Transforming Lives. Transforming Rehabilitation.

At Addiction Treatment Services International (ATSI), each client is treated with compassion and respect. Here, you or your loved one will learn to overcome the disease of addiction, understand why addiction has taken control and, in turn, change life for the better. Why? Because we make long-term recovery possible by advancing standards and practices in the field of substance use disorder treatment.

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The Importance of Addiction Treatment for Inmates

Written by Bethany Winkel on . Posted in Addiction Treatment

DSC_0289There has been great discussion about the need for incarceration vs. addiction treatment, but for many people, the only answer is both. There are many inmates who are serving their time and are not getting the drug rehab they desperately need. Most of the time it is due to lack of funding or lack of understanding, but history has shown that simply locking someone up is not enough rehab to help them kick an addiction disorder.

A panel of experts in Rhode Island recently met to discuss this topic and to come up with solutions. The group wants to expand access to medications like buprenorphine or methadone to treat opioid addiction among prisoners, as well as Naloxone to treat overdose.

“We need a paradigm shift,” said Dr. Gail D’Onofrio at the recent meeting. “We need to treat addiction like any other disease. When they come in we need to start treatment and when they leave we need to start a community hand-off.”

It is hoped that by providing better care and rehab while in prison, and more support after release, that there will be fewer repeat offenders getting caught in this vicious cycle. Read more about Rhode Island’s panel discussion here.

What Role Does Faith Play in Recovery?

Written by Bethany Winkel on . Posted in Addiction Treatment

file000874028411According to many, faith can play a huge role in recovery from addiction. Maryland’s Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force is one group that is turning to church leaders to help curb addiction.

“Church and church concepts provide hope to the hopeless, it brings strength. Faith-based communities try and build families. Faith-based communities try to facilitate humility, acceptance,” said Dr. Finegan, a member of the task force.

As a whole, church leaders are very open to helping in any way they can. “The whole idea of redemption and words that we preach Sunday after Sunday is at the heart of any recovery. There’s always that chance of forgiveness, and there’s always that hope,” said one priest.

Participation in a faith-based program can help a person learn forgiveness, acceptance, and renewal. It can help facilitate holistic healing in the person’s mind, body, and spirit. Turning to a higher power can help take the focus off of the person’s own shortcomings and give them strength to make it through their recovery, one day at a time.

Read more about Maryland’s task force and the resources they are tapping into here.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Written by Bethany Winkel on . Posted in Prescription Drugs

file1321340932141New Jersey hosted another successful drug disposal day this weekend. In partnership with the DEA, this was the 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back day.

Prescription drug abuse currently affects millions of Americans. Many of those who abuse these drugs get them from a family member or friend’s medicine cabinet. The government urges anyone who has unused prescription medication to dispose of it properly, like at one of these drug take-back locations. Flushing the medication down the toilet can pose health and environmental risks, and throwing it away in the garbage can cause it to get into the wrong hands.

Learn more about the National Prescription Drug Take-back day, or click here to see drop off locations in New Jersey.

New Jersey Celebrates Work of Addiction Treatment and Prevention

Written by Bethany Winkel on . Posted in Addiction Treatment, Government/Law

ChristieThis week marks the one-year anniversary of New Jersey’s Facing Drug Addiction Task Force. The task force was created under Governor Christie to address drug addiction through treatment and prevention. “What I’ve tried to emphasize over the years is to remind everybody that drug addiction is a disease. It is a disease. It’s not a moral failing,” Christie said. “This impacts entire families. It impacts co-workers, colleagues, neighbors, friends. It affects everyone who is in this person’s orbit so this is not a victimless crime or a single victim crime. We can’t just throw people in jail. That’s not going to work. It hasn’t worked for 30-plus years and it’s not going to work.”

