Skip to main content

Working the Program Works for Young Mom

“By the time I checked myself into the PARC unit (psychiatric and addiction recovery center), I was terrified by suicidal thoughts.” It was in 2019 when Nicole made that decision; and it saved her life.

After close to a decade of taking substances that started with alcohol in high school and moved quickly to “dry goods,” like OxyContin, Nichole knew it was up to her to take her situation seriously. She had a child to take care of, but her life had turned into an endless loop of working and doing drugs.

Like many who live with substance use disorder, Nicole lost sight of herself. Things she used to love had no meaning. Heart-breakingly, her child went to live with others who were better able to provide for a youngster.

“There were years when I was homeless and sleeping out of my car,” Nicole quietly shared. “I was working but not really able to do the job, so when I went to the PARC unit and met Dr. Logan I began holding myself accountable.”

It wasn’t easy though, because Nicole discovered she was pregnant right at the start of her recovery journey. She experienced a lot of depression and relied heavily on the services offered through PARC and Maine Behavioral Healthcare (MBH). She was also fortunate enough to find a sober house that provided the refuge she and her newborn daughter needed.

Nichole holds her child aloft on the beachThrough MBH, Nicole now receives Suboxone® treatment to control cravings, combined with the added support of her psychiatrist, Dr. Ted Logan. She also attends therapy groups and receives counseling, case management and peer support.

With pure honesty, Nicole is the first to admit that recovery is fraught with relapse. “No matter how many times I slipped, Dr. Logan was there for me,” she said.

Dr. Logan understands that substance use disorder has a profound impact, and even those with the best of intentions can find themselves struggling with recovery. Relapse is no reason to be ashamed as it is often part of the journey.

“Nicole is someone whose resilience has led her through a series of challenges—but through sheer grit and determination she has been able to move forward to establish her core dignity,” said Dr. Logan. “The restoration of core dignity is a critical component of our program and one that prepares our patients to adapt to life’s many obstacles and succeed.”

Today, Nicole is living with her family and young daughter and hopes to be reunited with her older child. She also looks forward to a career in nursing and has already begun taking prerequisite college courses as a first step to meet that goal.

“I’m looking to re-claim my own identity. And, I want to stay sober to provide a better life for myself and my children.”

Integrated Medication-Assisted Treatment (IMAT)

IMAT combines talk therapy (either individual or group counseling) with medicines that can control cravings and lessen withdrawal symptoms. The medicines help a person feel normal again so they can focus on therapy and help rebuild their life.

What is opioid use disorder?

OUD is a chronic (or constant) brain disease that some people can get from taking opioids often. This type of disease leads to craving opioids, not being able to stop using opioids, and can cause major life problems.