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Navigating a Path through Prescription Drug Abuse

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Insights from a Treatment Center COO

As COO of a treatment center, I’ve experienced the complex issue of prescription drug abuse firsthand. This crisis has influenced my career, motivating me to create effective strategies for fighting this epidemic. Here, I share valuable insights into long-term recovery and relapse prevention.

Prescription pills in yellow bottles on a white background.
Medications designed for healing can also pave the way for dependency.

Understanding Prescription Medication’s Dual Edge

The journey into addressing prescription drug abuse begins with recognizing its double-edged nature. Medications designed for healing can also pave the way for dependency. Having engaged hundreds of clients over the years, one of the most common things I hear is, “It is a lot more convenient to get prescribed drugs than to obtain them illegally.

Many clients have told me that prescribed drugs feel safer to abuse while still offering the same euphoria as many illegal narcotics. Not surprisingly, I have met many individuals who started out using prescription drugs as a gateway to substances like fentanyl and methamphetamine. This is a shared journey for tens of thousands of Americans.

Why is Prescription Drug Abuse so Common?

Ease of Access & Perceived Safety

Prescription drugs seem more accessible and less dangerous to procure than illegal drugs. Even so, they can still be addictive and harmful, even deadly. 

Diverse Appeals

The range of effects, from reducing pain to creating happiness and high energy levels, appeals to many people with different needs and experiences. Once engaged, many people need help to stop or moderate. 

Cultural and Stress Factors

Society’s pressures and stress cause people to misuse things, which we see in the stories of those we help. How many college students have I met who suddenly found themselves addicted to their ADHD medication? Too many! 

Self-Medication Tendencies

Many of our clients use these substances to cope with mental health problems, which often leads to dependency. Sadly, addictive prescription drugs typically lead to a more rapid decline in mental health.

Supporting a Loved One with Dual Diagnosis
Many of our clients use these substances to cope with mental health problems, which often leads to dependency.

Consequences of Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse leads to severe issues like addiction and overdose, affecting individuals, their families, and the community.

This problem creates a heavy load on healthcare systems and society, with many facing the long-term impacts of abuse. It highlights the urgency of addressing this challenge head-on to prevent further harm and ensure the well-being of those affected.

Strategies for Prevention

At Burning Tree Ranch, we tackle prescription drug abuse with a well-rounded strategy: education, tight control of prescriptions, and high levels of accountability and structure. We want to help our clients recover by creating a supportive, accountable atmosphere that very clearly defines the realities of prescription drug dependency.

As such, we design our methods to address the problem comprehensively, ensuring lasting change and personal responsibility.

Our Philosophy: Comprehensive Care

Our treatment philosophy is rooted in the belief that recovery is a multifaceted journey. From initial screening and assessment to a customized treatment plan, we aim to offer a final, effective solution for those battling chronic relapse. 

Educational Leadership

Our medical director, an addiction medicine expert, educates clients and staff on the dangers and responsible use of prescription drugs.

Stringent Oversight

As an abstinence-based program, we observe stringent prescription protocols to ensure no client is ever prescribed a habit-forming, dangerous, or addictive medication.

Comprehensive Support Systems

We offer a wide range of support and counseling services using proven, evidence-based therapies to help clients achieve meaningful recovery.

Upset teenage boy talking to professional psychotherapist
We offer a wide range of support and counseling services using proven, evidence-based therapies.

Operational Excellence in Healthcare

As COO, I focus on supporting our team in offering a quality of care that goes above and beyond the standard of excellence we were founded upon. This means keeping things organized and efficient and ensuring our team provides accountable, direct care to the clients and families we serve. 

It’s all about balancing the behind-the-scenes work with the heart of our mission: to give every client exceptional care. This approach helps us stand out and make a real difference in the lives of those we serve.

Innovative and Personalized Treatment

Our clients are complex, multi-faceted individuals. We continually seek to innovate, integrating new therapies and approaches. From holistic practices like Equine Therapy and Neurofeedback to cutting-edge clinical treatments, we aim to provide what other treatments may have missed. 

Technology’s Role in Enhancing Care

Technology plays a significant role in our operations. We use data-driven approaches to collect and monitor information, adapt treatment plans, and provide more customized and responsive clinical solutions. This leads to improved outcomes for clients dealing with prescription drug abuse.

Scenic lake at Burning Tree Ranch
Scenic lake at the Burning Tree Ranch treatment center.

Challenges, Rewards, and the Path Forward

Running a treatment center is complex, but seeing people reclaim their lives is rewarding. We aim to lead the fight against prescription drug abuse through collaboration and innovation. Our goal is to provide hope and a path to permanent recovery.

Get Help with Prescription Drug Abuse with Long-Term Treatment at Burning Tree Ranch

The battle against prescription drug abuse demands a holistic strategy, blending education, regulation, and comprehensive care. As a COO, I am dedicated to doing all I can to support the fantastic team I work with every day. At Burning Tree Ranch, we seek to help create a life of excellence beyond sobriety for every client we serve. 

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LMSW, LCDC | Counselor
Kristina Robertson serves as Counselor at Burning Tree Ranch. Holding both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Social Work, Kristina’s greatest joy is “watching our clients learn to love themselves again.” An avid equestrian, mother to twenty-one horses, and all-around animal lover, Kristina serves as a bright shining example of long-term recovery in action. Her commitment to whole person health: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual makes her an invaluable member of the Burning Tree Ranch clinical team. As a distinguished Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Zeta member, Kristina believes deeply in each client’s pursuit of becoming their best selves.

"who is a burning tree client?"

Beth Legacki, Burning Tree Ranch Alumni