[00:00:00] This is Discover a New You through Recovery, an addiction and recovery podcast. Through a series of interviews with clinicians and addiction experts, this podcast tells the story of what addiction really looks like and what makes recovery truly possible. We’ll discuss everything you need to know about the nature of addiction, how to identify if it’s time to seek treatment, combating common misinformation and what treatment means, what it feels like, and how to get it. from Niznik Behavioral Health and Discovery Point Retreat, I’m your host, Noelle Carmen.

[00:00:42] Hi, good afternoon and welcome to a new series here on Discover a New You Through Recovery. Today we are going to broach the difficult topic of addiction and substance use disorders. I’m Noelle Carmen and with me today is the Executive Vice President of Clinical Operations for Discovery Point Retreat, Felicia Dejean, thank you so much.

[00:01:05] Hi Noelle, thank you for having me.

[00:01:08] Thrilled to have you. So before we move into our conversation about substance use disorder, I just want to mention to our audience, if you or someone you know is living with addiction—be it alcohol, prescription meds or any other narcotics, please don’t hesitate to call right now to ask questions and get answers. Discovery Point Retreat is located in our very own backyard, Waxahachie and Ennis. So please call (855) 916- 3289. That’s (855) 916-3289. We have caring counselors ready to help you.

[00:01:54] Okay, so, Felicia, let’s have a conversation. I’m so happy to have you here. As we mentioned, you are Executive Vice President of Clinical Operations for Discovery Point Retreat, and a lot of people are just realizing we are here in Ellis county. Again both in Waxahachie and Ennis. So tell us about Discovery Point Retreat and what your facilities offer.

[00:02:16] Right, so the two facilities you just mentioned in Waxahachie and in Ennis are detox and residential treatment centers. So there, our clients will receive 24/7 medical care and recovery coach staff to monitor them as well as weekly individual sessions. They have group therapy every single day. So that is the environment that they’re walking into as well as it’s happening in, you know, in a home-like environment, right? You know, you walk in and, you know, you have the wraparound porch, we have a pond at each of our facilities and many acres of land for both of them.

[00:02:56] Right, so we say facility but that’s really, really a misnomer. These are big, beautiful homes, medical treatments and all of the amenities of being in the country.

[00:03:09] Right, exactly. So, you know, that’s the– those are the environments that you can walk into for detox and residential. And then we also actually have our Dallas facility where we do outpatient care. Right now, it’s all being done remotely. Remote Discovery is the name our—Noelle, you can speak to that.

[00:03:34] Sure. So I want to back up and kind of slow this part of the conversation down because again, you hear this word, ‘we offer full continuum’ and I want people to understand there’s kind of three phases to treatment. Right. You can step into treatment at any phase, but there are kind of beginning to end. So there’s detox where they’re medically treated to come off of the drugs, right? Right. Yes. So that people can be comfortable.

[00:04:05] Right. So people can comfortably detox and go through their withdraws. You know, usually with the assistance of some sort of medication and other types of therapy to make it easier for them and less uncomfortable and also safer. There are substances, you know, when you become physically addicted that can be dangerous if you try to, you know, withdrawal. Alcohol and benzos are the two main ones. So I would highly recommend that if you are drinking alcohol excessively and feel like you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms, never do that alone at home. Please go to a hospital or call us, you know, before deciding to withdraw from those medications at home.

[00:04:47] Do you feel like there is that bit of information out there? Like ‘I’m just going to stop drinking. I’m just going to stop.’

[00:04:53] Yeah.

[00:04:54] Isn’t that almost misinformation that could be very harmful?

[00:04:58] Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely, I mean, like I just said, with detoxing, you know, outside of medical supervision, that can be really dangerous. You know, you’re way more prone to seizures and things of that nature when you draw from alcohol on your own, or benzos. And so, and obviously anyone that knows anything about heroin withdrawals just incredibly uncomfortable and painful, you know, so we help us history making them more comfortable. But with this stigma, right, of you know, ‘what are we going to do to, just stop?’ and, you know, ‘what are you doing?’ I mean, that’s a part of the culture that we’ve kind of become accustomed to. It’s the ‘you have a choice in the matter’, as if you could—

[00:05:43] I’m just choose to stop drinking-

[00:05:44] Right.

[00:05:45] That’s it. Not even realizing sometimes that you’re putting your own life at risk and it’s so much smarter to reach out and get medical help, medical advice to come off of those substances.

[00:05:57] So detox is about seven days, is that right?

[00:06:00] Give or take, give or take.

[00:06:02] And then I heard of many people who, they go in for quote unquote detox, go back to their normal lives, and then all of a sudden they ‘re right back in their patterns, their same behaviors for using. So there’s that second aspect of treatment, which is residential, which is really taking clients, right, and pulling them out of their environment, letting them have a break, letting them self-evaluate, get some treatment in a long term setting. Take about that.

[00:06:36] Right, so that is right. Residential treatment is what is traditionally known as rehab, right? That’s you know, you go in 30, 45 days, you get, you know, group therapy every day, your individual sessions, your family sessions. But also, I know something that’s really scary for a lot of people being away from work for that amount of time or whatever the case of being away from their family or young children, you know, that can be intimidating and scary and something that we confront all the time and deal with FMLA paperwork or short term disability. And those are things that we assist with when people come into the facilities.

[00:07:14] I think this is really important what you’re saying, so I want to stop here for a minute. You heard you talk about FMLA paperwork, how a lot of people don’t really realize if you have been working in a facility that more than 50 employees for more than a year, you may have paid time off or even just a break, right?

