National Recovery Month Sept 2021

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) observes each September as the National Recovery Month. SAMHSA explained that this month “is a national observance held every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible”.

Recovery Month is a time of celebrating positive gains made by those who are in recovery. For those in recovery, each and every small step in the right direction is a milestone to them but to others, it goes unnoticed. There's a negative stigma in society that those who have developed addictions are people to stay away from, that’s not true. Most of those on their recovery journey put in a tremendous amount of handwork and are dedicated to turning their lives around. That is why Cross Valley Health & Medicine practitioners Dr Paul Saladino and Christian Plaza, FNP are eager to help those who have developed addictions to these substances. Within their practice, they commonly treat those who have developed an alcohol and or drug (even prescription drug) addiction. 

What is alcohol abuse?

Alcohol abuse is defined as when a person develops a pattern of drinking too much alcohol in a short amount of time. For “too much” is different from person to person, but the more common signs of alcohol abuse are when the drinking patterns begin to interfere with their social life and daily activities. As a point of reference, one alcoholic drink is defined as a 12-ounce bottle of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (like whiskey or rum). 

Common signs to look out for to identify alcohol abuse include can’t stop drinking once started, being unable to perform daily activities without drinking, feeling guilty after drinking, and or hiding your drinking habits from other people. Alcohol abuse is a self-made habit, so it can be prevented or avoided. Depending on your family history and current drinking habits you may be able to avoid developing a drinking problem if you set a drinking limit for yourself, address any mental health concerns you may have, and do not associate yourself with others who already have developed a drinking problem. 

Alcohol abuse treatment

With any substance abuse concern, the first step is to tell yourself that you need help. Without identifying yourself to have a clear issue, your mind will continue to think your drinking habits are perfectly normal. After seeking help from a  medical professional, your practitioner may recommend therapy sessions or medication to help you overcome your craving to drink. This can be a long road for many, but becoming sober has been reported by many to be the greatest accomplishment of their lives. 

What is drug addiction?

When people think of a drug addict, they immediately think of those hard drugs like cocaine or heroin, but drug addiction can include prescription drugs and alcohol too. The bottom line is when you using or taking a drug in a way that you shouldn’t, this can develop into an addiction.  By either using someone else’s prescription drugs or using cocaine to feel good, both are signs of addiction is forming. Once the drug addiction develops, it is very difficult to stop without medical intervention.  No matter even if your health becomes at risk, the addiction tells your brain there’s no stopping this craving. At this point, it’s time to seek medical help. 

Drug addiction treatment

Drug addiction treatment is often lumped into the broad medical topic of substance abuse treatment. After admitting to yourself there is a problem and you need help, you will undergo a medical evaluation to see how advanced the addiction has developed. From there, your practitioner may recommend you to try a few different treatment options. The first is a detoxification process where, under medical guidance, your body will be flushed completely to rid your system of any addictive substances. While your body is undergoing the detoxification process, you may be enrolled in a cognitive or rational behavioral therapy program. The detoxification will handle removing any lingering chemical in your body while the behavioral therapy programs will address the question “why do I take this drug the way I do”. If these do not work, some medical facilities (like Cross Valley Health & Medicine) have a Medication-Assisted Treatment Program or MAT for short. These medications will reduce your body’s cravings for a specific chemical and after its course, they may completely rid your body of the desire to abuse drugs anymore. 

What should I do if either I or know of someone who is battling addiction?

Firstly, being there as a support figure throughout their addiction recovery journey is a critical component. Second, Cross Valley Health & Medicine’s Dr Saladino is dual-board certified in Addiction Medicine & Internal Medicine while Christian Plaza, FNP is trained in family health. Both practitioners are highly trained to help you and/or your loved one through this difficult journey. The practice has a robust Medication-Assisted Treatment Program and Mr. Plaza also provides mental health services too. When you or your loved one is ready to take their first step, give our office a call at 845-561-7075 or visit to learn more. 

Cross Valley Health & Medicine is a primary care practice located in Newburgh NY, allowing for both virtual and in-person appointments. The practice has two medical providers on staff, a medical doctor who is dual board-certified in Addiction Medicine and Internal Medicine and a family nurse practitioner. Both providers are eager to see new patients for the following programs: Addiction Medicine, Behavioral Health Management, HIV/AIDS Care Management, Internal Medicine, Medical Marijuana Certifications, Medication-Assisted Treatment, STD/STI Care Management, and Weight Loss Management. If you are interested in becoming a patient of Cross Valley, please click here to access our online paperwork portal.