The Process of Tribal Members Going to Treatment Shared with TGB
By Joe Morey
The process of how tribal members receive treatment for alcohol and drug abuse was discussed between members of the LCO Tribal Governing Board and Behavioral Health AODA Counselor Supervisor, Marie Basty.
LCO Chairman Louis Taylor explained that the TGB wants LCO members to get to treatment and in a timely manner. He indicated if Behavioral Health needed help with their budget to insure our members get the treatment they need, to let the TGB know.
“Is there a plan for when they get back,” asked Taylor.
Basty said that when tribal members come out of treatment we have constant contact with them.
“We are in communication with treatment staff if there are any concerns we have,” Basty stated.
“We are advocating for people who are reaching the end of their line,” LCO Secretary-Treasurer Tweed Shuman said.
Basty explained that their program can detox people right there at the Bizhiki Wellness Center.
“Dr. Tina Stec can give them medication to get through the detox and it will save $7,000 per day that they would spend at L.E. Phillips,” Basty noted. “The medication helps calm them and takes away the urges. Dr. Stec will do drug tests each time to make sure they are using it correctly before she prescribes it again.”
Basty also said their counselors can reach out to Dr. Stec at any time if they have someone in the office who wants the help. No one is ever turned down, she added.
Dr. Stec sent a letter to Shuman detailing the process for how Tribal Members can to residential substance use treatment through the Tribe. In the letter, first a person may call the Bizhiki Wellness Center for an appointment, or they may walk-in. Stec says they usually reserve an hour per day for AODA to do these appointments for any walk-ins, so they may need to wait, therefore, they encourage you to make an appointment.
Next, the patient sees AODA who then does an assessment for treatment. They first confirm with the patient that they are willing to go to treatment.
“The AODA counselor confirms there is a bed available and confirms with patient the day the facility is accepting them,” Stec writes. At that point, LCO Health Center Director Gary Girard and Basty sign a sponsorship form which contains all information regarding assessment, name of treatment center, cost and client agreeing to the guidelines. The counselor then arranges the transportation.
According to Stec, the AODA counselor helps arrange a visit for a “well check” with a medical provider stating he/she is medically stable to travel and attend treatment. The patient will need to see Primary care for this if the patient has not seen a primary care provider within the past year and if the patient is deemed medically complicated. The patient can be cleared by Recovery Clinic provider if they are deemed medically uncomplicated and has seen a provider within the past year.
Stec writes if the patient will need to see the provider, they must do so within three days. Girard will be called if there is a problem with getting this appointment promptly.
Finally, the patient shows up at Bizhiki on the day of travel to treatment and transportation will pick them up at Bizhiki.