822 on FM 97.3 WZBG Wednesdays round here we have our discussion with the folks from the McCall Center for Behavioral Health and Health Inc. I want to welcome back Sean Moritz who’s a case manager employment specialist for McCall. Sean welcome to the program. Yeah thanks for having me. Glad to have you Sean, welcome to the program. Yeah, thanks for having me. Glad to have you aboard. We did have some established topic we wanted to go over because we’ve got a brand new year, but we’re going to jump in actually and just start with something that has just been shocking in the state of Connecticut and has hit parents and everyone very, very hard, and that is the death of a 13-year-old due to an unintentional overdose of fentanyl.
due to an unintentional overdose of fentanyl. And it’s just a tragedy, not unlike gun violence in a school, this loss of life. You know, as a parent of a teenager and then someone in the recovery field, yeah, it’s totally tragic because it can be prevented with education, right? But there could be longer term effects as to the way this was all presented to us, which effects as to the way this was all presented to us, which we talked about a little bit earlier, is in the conversation I had with our director yesterday, she brought to me that long-term consequences could be that people perceive fentanyl to be something that it’s not. Like a biohazard.
Exactly, like a virus in the air, and it’s not. Listen, it’s really bad, we don’t need me to tell you that, but it needs to be taken through a specific route of administration. but it needs to be taken through a specific route of administration. So the long-term negative consequence could be that while we’re trying to help someone that is suffering from an overdose by administering Narcan, they might, the person with the Narcan might be reluctant to administer it because what they’ve been educated and taught from all the sources is that fentanyl is biohazardous and then we’re gonna leave somebody lying on the floor.
And so I’m hoping out of these conversations and then we’re going to leave somebody lying on the floor. And so I’m hoping out of these conversations that we could just keep educating about the fentanyl, of course, about the prevention techniques that will help prevent this stuff in the future. Well, it really is about education and prevention. This is a case, again, at the Hartford Sport and Medical Sciences Academy, where you had a young person who does what young people do.
They experiment. And they think they’re invincible. people do. They experiment. And they think they’re invincible. And that these bad things aren’t going to happen to them. It’s upon us in our society as parents and as adults that want to keep our kids safe to give them the best education, the best knowledge, the best tools, right? To do the right thing when confronted with these questions. Is this potentially Is this potentially harmful or deadly to me? Right, and you know, teaching teenagers to do the right thing is often a tough task. But in this situation, we have at McCall and Help, we have a tremendous prevention team. And that’s what they do. They go into the schools, into the community, talking to parents, educate, educate, rinse, wash, repeat. Rinse, wash, repeat.
So, as much as they are superheroes, they can’t be in every place at one time. So as much as they are superheroes, they can’t be in every place at one time. So I hope that what comes out of this tragedy is we need to increase the education. We need to normalize the discussion. You know, the number one cause of death to 18 to 49 year olds, the data just came out, is a drug overdose. That is just incredible.
And let’s face it, about 70% of those are opiate slash fentanyl related. So education, now more than ever, are opiate slash fentanyl related. So education now more than ever it just needs to be on the forefront. Hopefully this tragedy if there’s some silver lining that may come with it, it is a renewed focus and a renewed sense of alarm among the broader community that we need to do something we need to do more. I mean we’re already doing something we need to do more to try to forestall these tragedies. Yeah it’s just it starts at the kitchen table it starts with the parents it goes into the schools and it’s just It starts at the kitchen table, it starts with the parents, it goes into the schools, and it’s just normalizing the conversation.
It’s taboo. No one likes to talk about drugs, you know, the just say no to drugs concept, but we need to educate and we’re going to have to start by educating the parents, educating the schools, getting Narcan everywhere. Everyone should be having Narcan since we’re essentially in a tragic pandemic with drug overdoses. Correct. Correct. You guys are in the business of saving lives, of restoring lives. You guys are in the business of saving lives, of restoring lives.
That’s what you try to do. People come to you in the battle of addiction, and you try to help them find a path out. And it may seem like the odds are against the person who is in that battle. So let’s talk a little bit about that fear of recovery, that fear. And I guess maybe one major part of that fear is that you’re going to fail, that you can’t win this battle, right? Right, absolutely. is that you’re going to fail, that you can’t win this battle, right? Right, absolutely. So that comes in resolving ambivalence, right? The inability to commit one way or the other. And I think if someone listening or someone asked me, hey, what do you guys do? Treatment doesn’t work, or we don’t know what it’s all about. The real secret foundation is helping clients and people in recovery just overcome ambivalence. And we do that by focusing on right in the very beginning, whether it’s through an outreach worker, a And we do that by focusing on right in the very beginning, whether it’s through an outreach worker or a case manager or in one of our clinical programs, it’s using basic therapy concepts to help them understand how these negative cognitions are impacting their life.
