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Feria de salud de Glenwood Springs amplía su alcance para incluir un importante esfuerzo de divulgación en español

El regreso de 9Health Community Health Fair en Glenwood Springs la próxima semana no solo marca el primer evento de este tipo en tres años después de las suspensiones por la pandemia, sino que también presenta un gran esfuerzo para informar a los latinos del área sobre asuntos y servicios de salud.

Está edición de 9Health 365 Fair en Glenwood está programada de 9 a.m. a 1 p.m. el 7 de mayo en la escuela secundaria de Glenwood Springs, ubicada en 1521 Grand Ave.

Además de los exámenes de salud habituales gratuitos o de costo reducido que se ofrecerán a los participantes, este año 9Health se acercó a la recién organizada La Clínica del Pueblo en Carbondale para presentar la primera Feria de Salud como parte del evento.

El proyecto tiene como objetivo garantizar que la población de habla hispana del área conozca los exámenes de salud que están disponibles no solo ese día, sino durante todo el año a través de las muchas organizaciones de servicios humanos que tienen su sede en la región del Roaring Fork Valley.

Más de 50 organizaciones han sido invitadas a instalar puestos con información tanto en español como en inglés, dijo Brisa Chavez, coordinadora de participación hispana de Salud Pública del condado de Garfield.

Con anticipación, las promotoras voluntarias que trabajan con La Clínica del Pueblo están ayudando a asegurarse de que los hispanohablantes sepan sobre la feria de salud y que se registren para los análisis de sangre y otros servicios. Vacunas contra el COVID-19 también estarán disponibles.

“Ha habido un gran esfuerzo para transmitir el mensaje sobre lo que está pasando y que si todos estamos más saludables, la comunidad será más saludable en general,” dijo Chavez.

Hazzell Chévez de Manzano se convirtió en obstetra/ginecóloga licenciada en El Salvador y ahora trabaja con el programa de nutrición WIC del condado de Eagle. Es la coordinadora médica principal de la Feria de Salud y brinda servicios a través de La Clínica del Pueblo.

“Muchos latinos no tienen seguro médico y no van al médico hasta que están enfermos o con dolor,” dijo Chévez.

Incluso cuando tienen una preocupación específica, a menudo no saben a quién acudir, dijo.

“Queremos que la gente sepa que hay una gran cantidad de servicios asequibles a los que pueden acceder, y muchos de forma gratuita,” dijo Chévez. “La (feria de la salud) es una gran oportunidad para aprender sobre estos recursos.

“También es una gran oportunidad para que vengan a ver cómo se encuentran de salud y si hay algún problema que deban abordar,” dijo sobre los exámenes que se ofrecerán.

Las ferias de 9Health se llevarán a cabo en abril y mayo en más de 40 ubicaciones en todo Colorado, incluido un evento reciente en Rifle el 9 de abril.

“Tras el aplazamiento desafortunado pero necesario de nuestras ferias de salud comunitarias en marzo del 2020 debido a la pandemia de COVID-19, estamos encantados de ofrecer una vez más nuestras ferias de salud en la primavera para los residentes de Colorado,” dijo Gary Drews, director ejecutivo de 9Health 365. en un comunicado de prensa.

Profesionales médicos estarán en el sitio para ofrecer asesoramiento y asistencia, ayudando a los participantes a decidir qué exámenes de detección son adecuados para ellos.

Las personas que no puedan asistir al evento aún pueden obtener los mismos exámenes a través de Quest Diagnostics. No se necesita visita al médico ni seguro.

Las ferias de salud continúan siguiendo las pautas de seguridad del CDC y requieren que los participantes usen máscaras. Se aceptarán evaluaciones sin cita previa, pero se recomienda hacer citas.

Todavía se necesitan voluntarios para el evento. Hay más información disponible aquí: [9health365.org/volunteer-1/].

Traducción de Edgar Barrantes. Puedes contactar al Reportero Sénior/Editor Gerente John Stroud al 970-384-9160 o jstroud@postindependent.com.

A message of hope amid personal loss: Glenwood Springs daughter, mother raise awareness about fentanyl danger

Ashley Adams and her mother, Cath, hold a photo of Emily Adams before the presentation about fentanyl at Roaring Fork High School. Emily died after an accidental overdose in 2020.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

A Glenwood Springs High School senior and her mother are sharing a very personal story this spring with students, parents and the broader community about the deadly dangers of fentanyl.

Ashley and Cath Adams lost their sister/daughter Emily to an accidental fentanyl overdose in 2020 after she had moved to Arizona and was working to help people in addiction recovery.

A decision to take what ended up being a fake pill for a toothache, which Emily had obtained from a friend thinking it was Percocet, turned fatal. She was 21.

“My daughter walked these same halls when she was a student, and probably had some of the same teachers as you,” Cath Adams said before a gathering of Roaring Fork High School juniors and seniors in Carbondale on April 20.

Emily attended Roaring Fork her freshman and sophomore years, before graduating from Yampah Mountain High School in Glenwood.

“If you don’t think this can happen to you, it can. This isn’t a comfortable message. It isn’t cozy. It’s very real,” Cath Adams said.

Emily ended up ingesting enough fentanyl in that fake pill to kill three people. An autopsy found no other drugs in her system.

Ashley Adams speaks about losing her sister Emily to an accidental fentanyl overdose in 2020, during a presentation to students at Roaring Fork High School
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Ashley took the call from Emily’s roommate informing her that her sister had died. It was April 28, 2020. It was Ashley’s 16th birthday.

“My last memory of her was her head showing on a stainless steel table,” Ashley told the student gathering last week. “I asked her to wake up, but she didn’t wake up.”

For her high school capstone project last summer, Ashley organized an Overdose Awareness Day at Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel to bring attention to the issue, inviting speakers and information booths from various organizations, and ending the day with an honor walk in memory of those lost.

She and her mother have since taken their message online and on the road with the founding of Aperture of Hope — Seeing the Light, an information campaign to warn of the dangers of fentanyl and its increasing presence in the illegal drug trade. The site also shares positive messages around not succumbing to bullying and other struggles that can lead to substance use.

Aperture of Hope Pledge

• Never take a random pill

• Spread the word about the dangers of experimenting and recreational drug use

• Find healthier alternatives to coping with pain, stress and anxiety

• Be available and supportive of those struggling with mental health and substance use

• Be Kind — “You Matter”

Unlike most drugs of choice, be it illegal or legal, there’s no choice for the unsuspecting victims who think they’re buying one thing but end up taking a drug laced with fentanyl, the Adamses emphasized in their presentation.

Drug enforcement officials and other awareness groups warn that the synthetic, highly lethal opioid has found its way into knock-off pain pills and other street drugs, including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. There have even been reports of fentanyl contamination in black-market marijuana, likely a result of some of the same processing equipment being used by drug dealers.

