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The road to recovery isn't over for people battling substance abuse during 'stay at home' order

Posted at 8:49 PM, Mar 31, 2020

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Walking into one of the human services buildings for assistance isn’t as easy with the coronavirus pandemic closing a lot of facilities.

“A lot of our services are still taking place, but people don’t realize that we are open. Some of these services are mandated, and we have to provide that service,” says Shelby Giles.

Services like treatment, case management and counseling. Giles is the Clinical Services Administrator with Virginia Beach Human Services.

“In this kind of health crisis, we are reaching out telephonically. We are using other equipment to reach out to our consumers and to support them,” she adds.

She says having services remain available alleviates the number of people walking into the emergency rooms during this COVID-19 outbreak.

“I think by us being here, we are helping to not add burden to critical resources such as the emergency department or state hospital beds,” said Giles.

“I would say the majority of our individuals go to emergency rooms looking for help and then they connect them to our services,” said Pathways Center Program Supervisor Theresa Newman.

Pathways Center is just one of the many programs still available. At the center, there are still beds for residents who may need a detox from alcohol, benzos or opioids.

“We have folks come in that have either no insurance or Medicaid insurance, and we stabilize their crisis - help them to detox off their substance and give them skills and link them with services to follow up with when the release,” says Newman.

She says they are here to help anyone who can’t afford treatment due to job loss.

Related: Coronavirus forces local shelter to refuse new guests for first time in 54 years

“They might be fearful of how they are going to pay for their suboxone or methadone, and that can be scary for them, so we are able to help with funding,” adds Newman.

Leaders say most importantly, their phone lines for anyone in a mental health crisis are still on the hook.

Below is a list of numbers:

  • Emergency Mental Health Services: 757-385-0888
  • Adult Outpatient Mental Health Services (including Same Day Access): 757-385-0511
  • Warm Line, Peer Support: 757-402-6190

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