I’m not good enough. I won’t succeed. I’ll fail. No one likes me. And with just basic cognitive behavior therapy, we’re working to help them build just a little We’re working to help them build just a little bit of confidence and a little bit of integrity. And when we can create that foundation, anything is truly possible. And is that why sometimes it takes longer? Sometimes that path for some, you know, as the Beatles saying, a long and winding road. For some people, they’re able to find that kernel and build on it at an earlier point.
And for others, it seems to take a lot longer because that is the building block you start with. it seems to take a lot longer because that is the building block you start with, right? And not everybody gets there at the same time. Yeah, so there’s a million different pathways to recovery and it truly takes a village with the team approach. But some people have some serious trauma that’s just unresolved and that might take a long time to resolve. Now, everybody’s trauma is equal but different, right? So what’s traumatic for you might not be as traumatic for me. you might not be as traumatic for me.
So it could take a long time because working through some of that stuff, it’s just a process, right? It’s a marathon. It truly is. You just got to work at it, work at it, and just build a good team around you so it’s not just your weekly meeting with a therapist. You’re working with case managers, outreach workers, and maybe doing meetings in the community and so you’re always connected to a recovery base. and so you’re always connected to a recovery base. So at McClellan Health, Inc., then, when people come to you, and again, you’ve got to find where they are on that path and try to pick it up and help them along.
Let’s talk about some of those tools in the toolbox, what you employ, depending upon where along that journey they are. Right. So you truly have to meet clients where they’re at. And if you just kind of take a look back historically from the 1950s, the recovery model on the medical side the recovery model on the medical side looked a lot like self-help like alcohol AA, right? And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s a huge success for so many people.
But for so many other people it creates this negative connotation that may or may not be true. And the societal perception keeps people from taking a step into recovery. So what we’ve evolved exponentially to today is offering so many flavors and techniques and strategies offering so many flavors and techniques and strategies as part of a basic treatment model. We have wellness groups, mindfulness groups, adventure recovery, trauma-informed care, and of course the foundational inpatient or outpatient services too.
You think, and it does take all of those tools in the box to bring this out, and you presented an alarming statistic about those that we lose 18 to 49 to drug overdose. All right? that we lose 18 to 49 to drug overdose. All right. Yeah. And we know the addiction issues in this country. Has the country truly got past those old stereotypes to a place to where we’re ready to embrace all of these methodologies to get the job done?
I mean, I have to say no. There’s so much more work to do. And sort of what we talked about in the beginning of this conversation, it’s just being persistent with the education. And the key word is normalizing the conversation. being persistent with the education and the key word is normalizing the conversation because if this conversation remains taboo to families or other pockets of society that we are not truly going to be able to support and help those who need it the most so I just think we just keep pounding the pavement educate educate educate and just try to get the the message out and then work on pulling people in with the team approach. Let’s talk about those people we’re pulling in and our final comment here as we run out of time in Let’s talk about those people we’re pulling in and our final comment here as we run out of time in the interview Sean is going way too quickly this morning We know that with the tragedy in Hartford Parents of teenagers have their minds in the game. You know everybody is keyed into this when you’re a parent of a teenager I know that you are yes What about John Q public the rest what?
can we try to leave with the general public about this latest tragedy and how we forge together to fight it better? Right, so we can’t let a tragedy like this break us. Just to add, I’m from Sandy Hook, right? My daughter is a 15-year-old kid. So we’re no strangers to tragedy, but we can’t let that define us. It’s sad, and for the family it’s even sadder, but as a society we just have to pick each It’s even sadder, but as a society we just have to pick each other up and we have to stay positive But we have to be able to talk about it I can’t speak about that enough a teacher has to talk about it a father a mother has to talk about it And it just can’t be taboo, and that’s the takeaway I want to get today is just normalize the conversation if we do the education and motivation will help fully fall into place Sean we appreciate your time this morning and the work that you and everyone around you at McCall Center and helping do and and the work that you and everyone around you at McCall Center and Health Inc. do.
And God bless you and your mission going forward, especially on days as we look at this latest tragedy. Thank you. Okay, thanks for having me. Sean Moritz is case manager, employment specialist at the McCall Center for Behavioral Health and Health Inc. Joining us the third Wednesday of the month, we have that conversation with McCall, rarely more important than it is today. It’s 832. We’re gonna head to the newsroom a little bit late. Jeff, thanks We’re going to head to the newsroom a little bit late. Jeff, thanks for letting me steal a couple of minutes from your newscast. Thank you, Dale. Right now, 23 to…