Windham Addiction Treatment Resources
Windham, Connecticut, is situated in the center of eastern Connecticut. It is home to many attractive parks and informative museums, including the Railroad Museum and the Jillson House Museum. Windham is home to the famous Frog Bridge and a number of Victorian homes. Its current population is approximately 116,538 people, with the median age being 41.
Windham’s experience with substance use disorder mirrors that seen throughout Connecticut. Opioids, including prescription drugs, are having an impact on the city. A report showed that between 2006 and 2012, more than 675 million prescription pain pills were distributed in Connecticut. Windham had the second highest per-capita distribution, with approximately 31.9 prescription pain pills being distributed for each resident.
In 2019, Connecticut has had 1,196 drug-related deaths. Of those deaths, 9 were in Windham, or 3.64 deaths per 10,000 residents. During the same time, annual drug deaths in Connecticut were around 30 for every 100,000 residents.
The impact that substance use disorder is having in Connecticut can be seen when looking at the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services’ annual statistics report for 2018. Between the summer of 2017 and the summer of 2018, 105,540 people used the services provided by the DMHAS. Of that group, 50,554 were treated for substance abuse with an additional 6,947 receiving a combination of substance use and mental health services.
Clearly, there are a number of people battling with substance use disorders in Connecticut and other communities across America. Substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life regardless of their age group, economic status or race. If you or someone you love is struggling to break free from substance use, you are not alone.
In our community, there are a number of people who have successfully broken free from substance use. The same programs that help them break free may be able to help you as well.
Understanding the Link Between Substance Use Disorders and Mental Health
In the same way that substance use disorders cross all demographics, mental health disorders can affect people from all walks of life. Mental health disorders can be serious, but many of them are treatable.
These disorders impact the way that a person thinks and the way they interact with others. Mental conditions change the way people make decisions, including decisions about substance use.
Dual diagnosis, or a co-occurring disorder, describes when a person experiences substance use disorder and mental illness at the same time. Either disorder can develop first.
A person who has a mental health condition may see alcohol and drugs as a way of self-medicating. Conversely, alcohol and drugs can make a person’s mental illness symptoms worse.
Dual diagnosis is prevalent in the United States. According to a recent survey, approximately 9.2 million adults in the United States experience mental illness and substance use disorder. There are multiple combinations of dual diagnosis that can occur, so symptoms of the condition vary widely.
Integrated intervention is the most effective treatment for dual diagnosis. It was once thought that a person who had a dual diagnosis first needed to treat their substance use disorder and then could get help for mental health issues. This idea is outdated. Current thinking requires both issues to be addressed simultaneously.
Since each person’s experience with dual diagnosis is unique, the treatment they receive must be individualized. Treatment may include:
- Inpatient rehabilitation
- Supportive housing
How Does Substance Use Affect the Brain?
The brain is the most complicated organ in the human body. It controls everything you do, from speech to motor skills to artistic creation. The brain determines how a person interprets stimuli and how they respond to experiences. In short, the brain is what a person is, how they think and how they feel.
The brain is comprised of billions of neurons that are connected to create circuits and networks. Neurons act as switches that control the flow of information in the brain. Different brain circuits are assigned to coordinate specific functions. Neurons send information via the spinal cord to the rest of the body.
Neurons communicate by sending neurotransmitters into the space between the neuron and the next cell. The receiving neuron attaches to the neurotransmitter, which causes a change in the receiving neuron.
Drugs mess up the way neurons send and receive neurotransmitters. For example, heroin and marijuana activate neurons. They have a structure that mimics the structure of natural neurotransmitters. This makes it possible for the drug to attach to active neurons.
Although drugs imitate chemicals produced by the brain, they do not activate neurons in the same way that natural neurotransmitters do. As a result, abnormal messages are sent throughout the brain’s network.
Cocaine and amphetamine cause your neurons to release unusually large amounts of neurotransmitters. They can prevent your brain from being able to recycle neurotransmitters. This can disrupt normal communication between neurons.
The parts of the brain that are affected by drug use include the following:
- The basal ganglia plays a role in positive forms of motivation. These include activities like eating, sex and socializing. Drugs over-activate the circuit, producing a sense of euphoria. With time, drugs make these pleasures circuits numb to the point where it’s difficult to feel pleasure from anything outside of the drug.
- The extended amygdala plays a role in people feeling stress, anxiety and unease. This is part of the reason why people feel withdrawal after a drug’s effects fade. With time, a person with substance use disorder will use drugs to feel relief from the stress caused by abnormalities in this region of the brain as opposed to simply getting high.
- The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that gives humans the ability to make decisions, control their impulses, plan and think. It takes years for this part of the brain to mature. This is one of the reasons why substance use in teenagers is so dangerous. Substance use disorder diminishes the effect of the prefrontal cortex, causing affected individuals to seek drugs compulsively no matter the consequences.