When Governor Christie established the task force one year ago, he made it clear what he hoped it would accomplish. “Those suffering with addiction are often ashamed of their disease, leading to isolation from their families, communities, and friends and the access to help they need to treat and overcome their disease,” Christie said. “In this fight, we must not only improve the services available to help addicted individuals reclaim their lives, but it is just as important that we bring down the invisible barriers to seeking out treatment – ending the stigma and recognize it can affect anyone. I’m bringing together this group of experts, leaders, and individuals with first-hand experience from inside and outside of government to build on our efforts, and give recommendations on where we can strengthen our treatment services, prevention efforts, and strategies to end the stigma on this issue.”

The governor also announced the creation of a new referral source for addiction services. Called “Recovery Coaches,” the program will connect addicts who have overdosed with treatment professionals. A second new program proposed by the governor will make it easier for ex-offenders to get back into the workforce after their time served.

Many families that struggle with addiction are hopeful about the governor’s views of addiction. Our country overall is headed in a positive direction when we talk about treatment and prevention rather than fines and incarceration.

Read more about Governor Christie’s plans here.


September is Suicide Prevention Month

Written by Bethany Winkel on . Posted in Co-Occurring Disorders and Mental Health

walking_awayDid you know that September is Suicide Prevention Month? With all of the great causes out there, this one sometimes gets overlooked, but we need to all do what we can to create awareness about this issue. It starts with a conversation.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, according to studies. Most people who experience thoughts of suicide are too afraid to tell anyone, so they keep it a secret. Without help, these people continue to struggle and sink deeper into depression, mental illness, substance abuse, and they may try to commit suicide.

This month’s theme is “One conversation can change a life.” Talk to someone if you think they might be struggling with this issue. If you are having suicidal thoughts yourself, find someone to talk to. Confiding in a treatment provider, therapist, doctor, or good friend can be the first step toward getting the help you need.

Know the warning signs of suicide.

According to NAMI, warning signs include:

  • Threats or comments about killing themselves, also known as suicidal ideation, can begin with seemingly harmless thoughts like “I wish I wasn’t here” but can become more overt and dangerous
  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Social withdrawal from friends, family and the community
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Talking, writing or thinking about death
  • Impulsive or reckless behavior

Presidential Candidates Speak Out on Decriminalization of Drug Crimes

Written by Bethany Winkel on . Posted in Addiction Treatment, Government/Law

file000863634145At this week’s GOP debate, presidential candidate Carly Fiorina became yet another hopeful to speak out on the issue of addiction treatment over jail time. Fiorina revealed that her stepdaughter, Lori Ann, died in 2009 from alcohol and prescription drug addiction. According to Fiorina, Lori Ann battled her addiction for several years and was in and out of rehab. “As anyone who has loved someone with an addiction knows, you can force someone into rehab, but you can’t make her well,” Fiorina said in an earlier interview. “Only the addict can do that. Lori couldn’t — or wouldn’t — take that first step of admitting she was powerless over her addiction. And ultimately her body just gave out.”

Fiorina also weighed in earlier this year on what isn’t working with prosecuting young people for drug possession. “You have a lot of young people who are getting access to drugs and then they are getting arrested frequently — it’s just a bad, bad cycle. We need to create a circumstance in which people have a stake in their community — and they have a stake in their community because they believe their community offers them possibilities for a future.”

Fiorina’s opinion is like that of many other presidential candidates who are seeing the value of addiction treatment rather than incarceration.

Read more about the presidential debate here.

Facebook Post Shows the Hard Truth about Heroin Addiction

Written by Bethany Winkel on . Posted in Addiction Treatment

heroin15n-6-webA Cincinnati woman put a picture on her Facebook page of herself and her two children standing in front of their dad’s open casket. Her message: heroin is dangerous. The woman, whose name is Eva Holland, said her boyfriend and the father of her children struggled with heroin addiction for years.

Eva’s post says it all. “I’m sure this photo makes a lot of people uncomfortable it may even piss a few people off but the main reason I took it was to show the reality of addiction. If you don’t choose recovery every single day this will be your only way out. No parent should have to bury their child and no child as young as ours should have to bury their parent. This was preventable it didn’t have to happen but one wrong choice destroyed his family.”

This is Recovery Month. How can you spread the message that addiction is real and recovery is possible? Read more here.