The mother and daughter have shared their message to students at Glenwood Springs and Battle Mountain high schools and before smaller groups of students in health classes.

A community presentation is planned for 3 p.m. May 15 at the Basalt Regional Library, inviting parents, students and the general public.

Cath Adams holds a photo of her late daughter Emily along with Emily's basketball jersey while talking to Roaring Fork High School students about the dangers of fentanyl. Emily died of an accidental overdose in 2020.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Central to their message is to not trust any drug that isn’t prescribed by a doctor and comes from a pharmacy. When it comes to marijuana, which is legal in Colorado for those 21 and older, it’s best to buy from a legal marijuana dispensary and not on the black market, they said.

The message to students also comes during the time of year when various celebrations, and partying, often occur during prom and graduation and other events.

“My sister doesn’t get to come to my graduation next month,” Ashley Adams said. “It’s OK to say ‘no.’ You don’t have to be the cool person. Anything that someone gives you could be laced with fentanyl.”

The Adamses also share a video documentary during their presentations, “Dead on Arrival,” which tells the story of four parents who lost their children to accidental fentanyl overdoses. The documentary can be found on YouTube.

Student reactions to the presentations are often very impactful, Ashley said.

“We ask them to fill out note cards with ‘words of wisdom,’ and it’s interesting to see what they write,” she said.

Emily was wearing a bracelet when she died that said “You Matter,” which has also become central to their message. The note cards are placed into a backpack that belonged to Emily when she died.

“A lot of the students come up afterwards and say, ‘Thank you for doing this, I didn’t know much about it,’” Ashley said. “It really grabs their attention, and I see tears for a lot of the kids that we talk to.”

She said Emily had planned to return to Glenwood Springs to work with their mother in addiction recovery. Cath is an activities coordinator at a local recovery center.

“Her main goal was to come back here to Colorado and help people in recovery,” Ashley said.

Another key message is not to hesitate with someone who appears to be suffering from an overdose. Colorado’s 911 Good Samaritan Law protects people who are at a party and call to report a suspected overdose, even if they are underage.

“Don’t hesitate to call, even if you’re a minor under the influence; you will not get in trouble if you stay on the scene,” Ashley said.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@postindependent.com.

New nonprofit battles opioid crisis in Roaring Fork Valley

Maggie Seldeen poses for a portrait at Crown Mountain Park during the Overdose Awareness Day event in El Jebel on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)
To learn more

To learn more about High Rockies Harm Reduction’s services, its schedule of services and to donate, go to HighRockiesHarmReduction.com

A nonprofit organization formed to prevent drug overdoses in the Roaring Fork Valley region is struggling to survive a funding crisis right when its resources are needed most.

High Rockies Harm Reduction provides NARCAN and educates people on how to use medicine used to reverse opioid drug overdoses, and it also provides clean needles and safely disposes of used ones. It provides special strips for drug users to test for the presence of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic drug that taints everything from cocaine to pain pills and often proves deadly.

High Rockies Harm Reduction founder and executive director Maggie Seldeen has worked with other drug counseling services in the region and saw a need for a specialty service. In August she started what she calls a one-stop shop for a variety of services. HRHR also provides peer-to-peer support for drug addicts and their families. She helps people find the services they need by providing regular hours in Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Rifle.

Law enforcement and medical officials were witnessing increasing numbers of overdoses in the Roaring Fork and lower Colorado River valleys even before the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has exacerbated issues such as isolation, hopelessness and homelessness. That triggered further increases in drug overdoses nationally. There has been a huge response in harm reduction.

Maggie Seldeen holds out a box containing two Narcan nasal spray doses while demonstrating how to utilize it at Crown Mountain Park during the Overdose Awareness Day event in El Jebel on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Seldeen said the same issues that are unfolding nationally are present locally.

“There was absolutely an increase in use of all substances, including alcohol,” she said. “Talk to anyone who works in a liquor store throughout the valley, and they were doing December sales numbers throughout all 2020 after March.”

In Colorado, prescription drugs are still responsible for more overdoses than any other drug. The damage from fentanyl is gaining.

“We experienced in the state a huge increase in fentanyl overdoses in 2020,” Seldeen said. “In 2019, there were 220 fentanyl overdoses across the state, and in 2020 there were 540.”

Garfield County’s overdose deaths increased from 10 in 2019 to 11 in 2020. Pitkin County went from “non-recordable data” in 2019, which meant none or one overdose death, to five in 2020. Eagle County saw a decline in reported overdoses.

However, the deaths don’t tell the whole story. It excludes nonfatal overdoses and cases where there are “reversals” — when people experiencing overdoses are saved by use of NARCAN or other means.

“This is really just the tip of the iceberg, because we know we’re not getting the full picture of overdoses or illicit activity,” Seldeen said. “It’s very difficult to get exact numbers.”

“I know that not everyone in the valley is a millionaire and more now than ever before so many of us are struggling just to stay here. That struggle and stress just leads to use.” — Maggie Seldeen

In Basalt, High Rockies Harm Reduction provides services every other Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the office of MidValley Family Practice. Many of its clients are referrals from the clinic’s drug counseling service.

In Carbondale, Seldeen has an office at the nonprofit complex The Third Street Center.

“I am literally three houses down from the house my mother overdosed and died in,” she said. “And I’ve lost a lot of other people.”

The “Who We Are” page on HRHR’s webpage tells Seldeen’s story in blunt terms. While growing up in the Roaring Fork Valley, she became an injection drug user at age 15. Her mother was a heroin addict and died while Maggie was still a teenager.

Maggie Seldeen shows her tattoo for her mom, who died from an overdose, and her dad, who is recovering from a heroin addiction, at Crown Mountain Park during the Overdose Awareness Day event in El Jebel on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

“Maggie struggled with her own addictions for many years and now seeks to give back to the community that created her,” her profile says on the website, HighRockiesHarmReduction.com.

Seldeen, 31, puts an exclamation point on the topic in an interview.

“I really come from a place of wanting to give back to this community and assure that the experiences that I had don’t happen to youth in our community,” she said. “I know that these problems exist. I know that people are struggling in our valley. I know that not everyone in the valley is a millionaire, and more now than ever before so many of us are struggling just to stay here. That struggle and stress just leads to use.”

She’s giving back through free, nonjudgmental services, and she hopes to continue for a significant time. She knows the services are desperately needed. She needs to find the money to keep providing them. HRHR received a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation that will renew in June, and it received a small grant from the town of Carbondale. Seldeen needs additional funding sources.

““We’re in a position where we applied for a lot of funding, thought it was going to come through, it didn’t come through, so we’re not in a good position financially,” she said.

