Walden Changes to Meet Substance Abuse Challenges
Posted for Walden Behavioral Health
By Jay Friess
According to the non-profit crisis prevention and behavioral health organization, 20 percent of their clients reported opiates as their primary substance abuse problem. By 2011, that number jumped to 40 percent.
Walden invited local reporters to its Anchor treatment center in Charlotte Hall, Maryland Thursday to explain three new changes.
First, Walden is applying to the state to give Anchor mental health clinic status. According to Kathleen O’Brien, executive director of Walden, “This will allow us to serve individuals who need medically-assisted treatment. … That application is being fast-tracked.”
Walden will also soon be able to handle and track its clients’ electronic medical records and use the information to track treatment trends and adjust resources accordingly.
“We seem to be picking up speed and moving a lot quicker than we have,” O’Brien said.
Second, Anchor has added a part-time psychiatrist to the Anchor facility who can see members of the public as well as Anchor’s clients for medical treatment and therapy.
“Substance abuse has traditionally been a shame-based disease,” O’Brien said. “We now understand that it’s a mental health issue.”
Finally, Walden has also come to understand that two thirds of its patients are male, a fact that has prompted them to move long-term residential treatment of female clients to the Anchor facility and dedicate its Lexington Park Compass facility to men.