MCCA was recently awarded three grants for our Prevention, Smoking Cessation and Problem Gambling Programs. We are please to be able to continue and in some cases, expand these important services for our clients and the communities we serve.
Prevention is an integral part of our mission. For close to 20 years MCCA has been providing prevention services to the Danbury area. Terry Budlong, our director of Prevention Services has refocused and strengthened the program working with Stand Together Make a Difference, Danbury’s local prevention council. Being awarded this two-year grant is exciting for MCCA as we are poised to build upon the solid foundation that has been established over the past couple of years. Keep your eyes as open as you drive or walk through Danbury for the coalition’s campaign to reduce underage drinking – It’s 21 For A Reason.
Smoking Cessation treatment has been an important addition to our menu of services recently. We know that clients in recovery increase their chances of maintaining their sobriety when they quit tobacco. In 2013 MCCA was awarded a generous grant from the Department of Public Health (DPH) and we launched Commit 2 Quit – a free program to help people quit smoking. We were able provide nicotine replacement therapy, one-on-one and group counseling to over 300 clients at our outpatient and residential facilities.
We were fortunate to be awarded another two year grant from DPH that will allow us to continue to provide smoking cessation at all of our locations starting in December of 2015. There is an additional component to the grant that will help to foster health systems change. To that end, MCCA will be hiring additional staff who will be working with six health care partners in the communities we serve. The goal of the grant is to train our partners to screen for tobacco use and refer uninsured or underinsured clients to treatment.
Problem Gambling services is another important treatment that MCCA has been providing for over 15 years. We were recently awarded a grant from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) that will allow us to continue to offer both residential and outpatient treatment to our clients and families affected by Problem Gambling.
MCCA is on the forefront of providing tools to its patients for the identification of the tendency of cross-addiction. Recognition of the fact that behavioral addictions such as gambling involve the same neuro pathways as substance abuse and/or symptoms of psychiatric illnesses is presented at all levels of care. In treating clients for problem gambling addiction, understanding the tendency of the pairing of substance use with gambling (i.e. free drinks at casinos, and the introduction of keno in bars and restaurants, etc) is also discussed. Diane Desmarais recently joined our staff as director of Problem Gambling Services and we look forward to expanding and strengthening our services in this area.
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