The grant applications receive high scores, but the rewarding organizations say the needs are so great right now because of COVID-19-related problems. They won’t have enough money to go around.

HRHR will reduce from two staffers to just Seldeen part-time.

“The COVID landscape has really just rattled the health fields in general,” Seldeen said. “We’re a new nonprofit, and we’re actually in a dire funding situation right now.”

scondon@aspentimes.com

Valley View invita a participar en la Encuesta de Evaluación de Necesidades de Salud Comunitaria

Valley View Hospital en Glenwood Springs invita a los miembros de la comunidad de todo el valle de Roaring Fork a participar en la reitración de este año de la Encuesta de Evaluación de Necesidades de Salud Comunitaria, abierta hasta el 15 de octubre.

Valley View realiza la evaluación cada tres años; la encuesta ayudará al proveedor de atención médica a planificar sus programas, servicios e instalaciones para satisfacer las necesidades actuales y futuras de la comunidad.

La encuesta digital está disponible en inglés en SurveyMonkey.com/r/VVHenglish y en español en Es.SurveyMonkey.com/r/VVHespanol.

Valley View se ha asociado con más de una docena de organizaciones locales para apoyar el proceso, incluida la Cámara de Comercio de Glenwood Springs, la Cámara de Comercio de Carbondale, el Distrito Escolar de Roaring Fork, los Centros de Salud de Mountain Family, Salud Pública del Condado de Garfield, Salud Pública del Condado de Pitkin, Eagle County Health, Mind Springs Health, West Mountain Regional Health, ValleyHealth Alliance, la ciudad de Glenwood Springs, Valley View Roaring Fork Family Practice, Mountain Valley Developmental Services y Valley Settlement Project.

Valley View revelará los resultados de la encuesta antes del 1 de enero en VVH.org.

Doctor’s Tip column: The gut microbiome plays a huge role in health

Dr. Greg Feinsinger

Last week’s column was about Will Bulsiewicz, M.D., a respected gastroenterologist who wrote “Fiber Fueled,” which came out in 2020. Today’s column is the first in a series of columns based on this book.

For centuries, physicians looked at bacteria as harmful — causing wound infections and infectious diseases such as pneumonia and meningitis. Following the discovery of penicillin in 1928, multiple antibiotics were developed to fight against bacteria. Indeed, there are harmful bacteria, and — although over-prescribed — antibiotics have saved millions of lives. However, it turns out that there are also beneficial bacteria.

Prior to 2006, scientists were aware of about 200 species of bacteria in our colon, but assumed they were “just along for the ride” and that they weren’t beneficial for human health. Because most gut bacteria didn’t grow on traditional culture plates, they were not studied extensively until a laboratory breakthrough in 2006. Now, over 15,000 species of gut bacteria have been identified, and it’s estimated that there are at least another 20,000. Over the last five years, 12,900 scientific papers have been published about the gut microbiome.

As Dr. Bulsiewicz puts it, “when things are working the way they’re supposed to, we have a diverse, abundant [some 39 trillion!] community of microbes living in harmony in our colon.” These bacteria “eat what we eat,” and if we eat the right food, our microbiome supports immunity, metabolism, hormonal balance, cognition, and gene expression. If we eat unhealthy food, the gut microbiome becomes dysfunctional—a condition called “dysbiosis.” Following are common symptoms associated with dysbiosis:

GASTROINTESTINAL: abdominal pain or cramping; gas and bloating; food sensitivities and allergies; diarrhea and constipation; mucus in stool; nausea and indigestion; GERD (gastroesophageal reflux).

EXTRAINTESTINAL: weight gain, fatigue, brain fog; moodiness; anxiousness; joint and muscle aches; weakness; bad breath.

Below are common medical conditions in which dysbiosis plays a role:

IMMUNE-MEDIATED CONDITIONS: type 1 diabetes; celiac disease; multiple sclerosis; asthma; food allergies; eczema; seasonal allergies; psoriasis; scleroderma; chronic fatigue syndrome; Sjorgren’s syndrome; rheumatoid arthritis; ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease; lupus; sarcoidosis; fibromyalgia.

METABOLIC CONDITIONS: Obesity; type 2 diabetes; atherosclerosis/heart attacks and strokes; high cholesterol; chronic kidney disease; gout; fatty liver disease; pancreatitis.

ENDOCRINE AND HORMONAL CONDITIONS: endometriosis; polycystic ovary syndrome; female infertility; sexual dysfunction; hypothyroidism; breast, prostate, and endometrial cancer.

NEUROPSYCHIATRIC CONDITIONS: Alzheimer’s; Parkinson’s; schizophrenia; ADHD; ALS; anxiety and depression; autism; bipolar disorder; migraine headaches; restless leg syndrome.

The next few columns will discuss how good gut bacteria help us, how bad ones hurt us, and how to optimize the good ones. For additional information read Dr. Bulsiewicz’s book, available on Amazon, or go to his Instagram account: @theguthealthmd.

Dr. Feinsinger is a retired family physician with special interest in disease prevention and reversal through nutrition. Free services through Center For Prevention and The People’s Clinic include: one-hour consultations, shop-with-a-doc at Carbondale City Market and cooking classes. Call 970-379-5718 for appointment or email gfeinsinger@comcast.net.

Doctor’s Tip: One doctor’s path to learning about the power of food

There is a wealth of scientific literature about the power of unhealthy food to cause disease and of healthy food to prevent, treat and reverse disease. Unfortunately, doctors aren’t given this information in medical school, postgraduate training or in typical medical conferences (the majority of which are sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry).

I recently met a bright young urologist at Valley View Hospital, Aashish Kabra, M.D., who was raised in a vegetarian household but who became totally plant-based a few years ago after happening upon the aforementioned literature. Kabra told me he works plant-based nutrition into the conversations he has with most patients, because food plays a key role in many urologic disorders. He also told me about his “new favorite book,” called “Fiber Fueled, The Plant-Based Gut Health Program for Losing Weight, Restoring Your Health, and Optimizing Your Microbiome,” by gastroenterologist Will Bulsiewicz, M.D., MSCI (Master of Science in Clinical Investigation — in other words, he’s an expert in analyzing and interpreting clinical studies).

The next few columns will be based on “Fiber Fueled,” but first it’s important to know Dr. Bulsiewicz’s story. He attended Vanderbilt for undergraduate school, then graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine, was chief medical resident at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and chief gastroenterology fellow at The University of North Carolina Hospitals. He earned the MSCI degree from Northwestern, and did an epidemiology fellowship (where you look at large populations of people, see what they eat, what diseases they get, and what they die from) at University of North Carolina School of Global Public Health. He has written over 20 articles in top American gastroenterology journals.

