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Rehab Center Gets Medicaid Funding

LAWTON_Fighting addictions can be incredibly challenging, but help is available in Lawton from Roadback Inc., which provides substance abuse treatment for those who can't afford private rehab.

A recent change in Oklahoma Medicaid makes it possible for adults with substance abuse problems to get out-patient substance abuse treatment through Medicaid.  The treatment helps get former addicts on the recovery road back to a sober life.Roadback's executive director says Oklahoma is the first of eleven states able to fund professional substance abuse screening and treatment through Medicaid.Roadback opened a female-only residential treatment facility last year, called Pathways.  The woman in treatment there are called consumers, and once they go through detox, they go to Pathways for 45 days of rehab.

The living quarters at Pathways are similar to a dormitory, with shared bedrooms."Most people come here emotionally, financially broken," says Christina Erman, Roadback's Clinical Director.  "Their whole life is broken and we hope to help them put pieces back together so that they can be independent."

Erman wants the rehabilitated consumers "to have good relationships and get good jobs. If we help anyone in any of these areas then we have succeeded."But before they can be independent, they learn in groups about their addictions.

Roadback Executive Director Christie Taylor says women learn better together.  She says each addiction is different, but treating consumers in groups help individuals understand their personal addictions.

"After they get to a point where they understand their drug problem, there's a lot of remorse and appropriate guilt about the negative impact they've had on their children and their families," Taylor says.

"We deal with that and the trauma that may be in their lives."Consumers make paper chains to represent the chains of their addiction and what it's kept them from doing.  On each loop they write a problem in their life they need to fix.  Once that problem is addressed, the link is removed--eventually getting rid of the chains of the addiction.

One consumer says she had difficulty at the beginning of her treatment."At first I didn't even want to admit that I had a problem," she said.  "So about the first two weeks that I was in treatment I was in denial."But she realized and seized the opportunity of 45 days of rehab.  She figured out the triggers of her addiction and how to cure them."It totally changed the direction of my life."She finished treatment a year ago, and her experience with Roadback led her back to school to study behavioral science."I'm working towards being a drug and alcohol counselor because I want to try to give back some of what was given to me--because it's really awesome, the gift of recovery."Roadback also provides job training and counseling to help consumers when they return to the world sober."We sort of look at that wreckage of their life and help them cling on," says Taylor.  "We help them find hope and get the skills and inner strength to work a program of recovery."Taylor says fewer get treatment in the summer, and numbers increase during winter holidays.  She says there's no better time to start the road back to recovery than now.

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