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Recovery Pathways, LLC

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September 21, 2011 - Ortonville- Helping people rebuild their lives, repair family relationships, regain employment and contribute as functional members in society is the goal of Recovery Pathways, LLC, a new business that recently opened in Ortonville offering outpatient substance abuse and mental health counseling, as well as medication management.

"We want to help people make progress in all those fields," said Recovery Pathways Director Kimber Debelak. "Substance abuse is a time-consuming, lifelong, hand-holding process to recover from. Recovery is not a flat or linear process, it affects your whole family and life and needs help to rebuild and repair. We offer support for the addicted individual as well as their family."

The Ortonville location at 380 Mill St. in downtown is the second Recovery Pathways facility in the state. A Bay City location opened in 2009 and because of a lack of substance abuse treatment providers, Debelak said the facility draws nearly 300 active clients from 23 counties with an average of 350 visits per month.

The Ortonville location was chosen due to a need in the area for the kind of treatment Recovery Pathways provides for abusers of alcohol, prescription painkillers, and street drugs including heroin, cocaine and marijuana.

Debelak quotes statistics from the Michigan Department of Community Health citing 60,000 admissions to Michigan hospitals in 2010 for treatment of alcohol and drug-related maladies. Substance abuse, she said, costs the United States more than $484 billion per year in work lost, increased insurance rates, and emergency room visits, compared to $131 billion per year for diabetes. Debelak also noted that according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 20 percent of Americans in 2010 used prescriptions drugs for non-medical purposes.

"Everyone assumes a substance abuser looks a certain way, but drug abuse looks like your aunt, your brother, your dentist," Debelak said. "This crosses all boundaries and the first step is to admit there is a problem. Once you get over that first step, there is help. Abuse is not that bum on the corner, it looks like me or you, especially with prescription abuse."

There are two processes that can be used to assist an addict in recovery, Debelak said. One is the abstinence theory, using the 12-step program to stop abuse and relying on community support. The second is maintenance theory, in which medication is used for a time to assist people in abstaining from drug or alcohol use.

Recovery Pathways offers two types of medication to assist in maintenance theory— suboxone, an opiate replacement, and vivitrol, which helps prevent relapse through blocking receptors. No medication alone, however, is enough for treatment— it must be combined with therapy and support.

The main focus in counseling, Debelak said, is cognitive behavioral therapy-- understanding the consequences of behavior, the influences of behavior, and redirecting and changing behavior in order to not repeat behaviors that caused the problem to begin with.

"It's an individual process, so there is no cookie-cutter approach," Debelak said. "The key is dependent on how engaged the individual is and their willingness to change."

Standard therapy can range from six months to six years, while medication therapy is generally a year or two. Recovery Pathways accepts most insurance and payment plans are available.

Details: 248-961-3088.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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