Dr. Bulsiewicz notes that the average American eats 3 pounds of food a day, 1,000 pounds per year, and about 80,000 pounds of food during an 80-year lifespan. So it’s no wonder that what we eat affects our health. As he puts it: “You could nourish your body with life-giving food and reap the rewards of better health. Or you can punish your body with poisons disguised as food that actually take health away with every bite.”

Dr. Bulsiewicz admits to being a junk food addict growing up. Like most physicians, he received minimal training about nutrition in medical school. During the subsequent 10 years of training to become a board-certified gastroenterologist, nutrition was never mentioned again. Toward the end of his training, although he was able to drag himself to the gym a few times a week, he was 50 pounds overweight and felt tired, overworked and just plain lousy.

Then he met his future wife, who happened to be on a plant-based diet, and he began to realize there was a better, healthier way to eat. He lost weight, no longer had “post-meal hangovers,” and felt more energized and stronger. His mind had “more stamina for work,” his mood became more positive, and he looked better.

He began to wonder why he hadn’t heard about plant-based nutrition during his years of medical training and figured there probably weren’t good studies to support it. Having an advanced degree in clinical investigation, he spent some time in the medical library, and found “a mountain of evidence to support the way I was feeling.” He found “study after study providing a uniform, consistent result. Plants are good for our health.” Plants have the most nutrients per calorie of any type of food. They have “vitamins, minerals, antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, and unique medicinal chemicals found in only plant food, called phytonutrients.” Furthermore, Dr. Bulsiewicz found out why fiber is so important. He learned that only plants have fiber, which he came to believe is “the single most important missing piece in the American diet.” This led to his book, “Fiber Fueled.”

Dr. Feinsinger is a retired family physician with special interest in disease prevention and reversal through nutrition. Free services through Center For Prevention and The People’s Clinic include: one-hour consultations, shop-with-a-doc at Carbondale City Market and cooking classes. Call 970-379-5718 for appointment or email gfeinsinger@comcast.net.

Combatiendo una “enfermedad del aislamiento” con la comunidad en recuperación

Una bandera de ángel se coloca junto a banderas moradas para el Día de Concientización sobr la Sobredosis en un evento en Crown Mountain Park en El Jebel el martes 31 de agosto de 2021.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

Keir Gallik puede trazar una línea directa entre su historial de salud mental y el uso de sustancias.

“Creo que los problemas de salud mental fueron lo primero. Creo que llegaron a una edad temprana en la que tal vez ni siquiera era lo suficientemente consciente para reconocerlos o ponerles una etiqueta,” dijo Gallik, un miembro de la junta de Aspen Strong que ahora lleva más de cinco años y medio sobrio y viviendo en Aspen. “Simplemente se sentía como si algo no anduviera bien, y descubrí, al menos en mi caso, que había encontrado alivio en el alcohol y las drogas y en hacer lo que estaba haciendo, eso funcionó.”

Hasta que dejó de hacerlo.

Las raíces de ésta, la ansiedad y la acumulación de traumas, todavía estaban presentes, y el alivio temporal obtenido por el uso de sustancias comenzó a disminuir, según Gallik. Después de algunas otras rondas con el tratamiento hospitalario en otro lugar, aterrizó en Jaywalker Lodge, un centro de tratamiento de adicciones de Carbondale para hombres.

Ese programa (que completó y en el que luego se quedó como miembro del personal durante un par de años) y la participación en Alcohólicos Anónimos fueron fundamentales para su recuperación.

“Lo que hizo fue simplemente traerme de regreso a un lugar donde podía involucrarme por completo en la vida y, ya sabes, estar allí para todos los altibajos,” dijo Gallik.

Gallik no está solo. La mayoría de las veces, el uso de sustancias está intrínsecamente entrelazado con los desafíos de salud mental: los dos son “concurrentes” en la mayoría de los clientes que vienen al centro de recursos de recuperación A Way Out, dijo la directora ejecutiva de la organización sin fines de lucro, Elizabeth Means.

“Van de la mano, y creo que es parte de la naturaleza humana querer intentar solucionarlo, como quien dice ‘Está bien, no me siento bien. ¿Qué necesito?,’” Dijo Means.

Los profesionales de la recuperación de adicciones y los mismos que están en recuperación están de acuerdo en que rara vez, si es que alguna vez, se trata de una situación de “una u otra.”

“Es algo así como ¿Qué vino primero, el huevo o la gallina? Hay una conexión importante,” dijo MaryMike Haley, directora clínica de Aspire Recovery for Women, un centro de tratamiento con sede en Carbondale.

Es común que alguien que vive con adicción también tenga ansiedad o depresión, según Haley; también pueden estar lidiando con un trauma o viviendo con un “problema complejo de salud mental” como el trastorno bipolar o el trastorno por déficit de atención, dijo.

Esas afecciones de salud mental no desaparecen cuando una persona se recupera de la adicción, sino a veces todo lo contrario, dijo Haley.

“Cuando dejas las drogas y el alcohol, esas cosas tienden a exacerbarse, ¿cierto?” Dijo Haley. “Debido a que tu mecanismo principal de enfrentamiento para reducir los problemas de salud mental que están emergiendo, ya no lo tienes.”

Sin embargo, con el tiempo y con los recursos de recuperación adecuados, ese péndulo comienza a volver al centro, dijo Patrick Shaffer, jefe de admisiones y mercadeo de Jaywalker Lodge.

“Vemos, en algunos casos, que (la condición de salud mental coexistentes) se encuentra en un nivel de diagnóstico en el que necesitan apoyo continuo, a través de todo un proceso de tratamiento, y algo con lo que continuarán viviendo, y también lo vemos vinculado directamente con el tiempo sin consumo de sustancias, por lo que podemos ver que la ansiedad y la depresión se disipan con el tiempo a medida que alguien pasa más tiempo limpio y sobrio,” dijo Shaffer.

“Ya no es una conversación sobre la gallina o el huevo,” agregó Stefan Bate, jefe de operaciones clínicas de Jaywalker. “Es el huevo y la gallina juntos.”

Las condiciones coexistentes son “la expectativa ahora, no es la excepción,” dijo Bate, y el plan de tratamiento de Jaywalker lo considera con el tratamiento integrado.

“Hacer un trabajo realmente responsable y de buena salud mental, trabajo de trauma y trabajo de adicción es esencial, porque si alguien tiene un trauma o salud mental sin tratamiento, eso será su mayor catalizador de una recaída en las sustancias,” dijo Bate. “Y viceversa: si alguien está realmente luchando principalmente con la salud mental, pero sigue consumiendo sustancias, los resultados de su trastorno de salud mental serán … bastante malos.”

Esa línea de pensamiento no siempre fue la norma en la recuperación, según Bate y otros en el campo.

“El tratamiento histórico realmente lo separó: Veías al tratamiento de la adicción, veías al tratamiento de salud mental y no lo hacías de una manera integrada y coexistente,” dijo.

