Thursday, May 23, 2019

Addiction professionals: ‘You and I can heal’

MANY people struggle with substance abuse and dependence but some do not get any professional treatment because of the stigma surrounding addiction rehabilitation. For some, it is an embarrassing and unmentionable part of someone’s life; and for many, it is a punitive and coercive process inside rehabilitation facilities. But not to Joseph Jerry “Jay” Valderrama who believes that getting help with their addiction is a positive and healthy decision to make.

Jay once belonged to that stigma. His life was an open book in drug addiction. He started smoking at 12, tried marijuana at 13, drowned himself with drugs up to his 30s, and submitted himself to a complete treatment in a rehabilitation center.

God touched his life is so many ways but he ignored them until one day he listened to that small voice inside his being. He wanted to change. So in that same rehab, he started as a volunteer.

Soon he became the General Manager and the Addiction Program Director.

He joined local and international trainings until he passed the exams and became an International Certified Addiction Professional (ICAP).

For 19 years, Jay has been clean and sober. That was something impossible to imagine during those times when he was so hooked to drugs. Thanks to the treatment and his decision to change.

Now, he wants to do more and apply what he thought of as a redeeming factor in his life. He wants to put a new face to the traditional treatment inside rehab facilities. He wants to share how he regained control of his life after deciding to change. Thus, the birth of J.J. Valderrama Behavioral Management Center (JJVBMC) located in Veloso St., Obrero, Davao City.

With a team of addiction and healing professionals, Jay wants to introduce the value of outpatient treatment where the team will give premium to the ability and decisiveness of the person to change coupled with holistic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational enhancement therapy.

They believe that when a person understands his or her existence and pain, the motivation to change becomes intrinsic. They want to empower people, or commonly called as patients, to involve themselves in the community, in nature, in activities that will make them use their senses fully.

Along with the treatment and therapy, they believe transformation becomes genuine and permanent. Healing comes from within intensified with their treatment and support.

The Pew Research Center Statistics noted that substance use disorders are not just a criminal justice issue, but also a major public health concern. Addiction is a disease of the brain; it can be prevented, treated, and from which people can recover.

This is where JJVBMC comes in to treat people, to make sure they recover and never to relapse, and to advocate, at the same time, the prevention of substance use.

“A center that heals. This is what we want to be known for,” Jay, an accredited global trainer on Universal Treatment Curriculum Basic Level for Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme, said.

One of the healing professionals is Dr. Raegan Joseph T. Villanueva who is involved in civic activities related to addiction field. As Chief Mental Health Officer, he uses multidisciplinary approach to treatment.

“We focus on education, treatment, and research,” Dr. Villanueva, who had his residency training at Southern Philippines Medical Center Institute of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, said.

With them is Dr. Emily Joy Mongcopa-Delgra as the Chief Clinical Psychologist. She is involved in clinical assessment, intervention designing and implementation which includes individual and group therapy, couple and family therapy, and forensic (court and church annulment cases).

As member of the Technical Working Group of the Community-Based Rehabilitation and Aftercare Program of the City of Davao, she developed, implemented, and evaluated a psychotherapeutic intervention for incarcerated “female drug peddlers” at the Bureau of Management and Penology.

Along with Jay, she believes that true healing comes from within.

“Journeying with the client means helping him or her nourish inner resources that will help him or her find more meaning in life,” she said.

Ronald Rivera is the Director of Business Development and Community Outreach. He has been volunteering in aftercare services in the addiction field.

“I commit to help clients find the appropriate psychological, sociological, and spiritual interventions that will pave way to individuality and healing,” Rivera, a person in recovery since 2004, said.

The center caters to consultation for substance use disorder. The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) accredited physician, registered psychologist, and an ICAP will conduct screening, assessment, and drug dependency examination.

It has Case Management where the team of professionals collaborate with the client to formulate the personalized treatment plan needed.

But the center does not only cater to addiction problems. It provides psychological testing and consultation prior to carrying out any psychological interventions. It offers psychiatric evaluation and consultation.

The center also offers consultation for Home-Based Management, Corporate Wellness Program, Community-Based Recovery Program, Student Assistance Program, substance-induced disorder, adolescent behavior problem, couple’s therapy, and family therapy.

“You and I can heal. Let us sustain and celebrate life in recovery,” Jay said.


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