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Recovery Care: A New Way to Treat Addiction
By Daniel Casciato

For Heather Rosen, MD, addiction is something that consumes one’s whole being. It can cause irrational thoughts, actions and behaviors. It can render a person powerless.

“It is a complex disease which results in loss of control; a continued pre-occupation which can lead to negative consequences, failed attempts to quit, tolerance and withdrawal,” says Dr. Rosen, CEO and president of Recovery Care, a primary care practice located in Jeannette, PA, that offers family medicine and addiction services.

According to Dr. Rosen, addictions can develop at any time. It can be the anecdote to a problem, a selfish desire, or a reaction to an event in one’s life. It can begin as a temporary solution to a condition and lead to a daily event.

“Addiction crosses socioeconomic barriers,” she adds. “There is no true entity to blame. It can start as innocently as the patient taking prescription medications after surgery or the individual who chose to use heroin for the first time as recreation.”

Risk factors of addiction

Drug addiction stems from the desire to ‘not feel pain.’ This pain can be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Any condition that creates a need for this escape can lead one vulnerable to addiction, notes Dr. Rosen. These conditions can be events that took place during childhood or adulthood.

Other risk factors include:

  • Some Individuals are genetically predisposed to addiction, especially if they suffer from mental illness such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, personality or other psychiatric disorders.
  • Many individuals who suffer from chronic pain can be vulnerable to addiction secondary to their condition.
  • Economic distress or other environmental influences such as exposure to physical, sexual or emotional abuse, trauma or substance abuse or addiction in the family can also act as important risk factors.
  • Some research has shown they starting alcohol, nicotine or other drug use at an early age can lead to addiction.

Caring for someone with addiction

If one of your friends or family members suffers from addiction, Dr. Rosen recommends to let them know that although they may feel helpless or powerless, there is valuable help out there.

“Sometimes the struggle is deciding what treatment would be the best fit,” she says. “Some patients need intensive outpatient services, while others need inpatient treatment. It is important to utilize resources that can help determine the best treatment model for each individual as there is not one size to fit all.”

At Recovery Care, they utilize a holistic approach to addiction. Its philosophy is that successful treatment is contingent on treating the individual from a physical, emotional, and spiritual perspective. Dr. Rosen not only treats their addiction but also their mental and physical health, as well. She serves in the capacity as a primary care provider capable of treating most acute and chronic conditions. She also has the training to treat comorbidities that often accompany addiction such as hepatitis and HIV. 

Dr. Rosen works closely with Community Liver Alliance as well as West Virginia Project ECHO via the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute.  She is also part of a grant for HIV/Hepatitis C rapid testing through The Pennsylvania Expanded HIV Testing Initiative. She has expanded her practice in West Virginia to include Family Medicine and Women’s Health given the disparity of treatment in the Keyser area.

Dr. Rosen is a big proponent of counseling; saying that it is an integral part in one’s recovery. She has the ability to counsel patients in her office and has established valuable partnerships with many counseling resources to provide her patients with continuity of care. 

“Recovery Care is unique in the way we treat our patients,” she says. “We provide compassionate care through our philosophy that addiction is a chronic disease, not a choice. We address addiction from various facets of the individual in order to create the most success.”

In order to get to the root of addiction, she notes that it is imperative to treat the individual this way—and patients feel secure in knowing that they can come to one place and receive all the care they need.

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For more information, visit www.recoverycare.org

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