Cuando Haley alcanzó la sobriedad hace 32 años a la edad de 18, “No había conciencia de la conexión entre el trauma, la salud mental y la adicción”, dijo ella. Tanto es así que le dijeron que no desempaquetara parte de su trauma infantil en las primeras etapas de la recuperación porque ella era demasiado joven y podría provocar una recaída.

Ese no es el caso ahora, y ciertamente no en Aspire, que adopta un enfoque de “persona completa” para la recuperación.

“Ese formato dentro de la comunidad de recuperación de adicciones ha cambiado por completo, cierto, que realmente necesitamos abordar las cuestiones de salud mental, que realmente necesitamos abordar el trauma.” dijo Haley, “porque los síntomas de lidiar con esos problemas, creo que uno de los síntoma es la adicción.”

Maggie Seldeen, fundadora y directora ejecutiva de High Rockies Harm Reduction, posa para un retrato en Crown Mountain Park durante el evento del Día de Concientización sobre la Sobredosis en El Jebel el martes 31 de agosto de 2021.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

Maggie Seldeen, fundadora y directora ejecutiva de High Rockies Harm Reduction en Carbondale, comparte esa opinión. No es solo la salud mental por sí misma. Los factores estresantes, como la vivienda y la inseguridad laboral, son desafíos acumulantes para quienes buscan la recuperación.

“Creo que el consumo de sustancias es un síntoma y no la causa,” dijo Seldeen. “Creo que, en la mayoría de los casos, es el síntoma de problemas de salud mental subyacentes que no se han atendido de manera efectiva, por lo que pienso que si podemos ayudar a las personas a lograr estabilidad en su vivienda, en su profesión, en su familias y ayudarlos a abordar estos problemas de salud realmente mental, entonces podremos comenzar a ver un cambio en el comportamiento.”

El trabajo de Seldeen con High Rockies Harm Reduction se centra en aliviar el daño en lugar de buscar exclusivamente la sobriedad. Las iniciativas incluyen servicios de acceso a jeringas, apoyo entre iguales y capacitación sobre cómo administrar Narcan, un aerosol nasal que puede salvar vidas y que puede tratar las sobredosis de opioides en situaciones de emergencia.

El objetivo es mantener a las personas seguras, uno de los muchos componentes de lo que Seldeen ve como un enfoque estratificado para el uso de sustancias y los recursos de salud mental.

“Cuando tienes algo por lo que vivir, tienes una razón para abordar tus necesidades y tus problemas. … Si podemos brindar a las personas el apoyo y los servicios de salud mental que necesitan, y que serán relevantes para ellos, creo que eso realmente puede ayudar con estos problemas de uso de sustancias o adicciones,” afirmó Seldeen.

El efecto cuentagotas

Aspen tiene una reputación enorme por el uso de sustancias. Y en Aspen la atmósfera de una cultura de trabajar duro y luego jugar aún más duro va mucho más allá de la rotonda, según Seldeen.

“Hay un efecto cuentagotas de la cultura de andar de fiesta,” dijo Seldeen.

Seldeen observó que la normalización del uso de sustancias en Aspen, especialmente en la industria de restaurantes, donde el uso de drogas y alcohol es prevalente en particular, dijo, puede fluir valle abajo hacia Carbondale o Rifle o Parachute cuando los trabajadores regresan a casa al final del día.

Pero la abundancia de recursos de recuperación y reducción de daños en el condado de Pitkin no fluye con esa situación, dijo Seldeen.

“(En Aspen), se considera que no tiene consecuencias porque las personas que consumen (sustancias) tienen recursos, y un punto realmente importante es que, solo porque eres millonario, no significa que no estés consumiendo heroína o cocaína, ¿cierto? Dijo Seldeen. “Significa que tienes los recursos para hacerlo en un entorno seguro.”

Sin embargo, dicho efecto cuentagotas” no significa necesariamente que el uso sea el mismo en todo el valle.

El valle de Roaring Fork no es un monolito. La cultura que rodea al uso de sustancias, y las sustancias que se usan, puede variar de Aspen a Parachute o incluso entre ciudades vecinas como Aspen y Snowmass Village o Rifle and Silt, de acuerdo con Seldeen.

“Veo cómo algunas de nuestras comunidades tienen recursos que otras no tienen y viceversa, por lo que hay que viajar mucho para acceder a los servicios adecuados, ¿verdad?” Dijo Seldeen.

Means, cuyo trabajo con A Way Out se enfoca en parte en llenar las brechas financieras en salud mental y acceso a la recuperación en todo el valle, dijo que ve una mayor necesidad de recursos en el condado de Garfield que en el condado de Pitkin.

“Hay más (personas) que necesitan recursos, cuanto más abajo nos desplazamos,” dijo Means. “La enfermedad mental es una enfermedad bastante equitativa que afecta a todos, sin importar dónde vivas, pero definitivamente, se necesitan más recursos financieros valle abajo.”

Los desafíos financieros también pueden complicar la situación para las personas que buscan recursos de recuperación clínica. Los programas como Alcohólicos Anónimos y otros grupos de apoyo son gratuitos, pero el tratamiento clínico para pacientes hospitalizados y algunas terapias para pacientes ambulatorios no son baratos.

Los proveedores de seguros y Medicaid no siempre cubren todos los programas, incluidos los programas especializados que podrían ser los más adecuados para el individuo, dijo Means.

Incluso entonces, el largo proceso de aprobación para quienes tienen Medicaid puede llevar a un valioso tiempo de recuperación en el limbo, esperando la luz verde para obtener ayuda, según Means.

“Puede tardar meses entrar en eso,” dijo Means. “Y muchas veces, la gente no tiene un mes, ¿verdad?”

‘La pelea es la misma’

El dinero y el seguro no son las únicas, ni siquiera las principales, barreras que se interponen entre las personas y el apoyo para la salud mental y el uso de sustancias que necesitan. El miedo a la opinión puede ser un obstáculo importante que superar, dijo Jenny Lyons, administradora de programas de salud mental de Salud Pública del Condado de Pitkin.

“En total lo que llamamos estigma es evitar que las personas obtengan la ayuda que necesitan,” dijo Lyons en una entrevista con Chelsea Carnoali, analista de salud mental del condado de Pitkin.

Los grupos regionales de salud pública están trabajando para contrarrestar esto mediante el desarrollo de campañas de mensajes que se centran en normalizar la obtención de ayuda para los problemas de salud mental, dijeron Lyons y Carnoali.

“Es muy interesante cómo nuestra pequeña cultura de la burbuja de Aspen encaja en cómo se ve nuestra versión del estigma,” dijo Carnoali.

