Challenges in Addiction Treatment and Substance Use issues, during a worldwide pandemic

Challenges in Addiction Treatment and Substance Use issues, during a worldwide pandemic (Episode 53 of The Intentional Clinician Podcast)

Paul Krauss MA LPC interviews three substance abuse specialists: Rae Green, Lynell Brewster, and Marilyn Spiller. All three specialists work to provide high-quality addiction and substance abuse treatment at Sanford Addiction Treatment Center in Grand Rapids, MI. Paul and Sanford’s professionals discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their work in addictions on both the provider and the client side of things.

Nationally, spikes in substance abuse have been reported during the pandemic, and this trend has been seen anecdotally in West Michigan. The guests also discuss seeing an overall high volume of new clients coming for couples therapy and substance abuse treatment as well as a higher level of distress in new clients. There are a variety of factors that could be causing this, but some of the main reasons discussed include:

  • Overall high anxiety levels leading to substance use
  • Greater time spent at home with easier access to substances
  • Interpersonal conflicts due to confinement causing stress
  • Uncertainty about the future
  • Fewer options for getting physical movement
  • Fewer options for participating in hobbies or social activities

Sanford Addiction Treatment Center has several houses that provide inpatient and outpatient services. They also provide telehealth services which is convenient during the pandemic. Their continuum of care model offers support throughout various levels of the treatment process, and their unique focus on active client participation is aimed at reducing relapse rates. If you are interested in learning more about this high-quality treatment center, contact

addiction and substance abuse specialists

Rae Green, JD, LPC, CAADC – Founder and President, Sanford

Rae has dedicated her working career to chipping away at the shame of addiction. As Sanford’s primary spokesperson, her goal is to provide education and awareness of substance use disorders. Rae is a featured expert at conferences, in the community, and in the media. Her philosophy at Sanford, is to provide evidence-based practices, medication-assisted treatment, and a continuum of care in a comfortable setting where healing and a sense of rekindled worthiness is achievable.

Lynnel Brewster, RN, LPC, LLMFT, CCTP, Clinical Director, Therapist, Sanford

Lynnel has been working in the health field for the past 24 years. She is a registered nurse and a licensed professional counselor. Her experience includes working in hospital and home settings, residential/outpatient treatment centers, and private practice. As Clinical Director, she works with both Sanford clinical and medical staff, administering all aspects of group and individual therapy. This includes residential treatment, day programs, outpatient programs, family and alumni programs, and virtual/telehealth care.

Marilyn Spiller, Director of Marketing, Editor in Chief

Marilyn has been a marketing professional for more than 20 years. Most recently in the addiction treatment field.  Seven years sober herself, she penned one of the first sobriety blogs, Waking Up the Ghost, in 2013. The blog garnered an international following. As Sanford’s Director of Marketing she is responsible for publications, research, branding, outreach, website design, and search engine optimization. She also manages Sanford’s online magazine, Excursions.

Sanford Addiction Treatment Centers is a residential and outpatient facility located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Sanford offers excellence in evidence-based practice models in a home-like, restorative setting. Our clinicians, supported by our medical team, focus on resolving the underlying issues that often cause substance use, such as trauma, unhealthy relationships, co-occurring disorders and isolation. Programs include: residential, day programs, intensive outpatient, medication-assisted treatment, education and relapse prevention classes, telehealth and teletherapy, one-on-one and family therapy, and alumni and family support groups.

Paul Krauss MA LPC is the Clinical Director of Health for Life Grand Rapids, home of The Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids. Paul is also a Private Practice Psychotherapist, EMDRIA Consultant in Training (CIT), host of the Intentional Clinician podcast, Behavioral Health Consultant, Clinical Trainer, and Counseling Supervisor. Paul is now offering consulting for a few individuals and organizations. Paul is the creator of the National Violence Prevention Hotline (in progress)  as well as the Intentional Clinician Training Program for Counselors. Questions? Call the office at 616-200-4433.

If you are looking for EMDRIA consulting groups, Paul Krauss MA LPC is now hosting weekly online and in-person groups.  For details, click here.

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 Original Music:

”Shades of Currency” [Instrumental] from Archetypes by PAWL (Spotify)

“Melody” from Misery is a Butterfly by Blonde Redhead (Spotify)

“A Hard Man to Love” From Third by Cait Brennan (Spotify)

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