Options Available for Treating Substance Use Disorder
Behavioral therapies help people with substance use disorder modify their behavior and attitudes toward substance use. As a result, a person is able to handle stressful situations and triggers that previously would cause relapse. Forms of behavioral therapy could include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: This is designed to help patients identify, cope with and avoid situations that could lead to substance use.
- Contingency management: This is where positive reinforcement is used, rewarding a person for remaining drug-free. They may be rewarded for attending counseling sessions or taking medication as prescribed.
- Motivational enhanced therapy: This treatment takes advantage of a person’s readiness to change their behavior and encourages them to get needed treatment.
Breaking free from substance use disorder is a long and complicated process. Substance use causes serious consequences, affecting a person’s health, their education, their secular activities, their family, and the way they are viewed by and interact with their community.
Because substance use disorder affects so many aspects of an individual’s life, treatment needs to address the whole person in order to be successful. The medical, occupational, social and family needs of the recovering individual need to be met if recovery is to be successful.
Common types of rehab programs include the following:
- Residential rehab programs: With this program type, patients are housed during treatment. Patients remain in the facility full-time. Some of these programs are locked-door programs where the patient is prevented from leaving. Others allow the patient to leave. Residential rehab programs are intensive and usually last 28 days. However, there are some programs that last longer as the need arises.
- Outpatient treatment: This is a style of rehab where a patient lives in their own home and continues with their daily routine. They go to work, go to school and care for their family. They are responsible for attending rehab at regular treatment intervals, which are determined by their needs.
- Community-based programs: These are programs that are set within the community as opposed to a formal facility. One example is Alcoholics Anonymous. Many community-based programs use the 12-step treatment model.
Two Facilities Designed to Promote Long-Term Rehabilitation
Green Mountain Treatment Center and New Freedom Academy are part of the family of Granite Recovery Centers. Each facility is staffed with experienced and caring personnel dedicated to helping you recover from substance use disorder. If you are a resident of Windham, Connecticut, our facilities welcome you.
Green Mountain Treatment Center is located in New Hampshire. From this beautiful property, you have unfettered views of the White Mountains and the Lakes Region. You will be surrounded by rolling hills, fresh mountain air and beautiful apple orchards. We feel that this is the perfect backdrop for recovering from substance use disorder. Green Mountain Treatment Center is a residential primary drug rehab program. It is adult oriented, and both men and women are treated separately. The backbone of the treatment offered is an evidenced-based 12-step curriculum.
At Green Mountain Treatment Center, the goal is to help you identify the causes of your substance use. We feel that only by getting to the root emotional, social and environmental causes of addiction are we able to build a solid foundation for lasting recovery.
The facility is staffed by master’s-level licensed clinicians. We have caring and supportive administrative staff members who work to meet your needs as an individual. Our medical detox program allows you to go through the detox and withdrawal process in a compassionate and dignified way. You will receive support from licensed medical professionals with experience in addiction medicine.
The holistic approach we take to recovery means that our focus is helping you to strengthen the connection between your body, your mind and your spirit. Especially during the early days of recovery, holistic therapies will help you to calm your mind, strengthen your body, promote a good night’s sleep and put you in the mental space needed to start getting better.
Some of the services offered at Green Mountain Treatment Center include:
- A comprehensive 12-step curriculum
- Medical detox as needed
- A private location for recovery
- Nutritious meals prepared by a trained chef
- Meditation and yoga
- Gender-separate programs and living quarters
New Freedom Academy sits on 17 acres of private woods in Canterbury, New Hampshire. This offers a secluded setting for primary residential and medical-assisted addiction treatment.
New Freedom Academy is a smaller facility that is perfect for clients who want more interaction with their clinician. There is a low client-to-staff ratio. This allows New Freedom Academy the ability to approach addiction treatment in a way that is unparalleled in our area.
Like Green Mountain Treatment Center, New Freedom Academy focuses on holistic therapies, including yoga, meditation and physical exercise. If you are able to strengthen your body and your mind, you will reduce stress, increase self-confidence and enjoy improved mental health.
Psychotherapeutic support includes process groups, cognitive behavioral therapy, one-on-one therapy and grief loss therapy.
Other features of this program include:
- Gender-separate living accommodations
- Treatment for co-occurring disorders using evidence-based medicine
- Medical staff on site 24/7
- Nutritious meals prepared by a chef
Do not allow substance use disorder to define who you are any longer. Substance use disorder is a disease. Like any disease, you will only get better if you receive care from those who are experienced in treating it.
There are many people in the community of Windham, Connecticut, who have successfully beat substance use disorder. You can too. We warmly invite you to come and be part of our recovery movement. We want you to do more than just get sober: We want you to get well.