Forty-five Pennsylvania Centers of Excellence (COE) will soon be available throughout the state to ensure opioid-addicted people receive the best possible treatment and aftercare in their communities. The concept behind the centers is to implement a team-based approach that’s better able to support long-term recovery by providing care for the “whole person.” For example, COEs are committed to coordinating care teams that evaluate and follow-up on all aspects of behavioral and physical health, which is essential for treating opioid-addicted people who may struggle with co-occurring disorders, like depression or diabetes. The 360-degree approach also includes referrals to community and social support services as well as family support. For a detailed look at how the substance abuse treatment program provides support to a patient, check out Meet Jane – A Center of Excellence Patient. During phase one of the program, the PA Department of Human Services implemented 20 COEs; an additional 25 will be launched by January 1, 2017. Learn more by visiting PA Centers of Excellence. Lancaster County is home to two COEs for opioid treatment and recovery: Lancaster General Health and T.W. Ponessa & Associates Counseling Services. Ponessa’s Center has just launched a free family group for anyone affected by a loved one’s addiction.  Its Center has also hired a Certified Recovery Specialist to provide support and guidance to people in early recovery. For details, call T.W. Ponessa & Associates at 717-560-7917. Get the latest information on Lancaster- and Lebanon-area prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery resources by contacting the Compass Mark team at 717-299-2831.   Image from PA Department of Human Services.   

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