Support for those suffering from opioid addiction

According to an article that appeared on last week, data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that a record 1,840 people died from an overdose in Indiana in 2017. The CDC report points out that Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and New Jersey saw some of the nation's biggest spikes in drug overdose deaths last year. Nationwide, about 72,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2017.

In response to the rise in these cases, Parkview created the Director of Opioid Treatment and Prevention role, a system-level position to address treatment, prescriptions and medication around use disorders in general. Shawn Fingerle, who assumed this role, feels confident things are moving in the right direction. “We’re actively creating strategies and programs that we believe will have a big impact,” he said.

Outpatient therapy

Parkview Behavioral Health offers several intensive outpatient chemical dependency programs under the Recovery Way umbrella. The curriculum is very similar, but the goal is to meet people at a time and place that works for them. The Recovery Way group that meets five days a week is for those on the acute side, who are really struggling and need something more intensive for a few weeks.

Recovery Way
Held at Parkview Behavioral Health
Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon

Recovery Way
Held at Parkview Behavioral Health
Three days a week, 9 a.m.-noon or 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Chronic pain

A lot of people with chronic pain have been on opioids for a while and have become dependent on them. We know that opioids for long-term pain management is not a great strategy. It actually makes people more sensitive to pain and presents potential withdrawals. So, as the pain gets worse and the patient goes searching for more opioids, they adopt a fear of running out and the addiction begins running their life. Since doctors are more cautious about writing prescriptions for pain medications, this often drives people to the streets where they explore other drugs, such as heroin. This creates a separate issue.

We developed a program to help people in this situation. Our goal is to get them off opioids altogether or get them on a fairly low dose. We help them manage their depression and anxieties. We can’t take away their pain but we can lower it. By getting off the medications, their pain gets better in a few weeks and their body starts responding differently.

We also have patients embrace movement. The best care for chronic pain is activity, so we do a lot of work on nutrition and flexibility, stretches, tai chi, yoga, etc. to get them moving, and then they discover that they feel better when they move. Their body responds better to pain. They might experience more pain initially but if they stay with it they’ll feel the results.

Chronic Pain Rehab Program
Held at Parkview Hospital Randallia
Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-5 p.m.


Parkview Behavioral Health does offer inpatient detox for people coming off of medications. The staff will help make the process less painful, as withdraw can be really difficult. After detox the goal is to get the patient into outpatient therapy as soon as possible.  

Getting help

We use evidence-based therapies for chemical dependency and the data shows the outcomes include decreased anxiety and depression by well over 50 percent. The program also helps people stay sober, and that’s the real goal.

If you or someone you know needs help with opioid addiction, call the Parkview Behavioral Health HelpLine at (260) 373-7500 or (800) 284-8439, anytime 24 hours a day. The team can do an assessment over the phone and help determine the level of care needed. If the patient is in active withdrawal, they might need to come to the ED and be admitted for inpatient detox.  Eventually, through outpatient services, the patient can receive therapy, pscho education, develop safety and relapse plans, acquire strategies for maintaining sobriety and start putting their life back together.


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