Gran parte del trabajo consiste en recordarle a la gente que está bien no estar bien en un lugar donde tantos otros vienen a escapar; la pertenencia y la comunidad en una ciudad turística también son parte de la ecuación para lugares como Aspen.

“La gente (está) viniendo a nuestra área, (diciendo que es) tan hermosa, y todos deberíamos estar felices, junto con la brecha muy clara en los ingresos y una brecha muy clara de privilegios o disponibilidad de recursos y lo que eso también le hace a la salud mental y sentido de pertenencia,” dijo Carnoali.

El hecho es que cualquier persona puede tener problemas de salud mental y el uso de sustancias, dijo Gabe Cohen, quien dirige el centro de recursos Discovery Cafe en Rifle y se ha recuperado de la adicción desde 2018.

“No importa en qué condado, pueblo o ciudad te encuentres,” dijo. “Los problemas, el trauma, la lucha, la lucha son todos iguales. … Realmente no importa si estás en una zona rural de Estados Unidos o, ya sabes, en el lujoso Aspen, Colorado, la adicción a la adicción.”

Cohen ve Discovery Cafe como un “centro comunitario de recuperación” con una definición amplia de recuperación que se extiende más allá de la adicción para incluir trauma, falta de vivienda, encarcelamiento y otros desafíos.

“Queremos que todos sepan que son amados y valorados, y dejamos los juicios en la puerta”, dijo.

Conectando a través de la experiencia vivida

El sentido de comunidad y pertenencia puede ser un componente decisivo para la recuperación, según los proveedores de recursos. Es uno que Roaring Fork Valley está en una posición única para brindar a través de la recreación al aire libre; las conexiones forjadas en los senderos y laderas de la región pueden ayudar a contrarrestar lo que algunos profesionales del tratamiento de adicciones consideran una enfermedad del aislamiento.

“Eso es sin duda, diría yo, la lucha más grande que enfrentan las personas en la recuperación temprana o intermedia es la lucha por encontrar una comunidad sin, ya sabes, sustancias o fiestas”, dijo Gallik, ex alumno de Jaywalker Lodge.

Aquí, ha podido encontrarlo, en parte debido al énfasis de Jaywalker en la recreación al aire libre. Gallik, quien creció pasando tiempo al aire libre en su ciudad natal de Bozeman, Montana, dijo que Jaywalker lo reconectó con el aire libre y lo colocó en una comunidad de compañeros de ideas afines; fue un “un punto de inflexión.”

“Pude ver personas a las que respetaba y personas con las que me llevaba muy bien, que lo estaban haciendo bien y que se esforzaban por ser mejores personas, por estar sobrias y vivir su vida”, dijo Gallik. “Eso me hizo pensar, ‘Wow, yo también podría hacerlo, se puede lograr.’ Realmente le dio una cara familiar a esta idea de mejorar.”

La experiencia vivida y la conexión entre iguales pueden marcar una gran diferencia en el tratamiento y la recuperación de la adicción, dijo Seldeen de High Rockies Harm Reduction.

“Si podemos construir relaciones de confianza y compasión con las personas, así es como podemos llevarlas a los servicios que necesitan,” dijo.

Y puede ser igualmente valioso para las personas que conocen a sus seres queridos que están lidiando con la adicción, dijo la fotógrafa Cath Adams. Su hija Emily estuvo en recuperación durante tres años antes de morir por una sobredosis accidental de fentanilo en 2020.

“No quieres que nadie pase por esto,” dijo Adams en una entrevista conjunta con su hija menor Ashley en su patio trasero en El Jebel. “Y no pudiste despedirte. Te despiertas una mañana y tu hija se ha ido, y realmente quieres hacerlo, te apasionas mucho.”

Cath fundó Aperture of Hope hace aproximadamente una década como una forma de ayudar a los jóvenes a interactuar con el aire libre y enfrentar los desafíos de la vida a través de lo que ella llama “fotografía de concientización.” Desde entonces, ha evolucionado hacia apoyo entre iguales y entrenamiento de recuperación para quienes luchan contra el uso de sustancias.

Ashley también está involucrada. La estudiante de último año de Glenwood Springs High School organizó un evento del Día de Concientización sobre la Sobredosis en Crown Mountain Park el 31 de agosto con oradores que compartieron su experiencia vivida, música, una caminata de honor, puestos de recursos y una capacitación dirigida por Seldeen sobre cómo administrar Narcan.

La concientización era solo un componente; la programación del evento y esa experiencia vivida compartida también contrarrestaron esa noción de estigma que rodea al uso de sustancias y la salud mental.

“Quiero que se esparza el mensaje de que las personas son más que su adicción, y todos tienen una historia,” dijo Ashley en el evento. “Concientizar y hablar sobre la adicción no debería ser vergonzoso, y todos merecen recibir la ayuda que necesitan. Quiero que se sepa que eres importante, sin importar lo que piensen los demás, especialmente en la sociedad en la que vivimos hoy.”

Ashley y Cath también plantaron banderas moradas en varios lugares del valle este año y la última vez para conmemorar a los que murieron de sobredosis en los condados de Garfield, Eagle y Pitkin; hubo 52 en cada ubicación durante el período 2017-2019 el año pasado y 72 durante el período 2017-2020 este año.

Para Ashley, que ahora ingresa a su último año de secundaria sin su hermana mayor, los metas perdidas son un recordatorio de un camino alternativo; su trabajo durante el último año también ha fortalecido su pasión por ayudar a los demás, dijo.

“Ella no estará allí cuando me gradúe, así que eso es difícil, pero sé todo lo que pasó, yo no estoy haciendo lo mismo, así que de alguna manera, ella me ayudó, me mostró lo que no debo hacer,” dijo.

Los dos esperan que su propia experiencia vivida pueda ayudar a otros a navegar el panorama de apoyar a un ser querido con adicción y sobrellevar el dolor de perder a alguien por una sobredosis.

“Lo he visto. He estado allí. … He aprendido muchísimo,” dijo Cath. “Simplemente no comenzó cuando ella tomó esa píldora y falleció; todo lo que sucedió antes, era una gran cantidad de conocimiento.”

‘Su vida también tiene sentido’

La participación también ha sido una forma para que Cath encuentre curación y propósito.

“Siento que he encontrado el sentido de la vida,” dijo. “Ahora solo quiero que todos sientan, cuando están sufriendo, que su vida también tiene sentido.”

El proceso de curación se ve diferente para todos: aquellos en recuperación, aquellos que enfrentan una pérdida, aquellos que quieren apoyar a un ser querido que vive con adicción.

Tampoco es lineal; Seldeen quiere enfatizar que quienes pueden entrar en una recaída o dar un paso en falso en el camino se puede volver a donde empezaron.

