Integrated drug addiction medicine | WesternSlopeNow.com
Produced by Dan Ryan for St Mary’s Medical Center
“Never in a million years did I think I would become an alcoholic at 40,” says Kendra Kreie. “I had weight loss surgery and lost weight, but all of those reasons I ate were still there. So I turned to alcohol. When drinking after surgery weight loss, it works differently in your body and I got addicted very quickly. ”
Kendra tried to tackle her addiction on her own, but it didn’t work. “I have tried and failed over and over again. One of those times, I ended up in St. Mary’s emergency room and was in a coma for 14 days. I was in intensive care for a very long time before waking up on a ventilator. My fight from that point on was just to survive.
Unfortunately for Kendra, things got worse and she was involved in a terrible accident. “After the accident, I was determined to do all I could to get out of this place.”
Kendra was referred to Dr Ryan Jackman and his team at the SCL Health Integrated Addiction Medicine Clinic, where she began intensive outpatient therapy with addiction specialist Dr Jessica Stephen Premo.
“When I met her at the clinic, I was delighted to hear how motivated she was,” says Dr. Jackman. “His story is like a lot of stories. People find a time in their life when they want to make a change and they don’t know how. I was so happy to introduce her to Jessica and launch her into our outpatient program.
While Kendra was in outpatient therapy, Dr. Jackman also closely monitored her medications. Kendra says she’s been using substances for a very long time and I don’t want to anymore. “I didn’t want to be addicted to pain relievers.”
According to Dr Jackman, her team worked to get her off the medication gradually while providing the relief she needed for her very real pain. “It’s not so much about substituting one substance for another, but about using drugs to help the brain heal. It’s something we do every day. We look at where our patients are on an individual basis and use medication to help remove substances from their lives. “
“I have now been sober for over 600 days,” Kendra says. “There was a time when I couldn’t last three weeks. It has been extremely rewarding to have professionals who know what I am going through to guide me in my recovery. Thanks to Dr Jackman and his team, my world is now very different.
“Coming back to life from an addiction isn’t easy,” says Dr. Jackman, “but seeing people in recovery keeps me and my team going. That’s why we do what we do. Addiction is difficult, but what’s on the other side is much better, even if it’s difficult.
“To anyone who is worried about coming to see someone about drug addiction, I would tell them to forget about that worry,” Kendra adds. “It’s so helpful to be able to tell someone what’s going on and be honest with them without being judged. Even if you stumble, you have people who care about you, so you don’t blindly try to find your way in the dark. It’s really nice to have someone by your side. So don’t be afraid, don’t hesitate, don’t look back. Do it now.”