[00:07:36] Right. So generally, so paid time off would be up to the employer and anytime of any type of restrictions that they want to put up with FMLA. You know, what you what you get is you get to protect your job due to some kind of medical issue. I mean, there is paperwork that needs to be done, it does need to get approved. You do need to send that to your H.R. department. But those are things that we can assist with and facilitate in the facilities so that you can get the medical clearance and protect your position if you qualify. So, you know, those are those are the things that I think are important. Sometimes people don’t recognize their rights. You know, people have a right to seek medical help and treatment is part of that. And it is classified under that.

[00:08:23] I love this. I love that we’re getting this part of the message out because I can only imagine that could be a huge block for someone is that ‘I’m afraid to lose my job’. So can they call Discovery Point Retreat and figure this out with you guys?

[00:08:38] Definitely, definitely.

[00:08:38] You know, talk then through, you know, what is this going to look like when I go for 30 days?

[00:08:45] Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, and at times we know that people have businesses to run. So to assist with, you know, having computer time for them to be able to do payroll or, you know, whatever it is that they– answer e-mails. And we understand that there is a life outside of treatment that needs to be handled and taken care of. We don’t want to add that additional stressor, but we also want to make sure, you know, that you are focusing on your treatment. So there’s a balance there.

[00:09:16] It sounds like you guys have very individualized treatment. It sounds like you don’t have this one size fits all mentality, that you really go in and look at each individual. What do they need in terms of treatment? What do they need in terms of other things like diet or what kind of special track are they going to need for therapy? Because all therapy isn’t the same either, right?

[00:09:41] Exactly. Exactly. I mean, a lot of clients come in, I mean, I know obviously one of our big things is trauma and then a lot of clients come in with trauma and PTSD. You know, we have a lot of vets that have come through our facilities. And, you know, there’s a lot of things that need to be worked through and residential is just the beginning. It is just the beginning. There is trauma work and PTSD, depression, anxiety, addictions, all of that. That takes– that is not just, you know, we’re not going to wave a magic wand at Discovery Point Retreat and make all of that go away. There is there is work to be done. You know, and we’re just to set the foundation, plant the seed and work with you just to find what that transitionary plan and what that looks like for you to succeed and move forward fully.

[00:10:31] This is so amazing. So it really sounds like you guys don’t just come in and topically treat the addiction, but you also come in and say, ‘okay, well, what life skills need to happen? What kind of therapy needs to happen?’ This is, so it’s like a several pronged kind of approach to each client is what it sounds like.

[00:10:54] Definitely.

[00:10:55] I wanted to stop and tell our listening audience again what our hotline is, it’s (855) 916-3289. Let’s talk about– we talked about detox, talked about residential, let’s talk about the outpatient, because all the science says ‘oh, that’s fine, you can do detox. You can even be protected in residential in this kind of bubble. That is absolutely necessary, but that transition from residential back to life has to be intimidating in some ways for the clients.
I mean, perhaps they think ‘am I going to make it? What’s going to happen to me when I get out on the other end?’ So you guys offer that whole– that’s the whole continuum that you’re talking about, right? So all that support that happens from residential to real life, back to your relationships, back to creating your patterns and behaviors. Can we talk about that?

[00:11:58] Right, so, you know, you hit the nail on the head. I mean, that’s really what outpatient is all about, right? It’s that transitioning can be really difficult for anyone. I mean, even if you’re coming in and you have a problem and you didn’t really receive any consequences from your addiction. Plenty of people come in without having had gone to jail or, you know, smashed their car, get a DUI. Many people do, but there are people that come in and they’re okay. They just realize they have a problem. And, you know, whatever end of the spectrum that you’re on, having a continuum of care and ensuring that you’re continuing to work on the things that you are working on in residential is crucial. You can’t just– it’s like, you know, this wound starts to heal a little bit and you’re like, ‘okay, it’s working’ and kind of, you know, it’s still open but you just decide to kind of leave it alone and then it gets infected and it festers, right?

That’s what… that’s what going through an entire continuum of care is all about. Making sure that you’re really taking care of that wound, that pain, all everything that you’re going through and ensuring that you are setting a foundation that’s really going to take you on for the rest of your life. I mean, that’s what we’re here to do is to ensure that we don’t have to go through that pain anymore. The way that we have, right?

[00:13:17] It’s obvious to me the kind of passion that you have for your work. It is so inspiring to be around people who absolutely love what we do. Tell me about where that love, where that passion came from.

[00:13:34] Well, I made this joke earlier, right? ‘I get it from my mama.’ You know, I mean, really, that’s where it all began for me. I mean, that was– my mother taught me how to love and respect people no matter who they were, what they were going through, what they look like. You know, she was always that kind of person. And I learned a lot from her– I’m learning a lot from her. She’s, you know, thank God, she’s still with us. And you know, her and my grandmother and the kindest women I know. And they pass that along with me. They passed compassion along to me. I don’t look at somebody any differently for having gone through the things that I’ve seen. I’ve heard and seen a lot of awful things that people were gone through. And it’s really, really painful at times. But people are people and people make mistakes. And there’s always a chance for redemption. I mean, that is the human condition. We’re here to live and learn from each other. And that’s, you know, I’ve had to live and learn and make my own mistakes. I went through my own issues when I was younger and, you know, I had people that were there to love and support me. Thank God.

[00:14:50] And I know that you guys are here for. You’re here to love and support.

[00:14:50] Exactly, exactly. You are not alone! You’re not alone.

[00:14:58] Felicia Dejean, thank you for coming on the show and talking about the fact that you can Discover a New You Through Recovery at Discovery Point Retreat. And thank you for discussing this very difficult topic. We barely scratched the surface, but I also want to thank our audience for being here. If you are battling addiction or have a loved one or a friend who is struggling with substance use disorder, please call (855) 916-3289 – again (855) 916-3289. You are not alone. Have an amazing day.