“Es mucho más difícil volver a subir a ese vagón. … No tiene por qué ser así, pero se siente como si estuvieras empezando desde el punto de partida, y te sientes tan impotente, y puede ser muy difícil ver esa realidad de la sobriedad en tu propia vida,” dijo. dijo.

Pero el rotundo mensaje de Seldeen y otros en la recuperación, además del estímulo para buscar y aceptar ayuda, es que hay esperanza para el futuro.

“No tenía idea de cuánto iba a disfrutar estar sobria,” dijo Seldeen, ahora dos años y medio sobria. “Sabía lo cansada que estaba de ser la persona que había sido, y fue genial conocer a esta nueva persona. … Estar sobria es como una especie de euforia para mí.”

RECURSOS PARA LA RECUPERACIÓN Y USO DE SUSTANCIAS

Reuniones y lugares de encuentro

Alcohólicos Anonimos de Colorado, Distrito 14 (de Glenwood Springs a Aspen, Vail a Parachute)

970-245-9649 o 888-333-9649

COAADistrict14.org/meetings/

The Meeting Place (Carbondale)

981 Cowen Drive, Carbondale

MeetingPlaceCarbondale.org/meetings-1

Narcóticos Anónimos Mountain West Division (Aspen, Basalt, Breckenridge, Carbondale, Eagle, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Rifle, Vail Valley)

NAColorado.org/mountainwest/MWMeetingList.pdf

970-306-6535

Terapistas, Centros de Tratamiento y de Recuperación

Aspen Strong Directory

Directory.AspenStrong.org

Usa la categoría “Issues” del filtro para ver proveedores a lo largo del valle que se especializan en adicción, alcohol y uso de drogas

Narcan Access and Training

High Rockies Harm Reduction (Carbondale)

HighRockiesHarmReduction.com

En caso de emergencia por sobredosis, llama al 911.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@postindependent.com.

Hiking for hope: Basalt man pursues ambitious goal to raise funds, awareness for mental health issues

Steven Fotion, left, Shannon von Driska, on FaceTime, and Assaf Dory will be climbing Mt. Elbert in September with a fourth teammate, Wong Dash, and are raising money and awareness for their cause on Thursday, April 29, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Basalt resident Assaf Dory isn’t going to let the loss of a leg prevent him from climbing Colorado’s highest peak.

Dory will team with three other military veterans who are facing severe injuries to climb Mt. Elbert in September to raise funds for Challenge America and build awareness for mental health issues, particularly among military veterans, first responders and people dealing with social isolation.

Dory is well known in Basalt for his positive attitude and involvement in civic issues. He is easily recognizable because he is a big, strong fella with an easy smile who is often seen around town in a wheelchair or walking with crutches.

Given his affable nature and positive attitude, it was a bombshell Tuesday when he revealed to the Basalt Town Council the severity of issues he is facing from his leg injury. The topic came about while he was outlining the Mt. Elbert fundraiser.

Dory, 50, said he has endured 45 surgeries on his leg after suffering an injury while on duty as a deputy sheriff in Florida 17 years ago. He is suffering from complex regional pain syndrome, a rare disorder of the nervous system as a result of the trauma to the leg.

“There’s nothing you can really do about this disease,” Dory told the council. “It’s known as the suicide disease. I’ve been dealing with it for a long time.

“I’ve been dealing with suicidal thoughts and how to battle that. I’m blessed to have a daughter that’s 12 years old. All this time dealing with 45 surgeries, I’ve been focused on my daughter and to be able to walk with her hand in hand. I was able to do that about three months ago and I found myself crying.”

A couple of days later, he said, he asked himself what was the next big goal in his life. He came up with the idea of the Mt. Elbert Challenge. He aims to hike the 4.3-mile North Elbert Trail that has an elevation gain of 4,400 to the summit of 14,433. He will be joined by Shannon von Driska, Steven Fotion and Dash Wong.

Their goal, Dory said, is to show “with friends and family, we can overcome any mountain.”

Von Driska, 33, broke her ankle and leg in 2007 while training to be a U.S. Army medic. After a fourth surgery, which was supposed to be routine, she was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome. She said she faces prolonged physical and mental health issues from the cumulative impact of her experiences in the military. She is a resident of Madison, Wisconsin, and befriended Dory through an online support group for people battling CRPS.

Wong is a former Navy SEAL who served on multiple combat deployments. He retired from the military after 16 years after losing his right lung to cancer. The Roaring Fork Valley resident was diagnosed earlier this year with COVID-19 and suffered 40 percent scar tissue damage to his remaining lung.

Fotion, a general contractor in the valley, is also a competitive strongman and bodybuilder as well as a personal trainer who has taken a particular interest in working with people with disabilities. Fotion, who spent six years in the U.S. Army Reserve, is a friend and trainer of Dory. Fotion gained a new perspective on dealing with disabilities in January when he suffered a catastrophic injury to both quadriceps tendons during a competition. He is slowly recovering from the muscle detachments.

Von Driska has the challenge of not only dealing with CRPS but also acclimating so she can undertake the climb at high elevation. She’s undaunted. She said she signed up as soon as Dory told her about it. She wants to build awareness of the mental issues that military veterans face, often because of post-traumatic stress disorder. She wants to build awareness among vets that it is acceptable and beneficial to seek help. The Mountain Elbert Challenge can bring the issues to light.

“It will show that when you work together, you can accomplish anything,” she said.

Steven Fotion, left, Shannon von Driska, and Assaf Dory share a laugh when discussing their upcoming Mt. Elbert Challenge and the training leading up to it on Thursday, April 29, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Dory also has an interest in helping veterans. He was born and raised in Israel and served as a staff sergeant in the Israeli Defense Forces during the first Gulf War. He moved to the United States in 1992 and was injured in the line of duty.

Dory said he and von Driska know they will pay a particular price climbing to Mt. Elbert.

“For a week we will be bedridden. That’s the price we will pay,” he said.

His right leg was amputated above the knee. He is one of the first civilians to have gone through a procedure that directly connects the prosthetic to his endoskeletal system. Von Driska asked him about having her injured leg amputated to try to ease the CRPS she endures. She decided against it.

“It’s living with nonstop pain,” she said. “Yes, it’s rare but it’s a killer. That’s why it’s called the suicide disease.”

After her final surgery, she said, it felt like her ankle was going to explode. The procedure triggered the malfunction of her nervous system. It extends beyond her damaged limb.

“If the wind goes against your skin, it’s excruciating,” von Driska said. “It’s a daily battle.”

It is hard for family and friends to understand what’s going on because it is a mostly invisible problem, she said. She is often bedridden.

Dory said he has had stimulators installed in his body to block nerve signals from his “stump” to his brain. Nevertheless, he regularly is affected by “flares” that spread beyond his phantom limb. At times, he explained, it might feel like somebody threw acid on his face. He also experiences convulsions, sores and period where he cannot see or hear.

