It’s no secret that the Inland Empire has its share of addiction problems. From the homeless encampments to the individuals standing at the freeway entrances with hand-written cardboard signs, the evidence is alarming. Whether it’s drugs, alcohol or mental illness, the problem isn’t going away and the answers aren’t easy to find, especially with dwindling resources to fight the problem.
The statistics around addiction treatment are bleak. In a report published in 2014 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), almost 8 million American adults battled both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder, or co-occurring disorders.
There are solutions though. The Inland Empire Homeowners Club supports Cedar House Life Change Center, and for good reason. We sat down this week and spoke to Melissa Hughes, a communications expert and employee of Cedar House.
Melissa has been with Cedar House since last September. Her background in advertising, and her Mass Communication education from Loyola University in New Orleans make her a great candidate for the very important job she does for Cedar House.
According to Melissa, “there is such a great need for addiction treatment… substance abuse is taking its toll on our community.” She’s thankful to work for an organization committed to solutions. We are too.
Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health state that in 2013, only about 10% of the individuals who needed treatment for substance abuse actually received treatment in a specialized facility. Cedar House is one in only a handful of in-house treatment centers in the Inland Empire, and waiting lists can be long. Cedar House serves an average of 110 clients in the residential program plus about 40 more in their outpatient program and 8 in the Maple House program which serves women with children, where moms can receive treatment while caring for their children in a protected environment.
The good news is that Cedar House is doing what it can to expand, according to Melissa “[Cedar House] opened Oasis House in the High Desert, in partnership with the Faith Advisory Council for Community Transformation, to help transitional aged youth (between 18 and 25) have access to the resources they need to get their lives on track.”
Melissa continues “I’ve spoken with so many people about their addiction and recovery to learn more about Cedar House, [and] I am consistently amazed by how early kids start using drugs.”
According to the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, the largest long-term study of brain and cognitive development in children across the United States, research has shown that brain development continues into the twenties, a time that encompasses many important developmental and social changes in a young person’s life. When a young person abuses substances, these developments can be impaired.
Click here for a guide, intended for parents, practitioners, and policymakers, that lists 7 principles addressing the specific ways in which early interventions can have positive effects on development. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-substance-abuse-prevention-early-childhood/index
Cedar House Life Change Center is just that, a change center. Many of its participants end up staying beyond the term of their treatment in order to help others find what they have found. We lift up Cedar House and humbly thank them for their service to our community.
Join us in supporting this remarkable facility!
Support Cedar House at their 2nd Annual Golf Classic on October 19 at Jurupa Hills Country Club in Riverside. Visit the website (www.cedarhouse.org) to register today. All proceeds will benefit their Maple House Women with Children Program.