Number of Home Meth Labs Declining

Written by Bethany Winkel on . Posted in Illicit Drugs

methAccording to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, the number of home meth labs in the Midwestern United States is declining. Authorities state that in 2014 the number of meth labs seized across the country was 9,500, down from the national high of 24,000 in 2004.

While this is good news, it does not mean that meth use is down. “What we’re hearing throughout the Midwest from our colleagues is they’re all seeing meth labs drop, but it’s critical to note that no state is saying meth use is down,” said Mark Woodward of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. “It’s just that they’ve switched sources from cooking it to importing it. Meth use and addiction are still epidemic.”

Today, Mexican cartels are manufacturing and bringing meth into the United States. Many users have simply switched from making their own meth to buying it from traffickers. In the long run this will likely pose more of a safety issue, as drug cartels slowly take over this market with their acts of crime and terror.

What’s the solution? How do we stop the use, sale, and trafficking of meth, and is this the next drug crisis that the DEA will try to face? Read more of the story here.

PTSD after the World Trade Center Attack: 14 years later

Written by Bethany Winkel on . Posted in Co-Occurring Disorders and Mental Health

WTCAs our country today remembers the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, many people are still dealing with the aftermath. Physical illness, injury, and mental illness are still causing problems for many people who were in New York that day, and these can often have far-reaching effects.

Several studies have been done since 9/11 on those that were impacted by the event. Among the most common lasting effects is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A study conducted by New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene estimated that up to 20 percent of people present during the attacks experienced PTSD, which is approximately four times more than what is typically seen in the general population.

A panel of experts describes the effects in a report to New York’s mayor. “While New York has strongly rebounded in the years since 9/11, one of the painful legacies of the disaster is its lasting effect on the physical and mental health of thousands of individuals who survived the attacks— including the City’s first responders, volunteers from all 50 states who came to assist in the rescue, recovery and clean-up operations, and area residents, school children, large and small businesses, City employees, and commercial workers.”

PTSD often goes hand in hand with substance use. Many people with this mental health condition, unable to find peace of mind and a normal life, turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. This only makes the problem worse and contributes even more to the mental illness. There has been much progress in the treatment of mental illness and substance use disorders in the years since 9/11, and those finding themselves dealing with co-occurring disorders like this should get professional help immediately.

Read more about the effects of the World Trade Center attacks here.

How Can I Help My Loved One?

Written by Bethany Winkel on . Posted in Addiction Treatment, Family Topics

file561270689520Many people live for weeks, months, or even years with an addicted loved one. Over this period of time, both the addict and their loved ones will suffer with the irresponsibility, hurt feelings, and anger that are brought on by addiction. Many people in this situation don’t know where to turn, so they continue living in uncertainty and dysfunction. In many cases, it is up to loved ones to step up and talk to their loved one and find help for the family.

The First Step is to Talk to Your Loved One

There are many reasons a family member or close friend will avoid confronting their loved one about addiction. Sometimes they are afraid of what the person will say or how it will affect their relationship. Other times they have seen loved ones get shot down when they confronted the addict and don’t want to have the same thing happen to them. Still others are unsure of what to say or how to even help the addict.

The first step toward helping your addicted loved one is to talk to them. Be honest and loving, and tell your loved one how their addiction is impacting those around them, including yourself. Tell them that you are willing to do whatever you can to help, but that you want them to get treatment for their addiction.

Consider an Intervention

If your loved one will not listen to you or other family members and friends, you need to take it one step further. Contact a treatment facility that can help you with intervention services. This will allow you and your family to talk to your loved one in a constructive, positive way, in the hopes that they will see their need for treatment. Visit the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD) website for more intervention information.

Help Yourself

If your loved one still will not listen, make sure you get help for yourself. Find a support group, counselor, or doctor that can help you with any depression or anxiety you have because of living with someone with an addiction, and to learn the best way to interact with your loved one.

In general, when interacting with an addicted love one, remember to always:

  • Set boundaries
  • Be loving
  • Protect yourself


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Please provide us with your name and phone number below and we will call you immediately.