On Thursday, he was relieved to have slept six hours the night before. Prior to that, he had gone 60 hours without sleep because of the pain.

So what constitutes a good day?

“I’m very big about the little things,” von Driska said. Being able to do the laundry or take a walk is huge.

“We don’t take anything for granted,” Driska said. “If we sleep, that’s the best f—ing day ever.”

Dory added, “Shannon nailed it — the small stuff.”

He stressed they don’t want pity, just awareness and understanding. Von Driska said she has lost of lot of friends from the military to suicide. Experiencing CRPS and PTSD has given her insights into their experiences. She is determined to do what she can to promote greater understanding of mental health issues and getting over the shame of stigma of seeking help.

“You can be hardcore and still talk about mental health,” she said.

Fotion said he cannot fathom the issues his three hiking colleagues are facing. He finds them inspiring, so he wanted to show his support by accompanying them on the Mt. Elbert Challenge.

They will train throughout the summer, increasing the distances and difficulty of hikes. They have hired Aspen Mountain Guides for help in training and on the challenge. They are also relying on numerous friends and supporters as “Sherpa” to haul food and gear up Mt. Elbert for them. The helpers include Chief Greg Knott and Lt. Aaron Munch of Basalt Police Department and division chief Richard Cornelius of Roaring Fork Fire Rescue.

Dory said it will require about $30,000 for training and the challenge itself. They set a goal to raise at least $118,000. The balance will go to Challenge America, where Dory volunteers. (See the fact box on how to contribute.)

Challenge America is a Basalt-based nonprofit organization that utilizes technology and creative arts to improve the lives of veterans and their families. Dory said it is a particularly effective organization because 83 cents of every $1 donation goes to programs.

For all four climbers, Sept. 15 is a special goal that they cannot wait to tackle.

“I needed that goal. I need something,” von Driska said.

When asked how they will accomplish that goal given their physical injuries, Dory said, “One step at a time. We’re going to crush it.”

How to help

The Mt. Elbert Challenge is off to a good start for fundraising. So far, 17 donors have contributed nearly $8,200. The goal is at least $118,000.

Learn more about the Mt. Elbert Project and donate at https://mtelbert.funraise.org/.

scondon@aspentimes.com

ValleyOrtho highlights cycling safety: free seminar to cover injury prevention

Dr. Mark Purnell from ValleyOrtho

May is National Bike Month and ValleyOrtho plans to kick it off with an educational webinar about staying safe while riding. A news release from April 20 states that Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Mark Purnell will be presenting a webinar called “Common Biking Injuries and How To Prevent Them.”

“After the snow has melted and the trails have dried, road and mountain biking become a great way to stay active. As many begin to plan their bike routes or long-distance rides for warmer weather, participants will learn how to make the most of biking season during this virtual event,” the release states.

The webinar will consist of a 20-minute discussion and then time for a Q&A with Dr. Purnell. It is free to participate in the session that will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5 over Zoom. The release states Purnell’s experience has given him valuable insight to sports medicine, treating and preventing injuries.

“Dr. Purnell is a longstanding orthopedic surgeon in the Roaring Fork Valley and specializes in reconstruction and repair of chronic and acute knee injuries, lower extremity trauma and sports medicine,” the release states.

Participants can register for the event at this link https://vvh.zoom.us/webinar/register/1916119542836/WN_JP5ojkqXR_eGSGbzic4N6g.

Mind Springs Health moves into new South Grand facility

Mental health and addiction recovery services provided by Mind Springs Health are now more conveniently located after the organization’s move this week into its new South Grand Avenue location in Glenwood Springs.

Mind Springs in late 2019 purchased the former motorsports dealership and antique mall property at 2802 S. Grand, just south of Berthod Motors.

The 8,500 square feet of renovated space replaces the former long-time Mind Springs clinic location on Colorado Highway 82 between Glenwood and Carbondale.

“The staff here is incredibly excited for this new location and what it means for our clients,” Hans Lutgring, outpatient program director for Mind Springs’ Glenwood area services, said in a news release announcing the move.

The entire building has 16,000 square feet of space. The remainder of that space is being held in reserve for a planned new alcohol and drug detoxification facility that area hospitals, police agencies and government entities have been busy planning for and identifying funding to build.

For now, the facility houses one staff psychiatrist, eight clinicians, five case managers, the program director, marketing staff and the new Mind Springs Foundation.

Lutgring noted that the facility is ADA compliant, and the location is near the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s 27th Street Station, making it convenient for bus commuters.

“Not only is the building more accessible, but the space provides more individual offices for therapists to meet with their clients in the spacious group therapy rooms,” he said. “We also have space for therapists to conduct virtual therapy sessions with clients, as we understand that more and more clients are becoming accustomed to, and even prefer, virtual therapy.”

Mind Springs is based in both Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction, with clinics in different communities across the region and the West Springs Hospital in Grand Junction.

The Mind Springs Foundation was formed last year to serve as the philanthropic arm of the organization, explained Stephanie Keister, public relations manager for Mind Springs.

The foundation’s staff of three are also housed in the new Glenwood Springs facility, and will be focused on raising funds for various capital projects, including the new women’s recovery center in Grand Junction, Keister said.

The new Mind Springs office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and can be reached at 970-945-2853 (Spanish-speaking line is 970-683-7289).

Recovery team mobilized

Meanwhile, another relatively new service of Mind Springs Health is proving to be successful in battling alcohol and drug addiction, including within the local homeless population.

The Mobile Recover Team is a group of mental healthcare professionals, including case managers and peer specialists, who work to provide immediate assistance to people in crisis due to substance use. That can include getting them connected to treatment services, as well as housing, food and employment assistance, according to a news release.

Since its formation last year, the Mobile Recovery Team has already had 61 referrals between Carbondale and Parachute, and 34% of those referrals have resulted in getting people into treatment, the release stated.

“The people we work with are often in very vulnerable positions,” said Anne Edgecomb, program coordinator for the Garfield County Mobile Recovery Team.

Referrals often come from hospitals, law enforcement agencies or local support agencies, she said.

“Slightly more than 50 percent of our clients are homeless at the time of engagement, and we often go where they are to provide guidance,” Edgecomb said. “That may be the hospital emergency room, the steps of the library where they’re hanging out during the day, a grocery store parking lot, or their home.”

Some of the people who are referred decline assistance, she said.

“Others do become engaged in treatment or are referred to another program that will help them on their path to wellness,” Edgecomb said. “Sometimes, all someone needs is another person who cares enough to help connect them to the resources that are available, with compassion and empathy.”

For more information, call 970-384-4034 or email mobilerecoveryteam@mindspringshealth.org.

jstroud@postindependent.com