BrightView Health Community Outreach Manager Julie Clemons spoke at the monthly meeting Wednesday of the Highland County Drug Abuse Prevention Coalition to detail the addiction treatment services provided by BrightView at the Wilmington location where she works.
BrightView is and outpatient addiction medicine practice that helps patients suffering from addiction heal through medication assisted treatment (MAT), individual counseling, group therapy, and social services support.
Clemons has been in long-term addiction recovery herself for seven years. “I felt that it was important for me to work for a place that I believed in their mission, and I wanted to make sure that when I shared something about the company, I believed what I was saying,” she said.
Speaking to other medical service providers and social services representatives, Clemons emphasized the importance of all of the drug abuse prevention stakeholders working together. “If you do something better than I do, I may be able to refer the patient to you,” she said. “I need to be able to talk to you and have those open lines of communication so that we can work together so that the patient can find and attain recovery.”
Clemons said that among the strengths of BrightView she is most proud of is that the practice does not turn anyone away based on their ability to pay. “It doesn’t matter if you have insurance, you don’t have insurance, or what kind of insurance,” she said.
BrightView subscribes to what is known as the harm reduction model of treatment to reduce the individual and community impacts of substance abuse. “What that means is we are non-punitive,” said Clemons. “So, if someone comes in and they are on their third, their fourth, their 15th, or their 35th try and they’re still having trouble getting it, we’re not going to slap them on the wrist and tell them they’ve tried too many times because there’s never too many tries.”
Medications to treat substance abuse administered by BrightView include Vivitrol, Suboxone and monthly injections of Sublocade.
Clemons said she works to make the patient referral and appointment process as seamless and easy as possible by allowing representatives of other agencies to make appointments for patients.
“All too often, we are not allowed to make appointments for a patient that has a substance abuse or mental health issue because a lot of times they want to talk to the patient,” she said. “At BrightView we have removed that, so you can call and make the appointment if you like because it’s very overwhelming to take that first step and to even make the appointment, so sometimes if we do that for them it’s a little bit easier to walk through that door.”
First-time patients can also walk in Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. without an appointment and receive treatment immediately. “You are actually going to get treatment the same day, which is a beautiful thing because a lot of times if we send somebody home, there’s a good chance that they are not going to come back, and it’s about meeting the patient where they are — being ready when they’re ready.”
New patients who come to BrightView for induction to the program receive low doses of initial medication to prevent withdrawal. “They are monitored by our nurse, and they start at a very low dose — like two milligrams — and then they slowly move up until they are at a comfortable dose for both the patient and the provider,” Clemons said.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.