heroin or an overdose of prescription medication. 

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Allison Hasler of the Illinois Department of Public Health, along with Gateway's Michelle Bertinetti, about the upcoming screening of The Anonymous People.

September is National Recovery Month. You can get more information at recoverymonth.gov.

What's more harmful to patients being treated for drug or alcohol use: Risking their health by keeping other medical providers in the dark about the care, or risking the patients' jobs, homes and child custody arrangements by allowing potentially damaging details to be shared widely among providers?

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says some 28% of adults in the United States drink enough to put them at risk of dependency or other alcohol related abuses.  A new book takes an alternative approach to recovery from alcohol addiction that is different from the traditional 12-step process.   The authors are Jack Canfield who created the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and recovery expert Dave Andrews.    WSIU's Jeff Williams recently talked with Andrews for this edition of In The Author's Voice.

With medical marijuana now legally available in Illinois, the state's pilot program is hitting full stride.  In fact, according to national statistics, 23 states and the District of Columbia have some form of legal marijuana usage.