FOR FRIENDS & FAMILIES
You are Not Alone
Supporting a loved one through a substance-related or addictive disorder or psychiatric illness can be challenging and stressful. OPHP wants you to know you are not alone. OPHP has worked with thousands of healthcare professionals and many families and friends. Feelings of uncertainty, confusion, and anger are common among an individual in a relationship with someone in need of help. We recognize that potentially impairing illnesses in healthcare providers adversely impacts their lives and the lives of those around them. Substance-related and addictive disorders and psychiatric illnesses are diseases which impact the entire family system. Experience has taught us that families who journey into recovery together are able to reestablish the relationships that have been damaged through these illnesses.
What to Expect
Substance-related and addictive disorders are primary illnesses, not moral issues or behavioral problems. They are progressive, biochemical, psychosocial diseases of relapse whose hallmarks are progressive loss of control, failed attempts at control and abstinence, and very powerful denial. Treatment can be intense, expensive, and time-consuming. However, in our experience full recovery is often achieved. Likewise, potentially impairing psychiatric illnesses in healthcare providers respond well to treatment and appropriate support.
When OPHP receives a referral, our clinicians discretely investigate the concern and often arrange a meeting with the healthcare professional to discuss the issue. Spouses and significant others may be invited to attend this initial meeting. If indicated, OPHP may recommend a professional evaluation at an approved treatment provider.
Substance-related and addictive disorders are often referred to facilities that specialize in the evaluation and treatment of healthcare providers. If the evaluation is positive for a substance use disorder or other addictive disorder, the healthcare professional will enter into a residential treatment program. Each treatment experience is individualized with most programs lasting 28 to 90 days. These programs also offer a family week where they engage the healthcare professional’s significant other and/or family in the recovery process. Psychiatric illnesses can often be evaluated locally. Psychiatric illness may require initial hospitalization, but is more commonly managed by local treating professionals.
Once the healthcare professional completes any indicated treatment, he or she enters into a monitoring agreement with OPHP in which they are asked to demonstrate commitment to his or her continued recovery. Depending on the diagnosis, the length of these agreements vary between two and five years. Contracts for substance-related and addictive disorders are typically five years in length.
While it is critical that the healthcare provider get intensive help, often the spouse or significant other is left to pick up the pieces. Some significant others find this to be an isolating and overwhelming experience - others find themselves relieved that their partner is getting the help they need. OPHP is here for you as a resource and our staff are available to assist you at any time. You don’t have to do this alone. We are able to direct you to experienced therapists, self-help groups, family support groups, and other resources to assist you in the recovery process.
Family Healing and Support Fund
The Stan Sateren, MD and Linda Stoer-Scaggs, PhD Family Healing and Support Fund is availble through OPHP to encourage and assist families who might otherwise not be financially able to participate in the “family program” of the treatment process. Family programs provide education, counseling, and other support addressing family member's needs in addition to strengthening the support system of OPHP participants. Additionally, funds will also be available to assist in the event of financial crises in the absence of the healthcare professional. This Fund recognizes the importance of the family in recovery, health, and wellbeing.
The Family Healing and Support Fund was established by Stan Sateren, M.D., past President and Medical Director of OPHP and wife, Linda Stoer-Scaggs, Ph.D. They both believe that "family support plays a significant role for individuals recovering from diseases of addiction and other illnesses". Both Dr. Sateren and Dr. Stoer-Scaggs have devoted much of their lives supporting the health and wellbeing of healthcare professionals and their families. They established this fund as an expression of their passion and as a team devoted to sustaining and enriching the health and wellbeing of healthcare professionals and their families.
You can learn more about this fund, how you can support it, or to obtain the procedures for submitting an application by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or (614) 841-9690.