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MCVET Begins New Program to Treat Opioid and Other Dependencies

Stacy M. Brown | 5/4/2018, 6 a.m.
Earlier this month, the national nonprofit Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET) began its Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) ...

Earlier this month, the national nonprofit Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET) began its Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for adults 18 and older.

Officials say the initiative is an added resource to address the opioid epidemic and other substance abuse issues affecting Baltimore and other major cities around the country.

“This intensive treatment program represents a continuum of care to help improve the lives of our at-risk homeless veteran and non-veteran community,” said Jeffery Kendrick, executive director of MCVET.

Since 1993, the nonprofit has treated the root cause of homelessness among veterans, including mental illness and substance abuse. Over the last 25 years, MCVET has served more than 9,000 homeless veterans with job training and life skills in order to obtain employment that has netted an average wage of $17.62 per hour.

Overall, the organization’s programs for veterans realized a lot of success.

Further, MCVET counts as one of a few organizations that not only provides transitional housing and day drop-in programs, but also addresses the causes of homelessness among female veterans.

IOP clients will learn emotion and behavior-regulation strategies, skills to build and strengthen relationships, and techniques for the management of psychologically distressing situations, according to Kendrick.

“Local residents, which in this case will be both the veteran and non-veteran community, will now have the ability to receive outpatient treatment from a new provider offering services for those needing treatment for primary drug addiction,” Kendrick said. “Based upon recent identification of the national problem encountered by many with opiates, MCVET now joins the fight by offering an alternate facility where treatment will be offered.”

The adult intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment program is located at the MCVET facility at 301 N. High Street in Baltimore City. Morning and evening programs are offered four days per week, three hours per session and additional individualized services are provided throughout the week. Length of treatment is typically eight weeks to 24 sessions, Kendrick said.

A 24-hour/7 days a week crisis line is available, and clients can continue to work or attend school and those with obligations while addressing substance abuse issues and includes intensive family support. Special circumstances of each patient are carefully evaluated, and an individualized course of treatment is recommended, he said.

“We will be able to serve up to 60 clients when fully staffed. Prior to our recent opening, MCVET was just a housing venue only, with the ability to provide comprehensive services to 249 veterans,” Kendrick said.

Highlights of the new individualized program include certified addiction specialists, individual counseling and motivational interviewing and group counseling.

It’ll also include education and relapse prevention, individual and group family counseling, education and support, outside social support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Smart Recovery, and Women for Sobriety.

It’ll also include random drug testing.

“MCVET prides itself on the quality of services it provides to the veteran community, and now wants to offer the same type of care with regards to treatment for both those who served, and to those in the general community,” he said.

For more information about MCVET’s IOP services, call 410-347-7626 or email: treatment@mcvet.org.