People seeking treatment for substance abuse often face long wait times to get into treatment programs.
In a 2021 Herald-News story, Paul Lauridsen, executive director of Stepping Stones Treatment Center in Joliet, said Stepping Stones receives about 1,600 calls a year for help and can only serve 600 to 700 of those who are then referred to other resources.
That number dropped even further during the pandemic, Lauridsen said in the story.
But a new option is now available for people who need outpatient services only: Mindset Transformations of Mokena, which offers a holistic approach using Western and Eastern practices.
Valerie Hammond, chief executive officer of Mindset Transformations, said she is a licensed substance abuse counselor.
Hammond said Mindset Transformations is licensed by the state of Illinois to offer “outpatient substance abuse treatment, DUI evaluations and Department of Transportation Substance Abuse Professional evaluations,” according to a news release from Mindset Transformations.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, a SAP is a substance abuse professional who “evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing and aftercare.”
Practice areas include early intervention services for adults and adolescents at risk for developing a substance abuse disorder, basic outpatient and intensive outpatient services, partial hospitalization/day treatment programs and programs for families and children, according to the Mindset Transformation website.
Traditional treatment includes weekly groups and individual sessions, as well as medication-assisted treatment for those recovering from opioid use disorder, Hammond said.
However, Mindset Transformations also uses complementary therapies: ear acupuncture, clinical hypnotherapy, reiki, biofeedback/neurofeedback, neurolinguistic programming, Emotional Freedom Technique, sound vibration therapy, calming herbal detox teas and Christian counseling services, Hammond said.
“There is a lot of research that shows they are effective in recovery,” Hammond said.
What the experts say
It’s debatable if “there is a lot of research,” but there is some. A 2021 paper titled “Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Substance Use Disorders: A Scientometric Analysis and Visualization of Its Use Between 2001 and 2020,” said the problem with complementary therapies is that they lack sufficient evidence-based studies, such as randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses.
But that doesn’t mean complementary therapies can’t play a role, considering the high relapse rate among people who receive treatment and the fact substance abuse continues to rise.
For instance, “nearly 296 million people worldwide use drugs, a 28% increase from 2009,” the paper said. Furthermore, substance abuse disorders are “multifactorial diseases compounded with psychology, biology, psychopathy, pharmacology and sociology, which need multidisciplinary, comprehensive, multisectoral collaborative treatment,” the paper said.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said on its website, that “complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practices can improve chances of recovery from substance use disorders, especially when used in addition to traditional SUD treatments and mutual self-help groups. They are not meant to replace traditional [conventional] treatments, however.”
The website also discusses the following practices: mindfulness meditation, transcendental meditation, yoga, acupuncture, energy therapies, Qi gong, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, guided imagery/visualization and music therapy.
And the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration published a 12-page work, “Complementary Health Approaches: Advising Clients About Evidence and Risks.”
But that’s why Mindset Transformations offers these complementary services – because every recovery program doesn’t work for every person, Hammond said.
‘If they can control their thinking, they can control their body’
For instance, some people respond to a traditional 12-step program, while others do better with one that is Christ-centered, such as Celebrate Recovery, Hammond said.
“It’s about whatever is going to work with that person,” Hammond said. “We offer a variety of support groups.”
Moreover, some Eastern therapies may affect a person’s energy flow or “retrain the brain,” Hammond said. That’s important because the subconscious affect one’s behavior, she said.
“They soothe them or relax them so they can be more receptive to the western therapy that is available to them,” Hammond said. “If they can control their thinking, they can control their body and then they have the abilities to relax themselves.”
When people gain the ability to relax themselves, they are less likely to revert back to drug use because some people do self-medicate with drugs,” Hammond said.
Biofeedback, for example, uses equipment to actually monitor symptoms of anxiety, such as increased heart rate.
“You can look at the system and know you not only feel as if you’re able to calm yourself down, you can see that you’re really able to do it,” Hammond said.
Mindset Transformations currently accepts sliding scale, self-pay and Medicaid insurance pay methods. For more information, call 708-537-7332 or visit mindsettransformations.net.