Schuylkill County program helps recovering addicts with first step

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POTTSVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The road to recovery can be a long, tough one for substance abusers. That’s why there is a program in Schuylkill County that makes it easier for those who want to take the first step towards being sober.

“Every time we get a call, we are potentially saving a life,” Clinical Outcomes Group Executive Director Alicia Fleishute said.

On the other end of the line is a local hospital looking to help a patient who needs substance abuse recovery. Shawn McGinley could get the call anytime on any given day when he’s the on-call staff volunteer for the Warm Hand Off program.

“If you need help, go to your emergency department, because they can make a phone call and we can get somebody out there to talk to them,” Melissa Kalyna, Drug and Alcohol Administrator, Schuylkill County Drug and Alcohol said.

The Clinical Outcomes Group staff volunteer will go to the hospital, evaluate the patient if stable and could help place them in treatment within the next 24 hours.

“We’re continuing to save lives. Not just the people that come in our door. We’re now going to them which is something we’ve never done before,” Fleishute said.

Letting people know there is no time restrictions if an addict wants to turn a new chapter in their life. The Clinical Outcomes Group stays up to date with the patient every step of the way.

“People are probably having the worst day of their life and to see them at that time and then help them get to where they need to be and see them come back to life is the best experience I could imagine in this field,” McGinley said.

McGinley was once an addict himself. More than three years sober now, he wishes there was a program like this when he was seeking treatment.

“Just them knowing I’ve been where they’ve been and they can see me now, I think provides a lot of hope and that’s one of the most important things in recovery,” McGinley said.

Showing that a road to recovery is available any time. Schuylkill County implemented its Warm Hand Off Program in early June. The Clinical Outcomes Group will also help a client get insurance coverage through the Schuylkill County Drug and Alcohol if they don’t have any.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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