Rethinking Behavioral Healthcare in a World with an Opioid Pandemic

Opioid addiction may be reaching pandemic levels, with people of every race, gender, and economic station becoming addicted at alarming rates. While it is tempting to treat this problem as isolated, it really must be addressed within the context of a larger picture.


Dr. Louise Stanger, a seasoned interventionist, calls for the health care community to come together in dealing with patients who struggle with the growing multitude of interrelated problems in mental illness.


As the number of Triple Threat clients, a term coined by Stanger defined as: clients who experience a tertiary issue either as a result of a prior condition (i.e. disorder or illness) or that one that is exacerbated by additional factors (i.e. physical, legal, traumatic, etc.), grows, so does the need for proper care. Behavioral healthcare professionals must also look beyond the limitations of the triple threat definition to additional factors.


“In the light of the opioid epidemic, behavioral healthcare professionals must rethink how they address substance abuse, mental health, process disorders, chronic pain, & other behavioral health concerns. They must be visionary in their approach to treatment in order to address the avalanche of problems seen today,” stated Dr. Stanger. She continued, “While formerly I stated three may be a crowd today I know, we are at peril if we ignore the needs of this cacophonous Threesome, Foursome, FiveSome, etc., with its unique storylines, pains & pathologies. So I had an infographic created to help illustrate and facilitate this discussion.”


For people existing in this eco-system and dealing with substance abuse and/or mental health problems, money for treatment is often a stumbling block. Dr. Stanger proposes the behavioral health care community look at the treatment from micro, mezzo and macro perspectives, addressing the individual who needs help, the treatment team supporting their treatment/recovery and the accountability team supporting the individual (i.e. parents, loved ones, their attorney, business manager, or hairdresser etc.).


The era of an opioid pandemic may be approaching – or even here already – and treatment specialists will have to work harder than ever to help people overcome this dangerous, seemingly ubiquitous problem.


About Louise Stanger Ed.D, LCSW, CIP. CDWF


Dr. Louise Stanger – speaker, educator, clinician, and interventionist – uses an invitational intervention approach with complicated mental health, substance abuse, chronic pain and process addiction clients.


Louise publishes in the Huffington Post, Journal of Alcohol Studies, The Sober World, Recovery Campus, Addiction Blog and other media outlets. The San Diego Business Journal listed her as one of the “Top 10 Women Who Mean Business” and is considered by Quit Alcohol as one of the Top 10 Interventionists in the country. She speaks all over the country and is the recipient of the 2014 Foundations Fan Favorite Speaker Award and the 2016 Joseph L. Galletta Spirit of Recovery Award. Her book Falling Up: A Memoir of Renewal is available on Amazon and Learn to Thrive: An Intervention Handbook on her website at www.allaboutinterventions.com. She is thrilled to join the innovative team at Driftwood.


Release ID: 174601